Compressed Air Accidents Cause Serious Injuries

Compressed air is an important device on many ships. Frequently applied as an energy source, it powers production equipment and tools for mechanical repair, safety systems, and maintenance.

As blowing or active air, it’s also used to clean dust and debris from different equipment and parts of a ship.

However, compressed air isn’t like ordinary air. The force with which it’s deployed makes it dangerous—as little as 5 psi causes significant damage. Explosions may also occur if the air containment tank is corroded by salt water and weakened.

Compressed Air Injuries

A compressed air injury can occur when an air tank:

  • Isn’t stored at a proper temperature.
  • Has pressure that exceeds the manufacturer’s limit.
  • Is damaged.
  • Has a manufacturing defect.
  • Isn’t used according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.
  • Isn’t routinely inspected and repaired as needed.
  • Has a nozzle or output directed at a person.

Injuries may include:

  • Detached retinas, cornea damage, or even permanent blindness if compressed air hits the eyes
  • Ruptured lungs or esophagus, and other internal organ damage when the force of the air enters the body
  • Ruptured eardrums, permanent hearing loss, and even brain damage if the air releases by the ear
  • Embolism or stroke if compressed air enters through the skin and obstructs an artery

In some cases, compressed air injuries lead to fatalities.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury like this in the workplace, it’s critical to understand your rights. Various maritime laws may apply to your situation, and might help you make a fair recovery for medical expenses, lost income, and other damages.

The law firm of Steven M. Lee, P.C., is ready to provide you with a free consultation about your rights and possible compensation. To learn more about how we can assist you, visit us on Facebook.

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