Many may think that working at sea would be far more dangerous than work in a shipyard. Sadly, that’s often not the case. There are various aspects of wharf, shipping terminal, harbor or shipyard work that can be particularly hazardous.
One aspect of working in a harbor that makes workers particularly vulnerable to suffering injuries is that there is often no set schedule. Ships may need to be quickly repaired so that they can get back out to sea. Boats may need to have cargo taken off of them. They may arrive in a port at all hours of the day. A worker may end up spending long hours performing hard manual labor.
Individuals who work in shipyards often work around cranes and other heavy machinery. They use it to lift heavy loads off their boats. If they lose their loads, then the results can be catastrophic.
Shipyard workers often spend significant time while on breaks or working in cramped quarters. This makes them particularly vulnerable to suffocation, to injuring their limbs or suffering head or other bodily injuries. Eardrum ruptures are also common among workers subjected to high-pressure sounds in confined spaces.
Slips and falls in shipyards can be particularly dangerous as drops can be as deep as several feet. Reports of workers drowning, having limbs amputated, suffering head injuries or fractures often start with a fall.
The risk of a shipyard worker suffering a catastrophic injury from a fire, electric shock or explosions is not unheard of either.
While asbestos has been outlawed as a construction material for decades in the United States, shipyard workers still come in contact with ships where it’s been used to construct them. This puts them at increased risk for developing asbestosis or mesothelioma. The ill effects of a worker’s exposure to this mineral can take as long as 50 years to rear its head.
Many workers are injured in shipyards because they’re unaware of the safety measures and laws that their employers are required to follow to keep them safe from harm. If you’re hurt as a shipyard worker, then you may be entitled to payment for your medical bills, disability and lost wages, and an attorney can help you make the most of your right to compensation.