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Preventing maritime injuries takes vigilance

Working on the deck of a seafaring vessel provides a unique workspace. You can see the beauty of the open water while you work. However, you have to remain acutely aware of the dangers you face. Seamen face the possibility of catastrophic injuries or even death each time they’re on a vessel.

It is up to the captain of the ship to ensure that there are proper safety procedures in place for every shift. This includes making sure the deckhands and others have the equipment they need to remain safe. Understanding some of the more common types of injuries that occur on vessels can help to improve the likelihood of everyone making it back home.

Falls and trips are two common accident types. This can occur because of slippery surfaces, such as if the water is crashing onto the deck or something is spilled. Some machinery might spray oil, which presents a hazard if it isn’t cleaned or clearly marked. Other items strewn on the deck can lead workers to trip if they aren’t being vigilant.

Head injuries are also possible, which is why deckhands should wear hardhats when necessary. Moving equipment, hatches and doors and even falls can all cause head injuries. Watching for overhead items can help to prevent these.

Electrical shocks are another particularly hazardous issue on vessels due to the wet and humid nature of the environment. Workers must exercise extreme caution when they’re doing anything with an electrical component.

One issue that comes with injuries on seafaring vessels is that there is often a lengthy response time when medical care beyond basic first aid is needed. This can directly impact the possibility of the best healing possible.

Seamen who suffer an injury while the vessel is underway may have a claim based on the Jones Act. Working with someone familiar with the terms of this act is beneficial.