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Employers need to take steps to prevent falls on vessels

If you work on a vessel, one of the greatest dangers is slipping and falling. You know that your ship may rock back and forth or move suddenly, and you are also aware that the deck may be wet or slick.

It's still your employer's responsibility to reduce the risk of slip-and-fall accidents, especially when they could lead to someone going overboard or suffering other injuries.

These kinds of incidents don't have to happen because employers should be able to implement techniques to keep the deck clear of water or slick substances. Even when they cannot make the area completely safe, they can take steps to reduce clutter and to include railings or other helpful tools that would prevent someone from going overboard.

How can employers reduce the risk of falls on ships?

If you're in a slick area, something that your employer can do is require the use of nonskid shoes. They can also install mats or patches that are gritty or textured, which can help prevent falls. In particularly dangerous or slick areas, employer may put up notices or provide additional training.

It's not always going to be possible to eliminate the hazard, but providing you and your team with training on how to handle slick areas on board can reduce the risk of accidents happening.

If you do get hurt on board a vessel, you may be entitled to compensation and other benefits through the Jones Act. Our website has more on the steps you can take if you're hurt while working on a barge or other kind of vessel.

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