You work on a vessel that often goes between international and domestic ports. You've been doing this job for several years, and you love it. Unfortunately, on your last voyage, you ended up slipping and falling. You have a head injury, and you cannot continue.
There are dozens of ways that a person could get hurt on a barge, but some that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has been focusing on include heat stress, heat stroke, dehydration and heat cramps.
One of the possible injuries a cruise ship worker might face is a head injury from a slip-and-fall accident. Whenever there is water or clutter on deck, there is the potential for a slip-and-fall to occur.
When you're hurt while working at sea, you may be able to seek compensation for the injuries you've suffered. Maritime laws protect your rights as a seaman. You actually have rights that extend beyond the average worker.
There are many reasons why people get hurt when working as commercial fishermen. From poor weather conditions to a lack of training, the reasons add up and make any fishing excursion more dangerous.
When you are working as a seaman aboard an ocean-going vessel, a lot can go wrong. Even seemingly minor injuries can worsen when you are miles away from hospitals and surgeons. That doesn't even address the damage that can come from rough seas that can toss even huge ships around like they were plastic boats in a child's bathtub.
For the centuries of seafaring that helps create this country, it was all too easy to get injured on a ship. Even as the technology improved and engines replaced sails, it was still a very hazardous career to work in shipping and offshore drilling. Even though no state can claim jurisdiction when someone is hurt offshore, the government in Washington maintains protections for maritime workers.
Working on the water may not be riskier to life and limb than logging or trucking, but it comes with unique challenges that require a certain firmness from workers who choose it. And these special challenges have convinced governments to afford maritime crews and laborers special protections so they can do their jobs.
A life on the water is not an easy one. Everyone from the captain of a vessel to the deckhands face risks that no landlubber would see or even understand, and caution combined with experience can easily save lives on the sea, the river or other bodies of water hosting American trade.
You don't have to be miles out to sea to have the protection of admiralty law. The tradition of rules covering activities on ships and the water goes back thousands of years, but the modern versions are more than extensions of history. American admiralty law is there specifically to protect American workers with jobs that help keep the country's trade and transport moving.