There are many safety risks that people in the maritime industry face. Among them are the risks of slipping and falling, burning themselves, chemical exposure, puncture wounds and others. Of all the risks, the one that has to be taken most seriously is the risk of drowning when working near or under water.
Workers in the maritime industry do face a higher risk of injuries or fatalities than others. This is why commercial fishing, one career in the industry, is widely believed to be the most dangerous job in the United States.
Why are workers at risk of drowning?
Workers may be put at risk of drowning in several different scenarios, such as if:
- Someone falls overboard
- Someone falls off a dock
- They are improperly trained on using scuba gear or other tools
- They do not follow safety guidelines
- The ship or vessel sinks
People who work on or around the water are required to have the right personal protective equipment. Your employer should provide you with this equipment. If they do not, then they may be held liable for their negligence.
What kinds of safety equipment do maritime workers need?
The primary piece of safety equipment that workers need is a personal floatation device, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. These are required to be provided to workers who are exposed to the risk of falling into water.
Other personal protective devices that should be provided in the workplace include life rings, life lines and recovery devices. For example, rescue baskets and cages are two kinds of devices that should be available on a ship and ready to be deployed if a worker falls overboard.
Recovering workers is part of safety training
With how rough the sea can get, it’s not surprising that someone might be thrown overboard or have trouble in the water. Recovery training is essential in these workplaces. The person in the water should be visible (when possible) at all times and have a recovery point that they can be guided to in an emergency.
Failing to provide the right training or personal protective equipment may put employers at risk of facing personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits.