If you work on a ship, you don’t really leave your work behind the way that a traditional worker does. You may be at sea for days, weeks or even months. Workers in offices onshore come and go every day. You certainly have downtime when you get to rest, relax or sleep, but you never get to go home and get a true break, like they do.
You may also have to work long hours when the job requires it. Perhaps there is dangerous weather coming in and everyone needs to work together to get the ship ready for the storm. Or maybe your boss just expects you to work a lot of extra hours as long as you’re on board, assuming that everyone should put in as much time as they can.
Can these long hours increase the chances that you get hurt on the job? Are you at more risk in this profession because of your schedule?
A warning from OSHA
As you may have guessed, long hours have been linked to a number of problems for workers. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) warns that working extra long hours can lead to:
- Poor health
When you’ve been on the job for many hours, and you may have been on the ship for days or weeks before that, you can feel very worn down and fatigued. This can lead you to make errors that you wouldn’t have made otherwise, or you may have trouble reacting to errors made by your shipmates. All of this means that it is more likely that you’ll be injured on the job than if you had a traditional schedule onshore.
If this does happen to you and you suffer a serious injury on the job, that’s when you need to make sure that you know about all of your legal options. The compensation you need and deserve is out there.