The most common maritime injury scenarios

On Behalf of | Dec 13, 2023 | Commercial Seamen |

Maritime safety affects the well-being of passengers aboard vessels, the crew as well as residents who live and work near water bodies. Since the sea is inherently hazardous, provisions have been made to mitigate the risks of injuries and fatalities.

For instance, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has instituted requirements for Personal Flotation Devices to help in the recovery of persons who are at risk of death, hypothermia or drowning. Since navigating the seas comes with its own set of challenges and risks, understanding the potential dangers is crucial for maritime professionals. The following are some of the most common challenges that these workers face on a regular basis.

Slips and falls at sea

Maritime environments are often wet and slippery due to constant exposure to water. So naturally, slips and falls are a prevalent cause of injuries, ranging from minor bruises to severe fractures. Crew members should exercise utmost caution when moving around a ship. Ship management should also try to ensure that walkways are clear and that personnel have access to non-slip footwear.

Intoxication in enclosed spaces

Working in confined areas poses unique risks, especially when it comes to intoxication. Fumes from chemicals, lack of proper ventilation and confined spaces can exacerbate the effects of alcohol or substance use. It is, therefore, imperative for maritime professionals to adhere strictly to safety protocols and avoid intoxication in enclosed spaces to help prevent accidents.

Repetitive stress injuries

The repetitive nature of certain tasks onboard can lead to chronic injuries over time. From operating machinery to performing routine deck duties, maritime workers may develop repetitive stress injuries (RSIs). Implementing ergonomic practices, regular breaks and proper training can mitigate the risk of RSIs and promote long-term health among the crew.

Falling overboard

Falling overboard is a serious maritime hazard that demands constant vigilance. Unstable conditions, unexpected waves or a momentary lapse in attention can result in a crew member falling into the water. Adequate safety measures, including the use of personal flotation devices and regular safety drills, are imperative to prevent and respond to overboard incidents.

Chemical burns

Working with various chemicals on board introduces the risk of chemical burns. Whether handling cleaning agents, fuels or other hazardous substances, proper protective gear and adherence to safety procedures are paramount. Immediate first aid and access to medical facilities are crucial in treating chemical burns and preventing long-term consequences.

Navigating the open sea involves inherent risks, but a proactive approach to safety and injury prevention can significantly reduce the likelihood of accidents. When accidents do occur, however, seeking legal guidance to seek compensation is generally wise.