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Most Commons Causes of Fatal Shipyard Accidents

— May 18, 2021

While no amount of money can make up for your loss, it may be essential to get a settlement simply to carry on if the accident victim was the primary earner for the family.

In general, maritime work carries many dangers. While many people think the main danger lies with ship workers out on the open water, accident rates for shipyard workers are comparable. There are many risks that come with working in a shipyard, and workers suffer a high rate of serious injuries and even death.

Shipyard workers carry out a wide variety of tasks. Beyond loading and unloading cargo from vessels, shipyard workers are often involved in the construction, repair, improvement, and dismantling of vessels. These activities tend to require the operation of dangerous equipment and can easily end up causing serious injuries.

Types of Accidents

There are dozens of types of accidents that can occur in a shipyard. Most of these accidents have the potential to be fatal. Here are a few of the more common accidents that lead to the death of shipyard workers:

  • Fires and Explosions – Beyond the massive amounts of fuel that it takes to operate large cargo ships, there are often many highly flammable items being shipped.
  • Toxin Exposure – In addition to flammable items, many ships transport toxic gases. There are also often many dangerous elements released into the air when dismantling older vessels.
  • Slips and Falls – Workers are often working from great heights, and improperly set up scaffolding or an unsupported ladder can easily lead to a fall. Working down near the water, surfaces are often wet and can lead to uncertain footing, especially in adverse weather conditions.
  • Falling Objects – Workers are often working below other workers. Even with hard hats, a falling tool can still prove deadly. Improperly stacked items can lead to larger falling objects, and workers can easily get crushed underneath.
  • Heavy Equipment Injuries – There are many ways in which a worker can be injured by heavy machinery. Whether it be due to inattention to surroundings, equipment malfunction, or operator error, there are many ways in which the use of heavy machinery can turn deadly.
  • Electrocution – Electrical equipment always carries an electrocution risk. That risk increases greatly when working around water.
  • Adverse Weather – Shipyard workers are often exposed to the elements. Extreme weather can lead to all sorts of injury and occasionally, death.

Dangerous Work is Not an Excuse for Negligence

Shipyard workers understand that they work in a dangerous field. They know that every day they are at risk for injuries ranging from minor cuts and bruises to life-altering disabilities and even death. However, the inherent risk that comes along with the work does not excuse employers from providing as safe of conditions as possible.

Shipyard workers take enough risks in their work without having their employers cut corners in an attempt to save money. Employers of shipyard workers are responsible for the safety of their workers. They are required to do everything within reason to ensure the safety of their workers.

Image by Umit-Yildirim, via
Image by Umit-Yildirim, via

Employers who fail to provide adequate safety training and properly maintained safety equipment open themselves up to legal action.

Hire an Attorney

If you get injured in a shipyard accident, getting competent legal representation is essential. Contact a maritime injury attorney in New Orleans for a free consultation. An experienced attorney will talk you through all of your options and can help you determine if you have a valid claim against your employer.

Shipyard accidents are often severe, and getting back on your feet can require extensive medical procedures along with a long recovery time. In addition to medical bills, you may be facing lost wages, and possibly future lost earnings if your injury prevents you from returning to work.

It is essential to get sufficient compensation to move on from an injury and get your life back to normal.

If a loved one was killed in a shipyard accident, you may be able to file a wrongful death against their employer. While no amount of money can make up for your loss, it may be essential to get a settlement simply to carry on if the accident victim was the primary earner for the family.

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