The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) celebrates “Safe & Sound Week” nationwide from August 12 to August 18, 2019. Aimed at raising awareness of the importance of workplace health and safety programs, the week long celebration provides companies with an opportunity to focus on new initiatives designed to keep the workplace safe and hazard-free. With over 5,000 workers fatally injured each year on job sites, the importance of preventing hazardous workplace conditions remains a priority for OSHA.
Supporting Worker Health and Safety Programs
Employers can participate in Safe + Sound Week by developing their own activities to encourage participation in proactive workplace health and safety programs. These activities can range from offering free seminars on health topics, providing targeted safety trainings, recognizing and giving awards to workers engaged in improving safety programs, creating signs or banners highlighting workplace safety successes, holding safety demonstrations, and creating suggestion boards to target existing safety concerns.
The three main objectives of the week are to help employers incorporate worker participation in safety programs, encourage effective management leadership, and support ongoing efforts to find and fix occupational safety hazards. OSHA encourages participating companies to post their successes on OSHA’s website. Last year over 2,700 companies participated in the program.
Reducing Work Hazards for Workers in Maritime Industries
Over 400,000 workers are part of the nation’s maritime industries. Raising awareness of safety risks and workplace hazards is especially important for workers engaged in commercial fishing or diving, the movement of ship cargo, marine terminal employment, and the construction and repair of ships.
Common hazards can include:
- Water immersion
- Restricted or confined space risks
- Chemical exposure (including exposure to beryllium, styrene, methyl ethyl ketone, phosphine and hydrogen sulfide)
- UV radiation
- Extreme cold or heat stress
- Abrasive blasting
- Asbestos exposure
- Lead exposure
- Welding risks
- Decompression sickness
- Slips and falls on decks or overboard
- Faulty machinery
- Defective electrical components
- Crushing risks
Resulting injuries including hypothermia, respiratory complications, circulation issues, traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, and drowning are especially common with marine accidents.
Maritime employers must provide specialized safety hazard training to their employees given the unique nature of the work environment. For example, many health and safety programs designed for maritime workers focus on the importance of personal protective equipment including personal flotation devices, respirators, and googles.
Obtaining Compensation for Maritime Worker Injuries
The goal of Safe + Sound Week is to highlight the need for safe working conditions. Failure to provide a safe working environment can result in legal liability for maritime employers who may owe compensation to injured workers for medical expenses including physician visits, hospital stays, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and prescription drugs. Injured workers also may seek compensation for their lost wages. Consulting with an experienced Cape May maritime lawyer is the first step an injured worker should take to determine if they are entitled to compensation for their injuries.
Cape May Maritime Lawyers at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. Protect the Rights of Injured Workers
If you work in the maritime industry and have been injured on the job, you may be entitled to compensation. The experienced Cape May maritime lawyers at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. protect the rights of workers injured at shipyards, marine terminals, commercial diving facilities, and other aquaculture workplaces. With offices conveniently located in Philadelphia, Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and Pinehurst, North Carolina, we proudly represent clients throughout South Jersey, including the areas of Cape May, Gloucester, and Wildwood, as well as those in Pennsylvania and North Carolina. To schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced Cape May maritime lawyer today, call us at 888-999-1962 or submit an online inquiry form.