Today, there are more maritime jobs than ever. The decision to enter this field should be informed by both the benefits and risks associated with the work. Benefits of maritime work often include a six-figure salary along with health care coverage and a dynamic and challenging work environment.
Among the wide variety of maritime work available, examples include being a ship engineer, ship medical officer, deckhand, boiler operator, longshoreman, or oil rig driller. The nature of the risk of illness or injury is highly dependent on the work being done. The following are examples of some of the riskiest aspects of marine work.
Slip and Falls
Slip and falls are common maritime injuries. The combination of wet, slippery surfaces and the motion of the ocean combine to increase the risk. Skid-protective surfaces and grab bars are used extensively in vessels. Yet, the risk of injury from slip and falls is always present.
Asbestosis and Mesothelioma
The hazards associated with asbestos insulation are now well documented. Yet, asbestos is still found extensively on vessels as insulation for pipes and the like. Chronic exposure to airborne asbestos is known to cause lung diseases, including asbestosis and mesothelioma.
Chemicals are used frequently on board ships. Exposure of unprotected skin can cause dermatitis or burns, depending on the chemical. It can also cause systemic exposure and illness. Inhalation can cause breathing problems and damage the lungs. However, this can also contribute to systemic exposure and related illnesses. Adequate training is necessary to know how to store and use chemicals safely. No single glove or respirator can protect against all chemicals. Proper selection of all personal protective equipment must be covered in employee training to ensure safe use of chemicals.
Fires and Electrocution
The engine room carries risk of fires in the event of fuel leaks or equipment failure. Similarly, if there is a lose wire or short in electrically powered equipment, then fires can be sparked. In addition, electrical equipment failures combined with water increases the risk of electrocution since water can conduct ungrounded electricity along its path.
Exposure to Extreme Weather
Many maritime workers are exposed to extreme weather as they often work outside. Ships sail throughout the world and can be found in places known for extreme weather. Working outside near the equator involves being exposed to powerful ultraviolet rays from the sun, as well as high temperatures. Dangers include sunburn, heat stress, and heat stroke. Working outside near the north or south poles involves being exposed to very cold conditions. Exposure to extreme cold can cause hypothermia and frostbite.
Cape May Maritime Injury Lawyers at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. Advocate for Injured Maritime Workers
Maritime workers are exposed to a myriad of conditions that can cause injury or illness. If you or someone you know was injured as a maritime worker, contact the experienced Cape May maritime injury lawyers at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. today. Call us at 888-999-1962 or submit an online form to schedule a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and Pinehurst, North Carolina, we serve clients throughout South Jersey, including Wildwood and Cape May.