Slippery decks, complex machinery, cold water – a ship can be a dangerous place to work. Even responsible sailors can fall ill or sustain injuries on the job, but are they entitled to compensation?
If you were injured while performing a work-related duty in the service of a vessel, then you may be able to file a claim under the Jones Act. However, there are several requirements that you must meet.
For example, you must be a “seaman” according to the Jones Act definition. If you spend 30 percent of your work time on a vessel or group of vessels that are in navigation, then you probably qualify as a “seaman.”
The Jones Act requires that employers provide adequate equipment, a safe working environment, and proper training to crewmembers. If employers fail to do these, then workers who sustain injuries may be able to make claims under the Jones Act.
A Biloxi injury attorney from Morris Bart, LTD can evaluate your accident to determine if you have grounds for a claim. We can help you avoid mistakes and handle the legal aspects of your case so you can focus on recovery.
Here are four common worker injuries on boats:
- Hand and Foot Injuries
Sailors often handle sharp objects, which is why the Occupational Safety & Health Administration recommends that employers provide gloves to workers on ships. Adequate footwear is equally important. Workers should wear shoes or boots with slip-resistant soles, steel toes and waterproof materials to protect their feet.
- Eye Injuries
Workers who weld, paint or handle cleaning chemicals are vulnerable to eye injuries, as Marine Insight explains. Employees should have access to goggles designed for their specific tasks.
- Slips and Falls
Walking surfaces on ships are notoriously dangerous, and slips and falls are common. Workers may also trip over loose tools, spare parts and uneven surfaces.
Falls from significant heights such as the top of a ladder or rail can cause severe injuries. In addition to donning the appropriate footwear, workers should have access to harnesses to prevent falls. Also, employers should enforce a regular cleaning schedule to minimize clutter.
- Head Injuries
Ships are peppered with hazards that can cause head injuries. Low beams, small doors and falling objects can cause concussions or worse. Workers should have access to helmets, and employers should enforce their use.
If you sustain an injury while working at sea, an accident attorney can represent your interests and help you avoid mistakes during the claims process. You should never accept a settlement offer or sign release documents without the approval of an injury attorney.
A Biloxi injury lawyer from Morris Bart, LTD can evaluate your accident, gather evidence and handle settlement negotiations on your behalf. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 800-537-8185.