Every job comes with the potential risk for injury. However, working onboard a ship often presents additional ways you could get hurt while fulfilling your duties.
Regardless of whether you are starting a career as an ocean fisherman or consider gaining crew experience with a cruise line, safety should always be your primary concern. Yet, despite your best efforts to follow the protocol established to minimize your risk, there are some common injuries to consider before you ship out to sea.
Common mariner injuries
Many types of sailor injuries are similar to those you could experience in other professions. Factor in the ship’s movement and potential for severe weather conditions and you might see how you could face injuries such as:
- Burns: Fires and hot pipes can cause significant burns – especially within the confines of a small space. Additionally, exposed electrical connections can become fatal with the presence of water.
- Eye damage: Your job might involve a variety of dangerous activities such as handling hazardous chemicals, welding or using a variety of tools and equipment. It is in your best interest to wear safety glasses and use the proper tools for the job.
- Falls: Water and oil spills create slippery work surfaces. When you must duck under cargo equipment or work around rigging, falling may seem inevitable. Cuts, bruises and head injuries could occur in the process.
Proper training and protective equipment can reduce your risk of sustaining an injury onboard. However, variable factors, such as negligence, could contribute to an injury at sea.
Workers may have legal protection
While working in a land-based position would enable you to file a workers’ compensation claim for injuries suffered at work, different regulations apply to those who work onboard a ship. In many circumstances, the Jones Act allows sailors to hold their employer responsible for their part in injuries caused at sea.
You should be able to expect a certain level of safety in your work environment. If someone’s negligence at your job puts you in harm’s way, you may be wise to protect your interests by taking action.