Maritime Accidents



More than other industries, maritime accidents can be prevalent. Falling objects, collisions, slips and falls, fishing accidents, diving accidents and winch failures are just the tip of the iceberg as to what can happen while working on a vessel. A large percentage of maritime accidents that happen in the workplace are due to negligence, either by another employee or the employer. When you are injured due to the negligence of someone else, our attorneys can help you file a claim.

Employers of seamen are required to ensure all employees are trained properly and that the right safety gear, tools, and equipment are provided. If employees are not trained correctly, maritime accidents can occur during the workday. If the right equipment is not provided, Louisiana maritime accidents can result in permanent disability or even death.

When an employer fails to complete their duty to maritime employees, we step in. Let us handle your worker’s compensation case when injured on the job. Our attorneys have years of experience helping seamen fight for the compensation they so rightly deserve after a maritime accident.

Each of our attorneys is more than capable of reviewing your case and finding the right course of legal action to take to ensure you are compensated for the injury you sustained.

Call us today to schedule a free consultation with my team. We fight for our clients throughout Louisiana and the Gulf Coast.

Nearshore and Offshore Accidents

Many different types of maritime accidents can occur due to the complicated and dangerous nature of maritime work.  Accidents can occur just a few feet from shore or miles offshore in deeper ocean waters.  Whether on an offshore oil rig or a spud barge on a waterway, if you are involved in a Louisiana maritime accident, where your injury occurred may impact the kind of claim you can bring and the type of recovery you are entitled to.


Different types of workers who may have maritime accident claims include harbor workers and longshoremen. These workers often work on wharves, dry docks, terminals, piers, or other near-shore areas.  The types of work done in these areas include loading and unloading, vessel repair, building a vessel, other maintenance, and care of vessels, along with nearshore drilling.  Nearshore drilling can take place three to ten miles from the shore often on drilling platforms.  The risk to workers participating in these activities is often considered not as great as on offshore rigs.


Offshore workers may have many different work duties including maintenance and repair, building pipelines, and offshore drilling.  This work often takes place on barges, drilling rigs, and floating platforms in the Gulf of Mexico.  Because of the long distance from the shore, a fire on these platforms and rigs is a serious danger.

Offshore workers who are injured on the job are entitled to compensation under the Jones Act, as well as, the Outer Continental Shelf Act. The Jones Act applies to injured seamen and the Outer Continental Shelf Act covers longshoremen, oil-rig workers, harbor workers, and shipbuilders.

Offshore Fires and Explosions

In the offshore industry, fire and explosions are unfortunately a common maritime accident. When an explosion occurs, a vessel or rig can suffer serious damage. A vessel can sink and leave employees stranded, injured, and even lead to death. On an offshore platform, a fire can lead to workers being trapped and burn injuries occur, also with the potential for death. Offshore work is very strenuous and dangerous, with seamen and offshore workers suffering from an injury on a regular basis. When you are injured on the job, it is important to have legal expertise in your corner.

Offshore Slip and Falls

The offshore industry is a dangerous one when it comes to employment. Offshore workers often become injured due to the dangerous environment aboard vessels as well as oil rigs. It is important to learn what causes offshore slips and falls so you can avoid them when employed in this industry. From scrubbing floors to tripping over the wiring, a tumble can lead to an unfortunate injury where the employee requires a long recovery time or is permanently disabled.

There are common safety hazards in the offshore industry that can lead to slips and falls. Understanding these hazards can help employees to remain more vigilant during the workday. One way that a slip can occur is with oil on an oil rig. If the oil is not cleaned up properly or at all, it can lead to an injury after a fall. Ropes or other tools that are not put away after use can also lead to a trip and fall. Secondly, ocean water on the deck can lead to a slip and fall along with unsecured or unmaintained guard rails. Lastly, lifting items on the ship that are too heavy can also cause an injury from slipping. Ships must be cleared of safety hazards so that employees are safe while on board, avoiding any issues with slips and falls.

Commercial Fishing Accidents

Commercial fishing is a part of the maritime industry that operates in the Gulf of Mexico and plays an essential role in providing fish and seafood to the Gulf Coast.  Since commercial fishing is one of the most hazardous occupations in the United States, with a fatality rate 39 times higher than the national average according to the CDC, commercial fishing companies should see their worker’s safety as a priority.

Accidents in the commercial fishing industry can result from a variety of incidents such as vessel disasters, improper deck safety, or a fisherman falling overboard. Vessel disasters and falling overboard are the leading cause of death for fishermen nationwide, while improper deck safety is the leading cause of non-fatal injuries while aboard. A company should pay careful attention to safety precautions during operations by providing vessel disaster emergency training as well as keeping employees aware of hazards on deck. These types of commercial fishing accidents, many of which are found to have been preventable, may cause serious injuries for a fisherman and can even result in death. Without the proper safety precautions in place, companies that operate in the commercial fishing industry are putting their employee’s lives at risk due to their negligence. Even further, companies that do not adhere to recommended safety regulations are at fault.

Offshore Construction Accidents

With over a hundred oil rigs occupying the Gulf of Mexico, it’s clear that offshore construction plays an important role in the maritime industry. Whether working on a wind farm or an oil or energy platform, maritime employees are essential to the construction process.

Offshore platforms are not only large in size, but also weigh up to 14,000 tons. Therefore, handling the logistics of large structure installation is an intricate and dangerous process. If a maritime employee falls from the platform, is hit by a falling object, or is injured due to malfunctioning equipment, they can be seriously hurt and even be at risk of a fatal accident. Additionally, it is extremely important for an offshore company to maintain their structures. If they don’t, they’re risking the lives of their employees. On the other hand, the employees who perform maintenance on these structures are also at risk because any mistake they make may cause serious damage and can even be fatal. This is why it is important for companies to provide the correct training and supervision for these tasks.

Cargo Ship Accidents

The maritime industry plays a major role in the shipping of goods and cargo around the world. Transporting cargo both domestically and internationally from port to port, employees of cargo vessels face numerous hazards due to the equipment they work alongside. Ensuring cargo makes it to port, loading and unloading shipments at each destination, and handling cargo of all types including hazardous materials, seamen that work on cargo vessels have an important occupation.

Unfortunately, maritime employees on a cargo ship are at risk of accidents that can occur on all types of vessels, such as slip and fall, falling objects, equipment malfunctions, and more. Since cargo ships travel through international waters, they face even more dangerous situations such as maritime piracy from criminals that are in pursuit of the valuable goods they are carrying. Maritime employees that have been injured in an accident are covered under the Jones Act.  With accidents come long recovery periods, expensive medical bills, and the potential for a loss of wages due to missed work.

Tugboat Accidents

When a maritime company needs to tow or push something out to seas, such as an oil platform, barge, or other vessels, they utilize a tugboat. A tugboat is important in this process because it is able to maneuver maritime equipment that is unable to move on its own. These tasks, while important, are complicated due to the vessel or structure’s movement difficulties and can easily lead to tugboat accidents and injuries.

A tugboat seaman faces hazards on a daily basis while onboard. If the tugboat equipment is not properly maintained, maritime employees are at risk of an accident and serious injury. Malfunctioning equipment, such as a frayed link or broken winch, can cause serious damage and be a detriment to tugboat operations. Other hazards include handling the side effects of a bad storm, or a collision with another vessel and/or structure. These dangers may expose maritime workers to injury; therefore, a company that operates in the maritime industry should have safety precautions in place.

A maritime worker who has been in a tugboat accident is covered under the Jones Act. Tugboat injuries result in long recovery periods, expensive medical bills, and other difficulties. If you think your company was negligent in their operations and are therefore responsible for your tugboat related injury, it’s important to obtain a Jones Act lawyer when taking your case to court.

Crane Accidents

Cranes are common equipment used in the offshore industry here in Louisianna and the Gulf Coast. These cranes are also known as derricks. Cranes are used to carry heavy loads in an effective manner by lifting the item/items and moving them to an area within the worksite. When cranes are used in a negligent manner or have manufacturer defects, they can easily lead to an accident in the workplace. Innocent bystanders can also be harmed due to a load falling to the ground. These type of derrick accidents happen far more often than one would think, with individuals working in the oil rig industry often killed due to such accidents.

Causes of Crane and Derrick Accidents

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the majority of injuries caused by cranes are due to human error. Common accidents are caused by an object or the equipment falling, transportation incidents, and/or contact with electrical currents. Many accidents are caused by the operator hoisting items that exceed the operational capacity of the crane. If operators were to obey the specifications of the manufacturer when operating the machinery, it would prevent dozens of yearly deaths. Because the most common accident type is due to human error, such incidents end up in court. Crane accidents will be taken to court in order to find who is at fault and seek compensation.

If you or someone you love has been involved in a crane accident, we can review your case and help you seek compensation. Crane accident victims can claim past expenses for medical treatment as well as seek assistance for future treatment needs. Punitive damages may also be awarded for trauma or mental anguish.

Common Injuries Due to Crane Accidents

When a crane accident occurs, it can lead to injury or death. Such injuries can include:

  • Broken/fractured bones
  • Brain injury
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Back injury
  • Electrocution
  • Crush injury
  • Amputation
  • Head injuries
  • Death

Rigging Accidents

Maritime employees who work alongside cranes and derricks for vessel or shipyard loading and unloading should always keep safety in mind. This is because of the many hazards that maritime employees face when working around a vessel’s rigging and equipment.

Riggers and maritime workers can be at risk of accident or injury when there is rigging equipment failure or when a load is improperly rigged. If a load or the rigging equipment is unsecured, maritime workers may be crushed by the load or hurt by the equipment. This is why the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) states that all loads must be safely rigged prior to a lift to avoid the potential hazards that lead to employee injury. Another major danger to riggers is the potential for an accidental fall or the potential for an electrical shock if the equipment comes into contact with energized lines. Maritime companies should make sure they have the proper safety precautions, such as guard rails, put in place.

A lot of rigging accidents that have occurred in relation to a vessel or shipyard’s rigging could have been prevented by either keeping safety a priority or providing employees with the right training. A company that disregards these important safety measures is at fault for the accidents that occur. If you’ve been hurt in a rigging accident and you think your company is responsible, consult a maritime lawyer for help.

Offshore Helicopter Accidents

It is not uncommon to see oil rig accidents on the local news. While oil rig accidents are a cause of death in the offshore industry, it is helicopter transportation that is actually a more common way that deaths can occur aboard an oil rig. The risk of being involved in a helicopter accident is such a serious issue within the industry that many oil companies are opting to provide accident survival training for visitors and employees who are traveling to offshore platforms.

There are over 4,000 oil rigs currently in operation within the Gulf of Mexico, and helicopters play a vital part in transporting supplies and workers to the rigs. Helicopters are faster than a sea vessel and can be invaluable to assist the crew members who spend a fair amount of time out at sea. While they are much needed, they are prone to crashes.

Leading Causes of Helicopter Crashes involving Oil Rigs include:

  • Dangerous weather
  • Lack of training or improper training
  • Lack of helicopter maintenance
  • Pilot error
  • Pilot negligence
  • Mechanical failure of the helicopter

Increased Helicopter Safety Concerns

Over the years, safety concerns for helicopter crashes have led to the development of new safety measures. The risk of being killed as an offshore employee is high, and helicopter travel only increases this risk. The Federal Aviation Administration understands this risk and has created specific rules to encourage the oil and gas industry to create strict safety requirements to help prevent accidents involving helicopters.

Bigger windows for escaping due to an accident, enhanced flotation devices, and underwater air systems are being used to improve safety during helicopter flights. Despite these additions, the risk still remains strong. If you or someone you love has been involved in a helicopter accident, contact our office today. Our Louisiana attorneys can review your case and help determine if you have cause to file a claim.

Deck Accidents

Working aboard a vessel or ship is a dangerous occupation. While working on deck, there are many incidents that can occur as a result of a slippery deck, machinery failure, chemical exposure, or even human error. Deck accidents can cause serious injury for a seaman including back and spine trauma, slip and fall accidents, broken bones, and even death. This is why it is extremely important for a company to make maritime worker safety a major priority of operations.

Without proper deck safety, daily operations can be incredibly dangerous to maritime employees. Slip and fall accidents happen often onboard a vessel as decks can become slippery due to weather or rough seas. Falling objects have also been found to be a major risk for seamen and can result in serious injury. Chemical exposure, electrical accidents and even deck fires are also hazards maritime workers may face. With all of these potential accident possibilities, it’s important for a company operating in the Gulf of Mexico to ensure their employees are safe and that the right precautions are put in place.

Barge Accidents

Deck barges play an essential role in the United States’ maritime industry, with thousands currently in operation. Deck barge employees face serious hazards that can result in injury, or that can even be fatal. These hazards are why companies that employ deck barge staff should ensure that their operations are run as safely as possible. A deck barge accident can seriously injure a maritime employee; therefore, companies must be careful during day-to-day operations.

Employees must be trained adequately to work on a barge. With the right training, accidents will be less likely to occur as workers will know exactly what to do when something goes awry. Many accidents that occur on barges could have been prevented with the right procedure, so companies must manage operations appropriately.

Potential Hazards on Barges

A hazard that the deck barge staff must face is the potential for a slip, trip, or fall that can lead them to go overboard. Barges should always have flotation devices on hand in case of an overboard emergency. Additionally, equipment must be maintained on a barge, as well. If equipment fails, employees are at risk of being hit or crushed, resulting in hand, feet, and limb, or head and spinal injuries from falling objects. Barges also feature tight, enclosed spaces that may also pose a hazard. If there is a gas or chemical leak, workers may be exposed to an unhealthy atmosphere that can result in injury or can be fatal. Finally, the most dangerous hazard that employees of a deck barge may have to face is explosion or fire. If fuel tanks are not stored correctly, or wiring wears down, the chance of fire ignition increases.

Derrick Accidents

While working in the maritime industry, there are a lot of occupations that put workers at risk. This includes seamen and offshore employees who operate with and alongside derricks. Used on vessels, docks, and oil rigs alike, a derrick is a large piece of machinery that can do serious harm when operated poorly or without safety precautions in place.

Derrick Injuries

Derrick injuries can be serious or even fatal. A derrick accident is almost guaranteed to cause major damage, and any employee that is involved may be seriously injured, sometimes even resulting in broken bones, back and spine problems, amputated limbs, and other serious injuries. Incidents can occur due to a variety of reasons, such as operator error, lack of safety in operations, incorrect training, and more. If you were injured in a derrick accident and your company was at fault, you should make sure they are held accountable. A Jones Act lawyer can help you take your case to court to get the compensation you deserve

Dredge Accidents

Not all bodies of water are made equal. For a large ship to be able to travel through rivers, inlets, and shallow coastal waters, the maritime industry relies on dredges. Excavating sediment dredges clear out waterways to make them more navigable for large vessels. While dredges play an important role in the maritime industry, dredge operations can be dangerous for seamen, and workers can be at risk of serious accidents.

Dredging operations create a more navigable channel by removing sediment. Maintaining these channels ensures that large vessels are able to continue regular operations without hindrance.  Dredge operations are dangerous due to the fact that machinery can be heavy and difficult to work with. Even further, if machinery malfunctions, maritime employees are even more at risk of serious injury including crushed bones, loss of limbs, or even death.

Engine Room Accidents

The engine room is the heart of a vessel. Powering the ship and its operations, the engine room contains vital machinery that must be properly maintained. Maritime employees that work in the engine room play an important role in the vessel but are unfortunately at risk of accident and injury, especially if a fire breaks out.

There is a lot of complicated machinery in an engine room. From machinery that helps operate the ship to safety systems in place for when things go wrong, it’s important for a company to make sure all equipment is in working order. If the equipment in an engine room is not properly maintained, incidents can happen that can lead to serious injury for seamen. Maritime employees that have been injured in an engine room accident should get the help they need for their recovery.

Drydock Accidents

Drydocks play an important role in the maritime industry and how companies handle ship repairs. By using a drydock, companies are able to easily load their vessel into a place where repairs can be performed. A maritime employee will work within a drydock to perform the appropriate ship maintenance, but by doing so are at risk of injury and/or death if the drydock malfunctions.

A drydock is a dock that can either be flooded with water or drained to offer vessels an easy way to be fixed. When a ship needs maintenance, it can float into the flooded dock. Once inside, the dock will then drain to allow the ship to rest on a platform and maritime workers the ability to access the parts that need repair. Moreover, injuries that occur in a drydock accident are usually related to a drydock’s gate failure. If a drydock is not properly maintained, a gate may break and flood at the incorrect time. If a maritime employee is located in the drydock when a gate fails, they can be seriously injured.

Gangway and Boarding Accidents

While dangers can come in many forms, one that many would not expect to be very hazardous is the vessel boarding process on the gangway. Maritime workers, whether embarking or disembarking, should have a safe place to board their employer’s vessel. Unfortunately, this is not always the case and negligence is often why gangway related boarding accidents can occur resulting in severe injuries.

Safety is incredibly important on a vessel, especially when it comes to the boarding process. Improper handling of equipment, a change in waterway’s current, lack of safety precautions, or an unsecured gangway can lead to serious injury and can even result in death for passengers or maritime workers.

Seamen or maritime employees that have been hurt in a gangway accident face a lot of repercussions including long recovery periods, expensive medical bills, and potential loss of wages due to missed work. Don’t let you and your family suffer because of a company’s irresponsible operating practices.

Jackup Rig Accidents

While dangers can come in many forms, one that many would not expect to be very hazardous is the vessel boarding process on the gangway. Maritime workers, whether embarking or disembarking, should have a safe place to board their employer’s vessel. Unfortunately, this is not always the case and negligence is often why gangway related boarding accidents can occur resulting in severe injuries.

Safety is incredibly important on a vessel, especially when it comes to the boarding process. Improper handling of equipment, a change in waterway’s current, lack of safety precautions, or an unsecured gangway can lead to serious injury and can even result in death for passengers or maritime workers.

Seamen or maritime employees that have been hurt in a gangway accident face a lot of repercussions including long recovery periods, expensive medical bills, and potential loss of wages due to missed work. Don’t let you and your family suffer because of a company’s irresponsible operating practices.

Shipbreaking Accidents

When a vessel has reached the end of its use, whether due to deterioration, costly repairs or the company’s need for more updated technology, maritime companies may choose to have it scrapped. Employing crews to handle the shipbreaking process, a vessel is regularly dismantled while still in the water. Shipbreaking is an intricate process that requires specialized expertise and therefore, needs to keep safety a priority.

The shipbreaking process is a dangerous occupation as it exposes workers to a lot of hazards on a daily basis. When taking apart the ship, employees may be exposed to environmental pollutants such as asbestos, hazardous chemicals, mercury, and lead which can cause severe illness. Other risks shipbreaking crews face include ear damage due to the loud repetitive noises, fire hazards that may lead to a blaze or explosion, and other incidents that may result in a serious injury or can even be fatal.

A shipbreaking employee’s workplace is literally a vessel that is being torn apart around them. Slip and fall, falling object, electrocution, and many other accidents can easily happen when a vessel is being dismantled. This is why it is important for maritime companies to have the right safety precautions in place. Shipbreaking workers that have been injured are covered under maritime law and a company that has been negligent should be held accountable.

Ship Salvage Accidents

A ship that has run aground or has sunken completely is a detriment to the maritime industry. This is why the industry runs salvage operations, to both recover goods and property, to make channels more navigable, or in an effort to prevent pollution. To perform the recovery process, maritime companies employ salvors, seamen, and engineers that specialize in vessel recovery operations.

Salvors and their specialized expertise are incredibly important to ship salvage projects. Ship recovery can be handled in a variety of ways. Whether the vessel is patched and refloated or tugged to shore for repairs or to be used as scrap, these complicated and intricate processes are very dangerous for salvors and their crews. Operating around a shipwreck is a dangerous occupation and even when working with safety in mind, accidents can happen.

Salvors who have been injured on the job have the opportunity to pursue compensation under maritime law. If operations were poorly managed, or there were unnecessary hazards that led to your accident, your company could be at fault. Since salvaging vessels is perilous, it is important for maritime companies to provide a safe work environment for their employees.

Platform Supply Vessel Accidents

For the maritime offshore platform industry to operate efficiently, they heavily rely on platform supply vessels (PSV). Bringing needed supplies, employees, cargo, and equipment to the platform, a PSV is a reason the offshore industry is able to function successfully.

Hazards on Platform Supply Vessels

Platform supply vessels have the same hazards as all maritime industry ships. Employees can be at risk of injury due to deck accidents that may result in a slip and fall, equipment malfunctions, fire, or even explosions. The duties that PSV employees perform are crucial to offshore platform personnel operations; therefore, companies that manage platform supply vessels should keep safety as a number one priority.

A platform supply accident can result in a serious injury to a seaman. Maritime employees who have been injured on a PSV should consult a maritime lawyer to make sure their rights are not being violated. Maritime workers who have been injured on the job are covered under the Jones Act. An injured maritime employee is guaranteed certain benefits to help them with their recovery. But sometimes, those benefits are just not enough. A serious injury on a platform supply vessel can result in a long recovery period, expensive medical bills, and other hassles. Make sure you’re justly compensated for your injury. With help from a maritime attorney, you’ll be able to determine what exactly went wrong and who is at fault.

Marine Cargo Handling Accidents

What is Marine Cargo Handling?

Marine cargo handling is an important and dangerous job. Primarily tasked with loading and unloading vessel shipments, marine cargo handlers have to work with difficult equipment to transfer cargo efficiently.  Even more, cargo handling at a marine terminal can mean that employees have to manage the cargo alongside other bustling marine industry operations. To prevent accidents and injury, it’s important for companies to provide a safe workplace for their cargo handling workforce.

Marine Cargo Handling Hazards

For marine cargo handlers, accidents that can lead to serious injury or that can even be fatal are an unfortunately common occurrence. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) states that marine cargo handlers are at greater risk of injury than those employed in most other industries. Hazards can come in multiple forms, but the more serious dangers can lead to fatal marine cargo handling accidents. The most common fatal accident occurs when operating alongside vehicular traffic, although falling and/or drowning, as well as, marine cargo equipment-related accidents can be fatal as well. Without the proper safety precautions, traffic signage, employee training, or equipment maintenance, a maritime employee is put at major risk of being involved in an accident while on the job.

Spud Barge Accidents

Employment on a spud barge requires a specific type of training due to the fact that maritime employees work alongside important construction equipment. Since a spud barge is a dangerous environment, safety is even more important due to the barge’s many hazards. This is why it’s important for maritime companies to properly train their employees and keep safety a priority throughout operations.

What is a Spud Barge?

A spud barge is an important vessel in the maritime industry. Helping provide a secured construction platform while on the water, the barge is held in place through the use of a vertical steel shaft known as a spud. A spud barge typically makes use of a forward and aft spud controlled by a spud winch. One of the main dangers of working on a spud barge is if there is an equipment failure or human error and the spud drops unexpectedly. This type of accident can lead to serious injury for spud barge employees and unfortunately, can even be fatal.

Spud Barge Hazards

A spud barge worker faces many hazards on a daily basis. Slippery and wet surfaces, unsecured spuds, winch or cable failure, and even explosions and/or fires are just some of the issues that maritime employees on a spud barge may have to handle. These incidents are largely preventable if a maritime company handles its operations appropriately with the correct safety precautions and training for employees.

Top/Side Handler Accidents

Moving cargo around a maritime terminal or on board a vessel can be a hazardous task. Maritime workers that operate cargo handling equipment and even employees who work around or alongside cargo operations can be at risk of injury if the right safety precautions are not put in place. Since shipping containers themselves can be hard to maneuver, it is no surprise that accidents can happen when a company doesn’t keep safety a priority.

Top/Side Handler Hazards

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recognizes the dangers that come when working in the maritime cargo handling industry. OSHA recommends that drivers should always give top/side handlers a wide berth while in operation. It’s important for drivers to always be aware of operations that are around them as inattentive driving may lead to a top/side handler collision. Top/Side handler operators themselves should be cautious as well. OSHA also recommends operators should handle the containers they are moving safely, so they avoid striking others in the stack. Operators should also be cautious when backing up their equipment, specifically keeping other operations, drivers, and pedestrians in mind. Finally, OSHA recommends that pedestrians should always be cautious when working around a container stack. Maintaining eye or vocal contact with the top/side handler operator will ensure that they know where you are located at all times of operation.

Without these important safety precautions, maritime workers can easily be injured by top/side handler equipment. A company that maneuvers containers at a maritime terminal or onboard a vessel should make sure their employees have a safe workplace. If you’ve been injured due to unsafe working conditions, it’s important to speak to a maritime lawyer.

Terminal Accidents

Marine terminal procedures are complicated due to the fact that there are a variety of processes being handled simultaneously. Cargo shipping operations, which include the loading and unloading of vessels, can keep a marine terminal and its workers very busy.  Unfortunately, this fast-paced environment can lead to distractions and hazards which are the reasons that marine terminal employment can be dangerous.

What is a Maritime Terminal?

Marine terminals are constantly bustling with activity. Ensuring that cargo shipments are handled properly and that they reach their appropriate destination, marine terminal operations play an important role in the cargo shipping industry. Marine terminal activities are intricate, and without the proper safety precautions, can lead to an accident or serious injury for its employees.

Maritime Terminal Safety

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) states that there are a lot of factors that could contribute to marine terminal traffic accidents. If a company is not properly maintaining their equipment, operating their vehicles safely, providing adequate training, or overworking their employees, accidents can easily occur. Marine terminals themselves may also have factors that lead to injury. If there isn’t sufficient traffic signage or lighting, or if surfaces become slippery due to inclement weather, a marine terminal employee can become injured. Human error also leads to accidents when there are unexpected obstacles placed in traffic lanes, incorrectly parked vehicles, lack of communication, or when a driver becomes distracted.

Human Interference Accidents

Because you are working with others out on the open water, you must be aware of your surroundings, and you must trust your coworkers. Hopefully, you work with individuals who have been trained to operate machinery and how to conduct themselves on the ship in a safe manner. However, there are ways that humans can interfere with the daily job in a negative way that can lead to an accident. Take, for example:

  • Fatigue– If a fellow employee is tired, they may fall asleep while working which can lead to accidents when working with machinery or in other areas of the ship.
  • A lack of technical knowledge– A lack of knowledge can also lead to issues onboard the ship. If an individual is operating a crane and they are not properly trained or do not follow protocols, an accident can occur due to dropped cargo. The victim can be severely injured or even killed due to the error of the crane operator.
  • Decision making by employees without all of the proper information, failure to follow procedures, or inadequate knowledge of the ship’s operating system are also human interferences that can lead to injuries. When an individual does not act accordingly, they can cause issues onboard which can lead to others being hurt or worse, death.
  • Cell phone use– Cell phone use has recently come to light as an issue onboard seaworthy vessels. The Coast Guard recognizes that cell phone use can lead to distraction which leads to accidents. Shipowners are to make sure that rules are followed involving cell phone use so that employees are not distracted and cause an accident to occur.

Maritime Accident Injuries

Such incidents as listed above can lead to common injuries of offshore employees. Back injury, lost limbs, head injuries, and more can all be caused when working in this dangerous environment. Injuries can be minor or major, even leading to death. Great care should be taken by your employer to ensure the work environment is safe and that all employees are trained properly. With safe work conditions and properly trained staff, the work environment is safe, and accidents are less likely to occur.


Our Louisiana personal injury attorneys are ready to fight for you. We can provide the quality assistance needed to ensure you file a claim for compensation based on your injury. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment for a consultation.

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