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3 ways vessel cooks suffer injuries

When most people think of offshore accidents, they probably imagine fishermen and longshoremen sustaining injuries. However, it is important to remember that vessel cooks can suffer an injury at sea. Vessel cooks perform important tasks on tugboats, yachts and cruise ships. 

Maritime injuries often overlook food service workers on boats and ships. Vessel cooks often face similar injuries to those in regular restaurants and may be able to get compensation via the Jones Act. Read on to learn about potential injuries facing vessel food service employees. 

1. Slips, trips and falls

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration says that restaurant workers may slip, trip or fall from bad lighting, lack of handrails, loose cargo, slippery floors, lack of non-skid surfaces or inadequate housekeeping procedures. These accidents are even more likely aboard a vessel due to wave motions and sleek surfaces. Vessel cooks who slip, trip or fall can experience sprains, head injuries and spinal cord injuries. 

2. Burns

Vessel cooks can sustain burns from hot surfaces, grease and deep fryers. Burns can also occur from various hazards on vessels such as an engine fire, electrical accidents, equipment malfunctions or explosions. 

3. Lifting heavy objects

Food service workers on boats and ships often have to move heavy and unstable loads, such as big bottles of water or stacks of boxes. Lifting these items can strain the neck and back and result in serious injuries. If workers bend, reach, push and pull in awkward positions, it can exacerbate excessive lifting injuries. 

These injuries often occur because of the lack of safety equipment, there were hazardous conditions and the cooks did not have the proper training. Cooks, stewards and other food-related workers on vessels who suffer an injury may have coverage under the Jones Act. The Jones Act is essentially a form of workers' compensation for those who work on boats or ships. 

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