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Harbor work, injury, and legal claims: What should I know?

On Behalf of | Aug 29, 2023 | Longshore/Maritime Accidents

Those who choose to work at the harbor join a profession that requires multiple skills. The work can be physically and mentally taxing. It can include loading and unloading cargo, securing goods within their vessels, inspecting for damage, and creating plans to help manage the workflow. Other options include that of the harbor pilot. This is a skilled and highly trained individual that basically takes over the operation of a vessel to safely navigate it into the harbor.

Although the days are long, the work is gratifying. Harbor workers are essential to keeping the country running smoothly. Without their efforts, the supply chain would likely crumble and trigger economic disaster.

What risks come with harbor work?

A large portion of the workday is outside, so risks associated with change in weather are common and can include heat related illness and slip-and-fall injuries. The physicality of the job can also result in injury, such as back and spinal injuries. The job often requires moving into awkward positions on vessels and can pose the risk of a fall. There is an added risk as a fall off a vessel can mean the victim lands in water could drown.

There are additional risks that fit with each specific profession within the operation of the harbor. Take the harbor pilot position noted above. It sounds like a rather indolent job but remember that pilot must get from one vessel into another — while at sea. This means the pilot is counting on those steering both vessels to maintain balance. If not, there is the potential of a collision with a boat as well as a slip-and-fall risk and, again, the drowning risk.

What if I am injured while working at a harbor?

The injuries associated with this type of work are often catastrophic. Tragic accidents that result in the death of the worker are not uncommon.

Longshoreman and harbor workers have legal remedies if they are injured while on-the-job. It is important to note that these types of accidents are often more complex than typical workplace claims. This is because additional federal regulations often apply to those injured while working at docks and at ports.