Currently Browsing: Boat Accidents

The Longshore Act

Longshoremen and those who assist in loading and unloading vessels, ship-breakers, ship repairmen, and shipbuilders are the main categories of employees eligible for benefits under the Longshore Act. The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) is a federal workers’ compensation act; it governs workers’ compensation for maritime employers and employees, and civilian employees on military bases (maritime employees covered under the Longshore Act include longshoremen, harbor workers, and certain people who work on docks shipyards or shipping terminals.

A study on the health profile of shipyard workers, specifically of shipbuilders,was conducted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) to evaluate the risks these types of workers were exposed to. The NCBI is part of the United States National Library of Medicine (NLM), a branch of the National Institutes of Health.

Though a very important industry, ship building, nonetheless, requires workers to observe constant caution due to the uncomfortable and dangerous working conditions workers face. In closed or cramped spaces, shipbuilders carry out various activities including: dry docking and launching; handling large materials; outfitting; surface preparation and scaling; fabricating and repairing large structural components; loading and unloading, welding, electroplating, electrical maintenance and repair; and painting. These activities, according to a San Diego maritime lawsuit attorney, often result to electrical shock due to working in wet environments, respiratory problems from inhaling toxic fumes, broken bones, spinal cord damage, traumatic brain injuries, severe lacerations or loss of limbs, and severe injuries, chronic illness or fatalities due to lead intoxication, electrocution, inhalation of paint fumes, respiratory problems due to exposure to asbestos, fires and explosions from welding, and noise-induced hearing loss.

Besides the unhealthy working conditions, shipbuilders are also exposed to: huge machineries, which require immense skill and strength to operate; high pressure in their enclosed, tiny work space; and exposure to dangerous minerals and substances, like asbestos.

Despite all these life-altering and life-threatening conditions, many employers either fail to provide workers with the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) or never show concern when workers violate safety work rules by not using PPE while at work. With help from a highly-skilled maritime lawyer, workers, who get injured, may have better chances at receiving the benefits provided under the Longshore Act, or at seeking compensation through a lawsuit against their negligent employer.

Boat Safety Tips To Reduce Accidents

There are many activities that can make a boating trip a truly fun experience. But sometimes too much enjoyment needs to have some limitations especially when it can cause boating accidents which can injure or even kill people. Boating is designed to be a relaxing endeavor but it can become stressful it it results to harm or the death of people. A report published by the Coast Guard revealed that there were 4,064 boating accidents which includes 610 deaths and 2,678 injuries.

According to the website of The Benton Law Firm, there are many factors that can lead to boating accidents. This may include alcohol, poor lighting, boat malfunction, driver inexperience, weather conditions, speeding, and others. These types of accidents can have devastating effects which can either be injury or death.

To keep boating accidents from happening to you, it is always a good practice to have an idea of boating safety rules. By keeping in mind these guidelines, you can always assure yourself of a fun and enjoyable boating experience:

1. Don’t drink while boating

Boating while drinking alcohol can be one cause of accident. So stay away from drinking when operating a boat. Studies have revealed that the effects of alcohol can be exacerbated by exposure to sun and wind. The likelihood of boating accidents increases when you drink alcohol.

2. Be Aware of the Weather Conditions

Before heading out to sea, check out the local weather report. If you see dark clouds, rough winds, or sudden drop in temperature, it is best to stay out of the water.

3. Always have safety equipment

Most victims of drowning stem from the individual not wearing their life jackets. It should be worn all the time while on the water. Another piece of equipment you need to have on your boat is a fire extinguisher. Likewise, make sure that you have operable search lights. Test the equipment before heading out to the sea and have spare batteries.

4. Better safe than sorry

To make sure that you will not become another boating statistics, practice safety all the time. Maintain a safe speed especially in crowded areas. Stay alert and away from large vessels and watercraft. Respect buoys and other navigational aids. They are designed to keep you safe when boating.

5. Learn How To Swim

As you will be staying in the water for most of the time, it will be to your benefit if you will learn how to swim. There are local organizations like the American Red Cross that provides swimming lessons for all ages and skills.

6. Enroll In A Boating Course

Enrolling yourself in a boating course is one of the ways you can learn about boating safety rules. The course requirements may vary depending on the state of your residence so make sure that you know them and comply.

Practicing boating safety can go a long way in ensuring that you will be involved in boat-related accidents. Follow these tips and you are on your way to having a fun and enjoyable experience out there in the sea.