New York is surrounded by water and the sight of commercial boats is a common one for residents in the area. There is a daily reminder of the variety of vessels that are involved in important activities including barges, ferries, tugboats and more. Regardless of the size of a vessel or the job it has to do, companies that own and operate commercial boats have a responsibility to ensure their safety in order to keep workers and others onboard safe.
Several laws have been enacted to help protect the rights of those who work in the maritime industry, yet what about those whose time out on the open water is only temporary? When you embark as a passenger on a ship from Manhattan, you may face many of the same sea-related dangers as those who work on the vessel. Yet are you protected by the same statutes that maritime workers rely on when they are injured at sea, or are you protected by general liability laws?
People in New York who work in the maritime industry know that commercial boating can be dangerous at times. The need for strong and clear safety procedures is essential in order to protect the lives of all crew and others who may be onboard a vessel. Workboat reported on some lessons gleaned from accident reports published in a Safer Seas Digest of 2017 by the National Transportation Safety Board. These lessons show the ongoing need to keep safety a priority.
Joke may often be made about the seaworthiness of a vessel, yet when it comes to safety of yourself and your fellow maritime workers (as well as the contractual promises made to clients), the condition of your boat is no laughing matter. Most in Manhattan would likely assume that a ship would not put to sea if it were not seaworthy, yet it should be remembered that ship owners and freight carriers are principally engaged in the business of commerce, and that their goals are the delivery of goods. If this goal superseded ensuring the safety of your vessel, the they open themselves up to liability.
Mooring lines play an essential role in securing vessels to docks. These lines sometimes snap due to repeated wear or misuse, which can lead to catastrophic results. In this case, Pacific Maritime Magazine describes a recent innovation that could possibly save the lives of maritime workers.
In the commercial fishing industry, workers perform a number of roles and those who make a living in this industry know that job responsibilities can be very demanding. Those who are employed on a fish processing vessel, for example, may be hurt on the job in a variety of ways. Furthermore, the consequences of these injuries can shatter someone's life in many ways as well. Aside from the financial repercussions, emotional trauma, lifelong disabilities and finding a new career are some other hardships people go through. Moreover, it is especially upsetting to know that some of these incidents were caused by another person's negligent act.
An accident that resulted in the death of a 57-year-old Canadian man early Tuesday morning when he fell from a dock into the Saint Lawrence Seaway while trying to tie off the Canadian bulk carrier upon which he worked is currently under investigation by New York state authorities.
For many maritime workers in New York, working in such close proximity to water provides many opportunities that may not be enjoyed in other industries. However, with their job comes a unique set of risks that can be incredibly dangerous at times. Whether or not these workers are able to stay safe and perform their job successfully is heavily dependent on how much instruction they have received about their job, as well as their attention to following outlined protocols and procedures designed to keep them safe.
You do not need to be told how much life on an offshore oil rig differs from the one normally experienced in Manhattan. Having worked with many who have been injured during the course of such a career, we here at Tabak Mellusi & Shisha LLP can attest to the unique dangers oil platform workers face. Yet while you may not know it, the greatest risk you may encounter while doing such work may not be on the rig at all, but rather during your ride out to it.
While professionalism is crucial in the maritime industry, it’s a sad fact that fights can sometimes occur. If an injury occurs as a result of a fight, who is responsible for a seaman’s lost wages or medical bills? Pacific Maritime Magazine provides insight on who can be held liable when fights happen aboard a seafaring vessel.