Longshoring in New York involves its own specific set of hazards. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has noted many of these through a collection of fatal material handling incident reports that may serve as risk assessment and prevention tools.
The primary types of fatal events in longshoring and marine terminals are struck by/crushed by accidents. In particular, workers may be struck or crushed by the following:
- Improperly stacked materials or crates
- Improperly secured loads
- Heavy equipment or machinery
- Falling parts or tools
OSHA has developed regulations to prevent the circumstances that could lead to fatal struck by/crushed by injuries, and it is the employer’s responsibility to comply and enforce the standards.
Crane operators must be able to see the load they are lifting, or if they cannot, they must be able to see a designated person who is watching the load’s movement and providing guidance. This not only includes their locations, but it also includes clear visibility through the equipment glass and a view unimpeded by any equipment, tools or clothing.
Workers must not be in the areas directly under descending lifting gear or overhead drafts, and they must not ride on the load or the hook. All gear and equipment must be inspected before it is used, and it must only be used for cargo that is within its load ratings. Any loose materials, debris and dunnage must be removed from loads before they are hoisted.
Employers should confirm that employees have all the appropriate training and certifications to perform their job duties, as well as the personal protective equipment to ensure their safety.