For New York employees who clock into work while on the water, uncertainty is simply part of the job. Because the maritime industry inevitably deals with some of the earth’s most powerful elements, workers must go through special training before starting positions. This training can be very rigorous and time-consuming, and while some might believe these measures are unnecessary, they play a vital role in keeping employees safe.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health is quick to point out that the maritime industry is a crucial one; after all, over 400,000 Americans work in this field. With that said, this industry is among the most dangerous lines of work in the U.S. The fatality rate of the water transportation industry alone is 4.7 times higher than the fatality rate of all U.S. employees. Exposure to safety risks — including extreme temperatures, unpredictable weather and vessel disasters — make this field a dangerous one. The NIOSH frequently conducts research and studies that aim to make working conditions for maritime employees safer, and also offers a number of resources on the many hazards presented in this industry.
Some hazards may always exist, but what, exactly, does the industry do to protect its workers? First and foremost, The University of California states that maritime employees must go through extensive training to keep all workers safe. All trainers have the responsibility of effectively educating new hires on the many hazards of this type of work, as well as informing workers of their many rights. For example, most programs require hours of training, and even offer additional and optional training courses. These courses generally cover risk identification, control, avoidance and prevention. Training also covers the use of protective equipment and potentially hazardous working surfaces. The maritime industry is known for its inherent dangers, but employees can minimize the risks by going through such close and meticulous training.