If you’ve ever been to a marina or a docking port, then you’ve likely noticed that it’s a hub of activity. You’re apt to see recreational boats, cruise ships or large cargo barges come and go for hours on end depending on which one of these harbors that you visit. One of the hardest jobs at these ports is that of a dockworker or longshoreman. It’s also a dangerous position for someone to have.
Most longshoremen spend their workday transferring cargo both onto and off of large ships. While dockworkers often use a forklift to carry the weight, there are many physically strenuous tasks that longshoremen must carry out during their day. Maintaining the dock is one such task.
Dockworkers must move around heavy anchors along the gangway and secure ships with the anchor once they’re in port.
Longshoremen must also inspect cargo once it makes it to ground level. They often have to climb atop large objects to verify that what came off the ship matches the bill of lading. Dockworkers must roll heavy machinery needed to maintain boats or perform their other duties in and out.
There’s also the constant risk of a crane breaking or a forklift malfunctioning. A worker on the ground could end up crushed if this were to happen.
The emergence of technology has led to a reduction in some of the more strenuous tasks that dockworkers used to perform. It’s still a grueling job to have, though. It’s no wonder that there are federal laws on the books explicitly aimed at protecting longshore workers when they get hurt on the job here in New York City or anywhere else in the country. A maritime accidents attorney can explain how the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act may protect you if you suffer injuries on the job.