Each year, the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics compiles statistics about work-related injuries and deaths in the United States. Using these statistics, one can get a picture of which Americans are doing the most dangerous work in the country.
It probably comes with little surprise to those who work in the industry that people who fish for living or work on fishing boats have the second most dangerous occupation in the country.
The fatality rate among fishers is high, at almost 77.5 per 100,000 workers in the sector. By comparison, the next deadliest profession, those who work as pilots, had a fatality rate of 58.9.
Fishers provide an essential service in that they are collecting food to feed others. Still relative to other dangerous jobs, they do not get paid much. The median annual salary falls just above $28,300.
Fisher face a number of occupational hazards as well as long hours and grueling work. Common injuries include on-board and accidents and falls from seacraft.
Fishermen have legal options after a serious accident
Fortunately, the Jones Act, an important piece of maritime law, offer options to fishers who get injured while on the job.
The Jones Act can help a fisher recover compensation for lost wages and medical bills and may provide more relief than a conventional workers’ compensation claim.
However, pursuing these claims often requires legal knowledge and persistence. Sadly, those responsible to pay may refuse to do so, or they may try to low-ball a payment that just won’t cover a fisher’s injuries.
No matter the type of a fishing vessel he or she worked on, an injured fisher deserves compensation and should not hesitate to put together a strong case to receive it.