Maritime workers have unique jobs that often pay well but can be dangerous. Maritime employers have the duty to provide a safe workplace for their employees. If an injury occurs while an employee is at sea, then they are entitled to compensation under the Jones Act. The Jones Act provides a wide range of protections for maritime workers including the right to pursue claims against their employers for injuries at sea caused by negligence. An offshore employer has certain responsibilities to protect their maritime workers.
As a maritime worker, a person can expect their employer to provide the following.
Provide and maintain a seaworthy vessel
A seaworthy vessel is more than just a boat that floats. All equipment on the boat should be properly maintained and the employer is responsible for addressing any problems that arise with the vessel or the equipment onboard.
Take all necessary precautions to prevent injury
Along with maintaining a safe vessel, an employer has the responsibility to make sure their employees stay safe. This includes training all crew members on how to safely perform their job, including during incelement weather or other difficult conditions. An employee’s schedule should also allow time for an employee to rest so that they are able to safely perform their duties.
If an employee is injured on the job it is the employer’s responsibility to get them appropriate medical care.
If a maritime worker has been injured on the job, they may have legal rights under the Jones Act. An attorney who specializes in maritime law can help their client understand their options and help them get their life back.