Not all employees in New York work in offices. Some work on boats and spend the majority of their work hours out at sea. These jobs have specific risks associated with it, requiring specialized health and safety measures to ensure the safety of these employees. In fact, the maritime industry is considered one of the most dangerous jobs in the U.S., making it imperative that workers in the industry understand these risks and what can be done if an injury occurs.
Maritime occupational risks
Maritime occupations span more than those working directly on vessel out at sea. This industry encompasses those working in shipyards, marine terminals, marine transportation, fishing vessels, aquaculture, commercial diving and seafood processing. No matter the field a maritime working is in, it is important to note that the industry faces a higher risk for injury, illness and fatality than the average worker does in the state. Additionally, the fatality rate is 4.7 times higher than the rate for all workers in the nation.
There are many risks associated with maritime jobs that make it one of the most dangerous jobs in the country. This includes heat and cold stress, the use of power tools, vessel disasters, water immersion, working and living in restricted spaces, isolation from friends and family and severe weather. Other risks are associated with specific fields in the maritime industry. For example, longshore workers face risks when moving containers, as they could leave to serious injuries or even death if the load is dropped.
Injury hazards and safety measures
The maritime industry encompasses a wide range of occupations, making the injury hazards vast. However, there are some hazards that are more apparent in the industry. This includes the usage of all-terrain vehicles, decompression sickness, injuries on the deck, electrical injuries, ergonomic hazards, falling overboard, heavy machinery hazards, rollovers, crush injuries and vessel disasters. As a means to reduce and prevent these hazards and injuries, safety measures are in place to improve deck safety, prevent falls and provide general protection with personal protective gear.
Being hurt out at sea may be the risk of the occupation; however, it is still an unexpected and challenging situation. Thus, it is important that maritime workers understand what rights they have and what steps can be taken to ensure they are protected. Taking legal measure may be necessary to recover damages and hold a negligent party accountable.