Maritime workers are at constant risk of accidents and injuries as they go about their duties. The same applies to anyone at sea whether it is for work or pleasure. This is true in New York, across the United States and all over the world. The nature of sea activities lends itself to inherent dangers.
Mitigating the chance of an accident with injuries and fatalities is key. Because people can face exorbitant medical costs, be unable to work and be confronted by an uncertain future, it is imperative to know the common catalysts for maritime accidents, how they happen and why. This can be a fundamental part of determining how to proceed.
NTSB report assesses maritime accidents from 2020
Government agencies keep track of challenges sea workers might face and issues reports compiling statistics and analysis. The National Transportation Safety Board recently released its Safer Seas Digest 2020. This is the eighth year of an annual report that studies maritime accidents, injuries, deaths and property damage.
In it, 42 accidents were researched to derive lessons that could be used to avoid the same mistakes and missteps. In those accidents, ships crashed into fixed objects, sunk and crashed into other ships. There were explosions, fires and floods. Ships capsized and groundings occurred.
In one accident, 34 people died. In another, 11 people died. According to the NTSB, accidents happen when ships are at sea for business and leisure purposes. To enhance safety, the report advises on the following: bridge navigation; proper planning; avoiding risk; standard operating procedures; ensuring there is adequate smoke detection; proper communication; potential dangers with lithium-ion batteries; operating in problematic conditions; having a properly trained crew; knowing the safety strategies if there is a fire; and worker fatigue.
Those impacted by incidents at sea should understand their rights
Maritime law can be complicated and differ from personal injury cases on land. In addition, injured workers must deal with different obstacles when seeking workers’ compensation benefits than they would if they were working on dry land.
Whether it was an injury at sea, a maritime construction accident, a fishing boat mishap, concerns about the Jones Act or those who have been hurt or suffered a condition on a cruise ship, it is critical to know what steps to take. Having assistance in these matters when determining a path forward is imperative.