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Common safety hazards seamen face when they work on barges

On Behalf of | Apr 19, 2024 | Maritime Accident

Workers on barges often face hazardous conditions, and it’s up to the captain and vessel owner to ensure these workers can remain safe. Yet, accidents can happen even under the most safety-conscious circumstances. Seamen on barges should ensure they receive medical care as quickly as possible if they suffer an injury due to any of the following common barge-related hazards, or for any other reason, while they’re on the job.

Trip hazards and slick surfaces on deck

Wet surfaces, uneven decking and equipment or cargo can all cause serious fall injuries. These risks are exacerbated by the barge’s unpredictable movement, which can cause individuals to lose their footing. Open hatches or unsecured manholes add to the dangers by posing a risk for severe falls that can lead to injuries or fatalities.

Flammable substances come with a risk of fires

The risk of fire and explosion on barges is heightened due to the potential presence of flammable liquids, gases or combustible materials. These substances can emit vapors that may ignite if exposed to sparks, open flames or static electricity.

Dangerous machinery and equipment

Operating or working near machinery, including winches, cranes and cables under tension which are commonly used for loading and unloading cargo can be dangerous. Accidents can occur if these pieces of equipment fail or are mishandled, potentially leading to crushing injuries, amputations or fatalities.

Mooring and towing incidents

Mooring and towing operations involve significant risks due to the handling of heavy lines and cables under tension. If a line snaps or is improperly secured, it can whip back with great force, causing serious injuries or fatalities to crew members.

The cost of medical care after an injury on a barge can be considerable. Workers have legal rights. Working with someone who can assist them with their case is important because this area of law can be complex and there is often a great deal at stake in injury cases.