Is the Container Ship You Work on Safe?

You have the right to work in an environment where your safety is a priority. For seamen, container ships> are often their work environment, and while the law requires that these vessels be kept safe for workers, employers do not always make this their priority, including:

  • Failing to follow federal regulations
  • Improperly maintaining or repairing equipment
  • Inadequately training staff
  • Improperly equipping the vessel
  • Having inadequate or lacking safety procedures

When a container ship owner fails to take the time to provide his or her employees with a safe working environment, it can result in maritime workers suffering life-altering injuries. These types of injuries can lead to a lifetime of physical and emotional pain for victims and their families, as well as a financial burden they are unable to overcome if they do not get the help they need.

Bulk Carrier Crewmember Injured After Fall From Ship’s Exhaust Stack

According to Professional Mariner, on September 11, a crewman was hurt when he fell to a bulk carrier’s deck from the ship’s exhaust stack. The ship was about 370 miles from Adak Island, Alaska when the incident occurred.

The 21-year-old crewmember reportedly fell about 75 feet from the exhaust stack to the deck. He suffered severe injuries as a result of the fall, including facial lacerations, internal damage, a broken wrist and a dislocated shoulder.

A U.S. Coast Guard medevac was deployed to render aid. However, due to the fact that the bulk carrier was more than 1,000 miles from rescue support at the time aid was requested, two MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters and a HC-130 Hercules plane with additional helicopter crews onboard were deployed to provide relief. They were able to reach the ship about 16 hours after receiving the call for assistance.

In addition to the distance involved, the sea conditions for the rescue were severe, even by Alaska standards, according to U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. George Cottrell, who piloted the medevac.

“Seas were up to 20 feet, which resulted in water coming over the side of the vessel at times,” said Cottrell. “The hoist went smoothly considering the conditions and is a testament to our training and the capabilities of the MH-60T.”

Latti & Anderson’s Little Extra: According to the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes Code, improperly packing a container ship will overstress it and prevent it from maintaining an adequate standard of stability.

Latti & Anderson LLP Nationwide Maritime Attorneys