According to Professional Mariner magazine, a member of an articulated tug-barge (ATB) crew was killed while conducting conveyor-belt maintenance. The accident happened south of Ludington on Lake Michigan as a tugboat was guiding a barge from Muskegon to Charlevoix.
The 37-year-old crewman was performing mechanical maintenance on the barge when he became entangled in the conveyor belt.
“The captain of the ATB radioed the Coast Guard at about 1150 that a crewman had died as the result of an accident on deck,” said Lt. Maria Wiener, a spokesperson for U.S. Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan.
The 37 year old had worked for Pere Marquette Shipping of Ludington, the company that owned the ATB, since 2006 and had served as an equipment mechanic for four years. The Coast Guard and Pere Marquette Shipping declined to comment on the cause of the incident due to an ongoing investigation.
Are Barge Conveyor Belts Safe?
If barge owners and operators do not make sure the correct safety measures are in place, they are putting the lives and well-being of their workers at risk.
If not properly managed, much of the equipment on a vessel (including conveyor belts) can cause maritime accidents, injuries and even death. If victims and their families suspect they are suffering because of a mismanaged work environment, there are laws like the Jones Act in place to help them hold those at fault accountable and recover the money they need for hospital bills and living expenses.
Latti & Anderson’s Little Extra: According to the U.S. Coast Guard, machinery failure was one of the top five contributing factors in maritime accidents.
Latti & Anderson LLP – Nationwide Maritime Attorneys