According to NJ.com, officials from the U.S. Coast Guard have confirmed that the body of a man recovered near Bayonne is that of a barge worker who fell into the water in Kill Van Kull in October.
The worker was performing tasks at the Pier 1 of the International Matex Tank Terminal on October 16 when he was descending a ladder to get off a barge and it shifted, and he lost his balance, forcing him into the water.
Another employee who saw the accident occur went to get a life ring but when he returned, the man went missing. About four other crewmembers that were working around the incident did not see it occur.
Police began dive team efforts shortly after the incident took place and rescue workers were able to locate a body in the area nearby. A police official said the incident has been deemed an industrial accident.
Along with the Bayonne Police Department, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is also investigating the incident. The victim was reportedly 55-years-old. No further details were released.
How Are Barge Workers Placed in Danger?
Barge workers can be placed in danger for injuries or death by the negligence of their employers. Contributing factors to barge accidents can include worker fatigue caused by long hours, bad weather and inadequate staffing, as well as a lack of safety procedures and equipment in place during emergencies.
When a barge worker is killed in an accident, a victim’s family may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit or seek damages through maritime laws. Money obtained through litigation can help a family recover financially following a death.
In the video above, attorney Carolyn Latti discusses how maritime law is different from other forms of personal injury law.