Dock and Shipyard Workers

According to OSHA, the nature of shipyard and dock work leads to an injury rate that is twice the injury rate of the general construction industry. Because of the ship building, cleaning, repairs, and breaking that occur, workers are constantly exposed to such risks as high temperatures, small spaces, lofty workspaces, dangerous tools, toxic chemicals, and the risks associated with performing these tasks around water.

Due to the high risk of injury, maritime employers of dockworkers, stevedores, shipyard workers, longshoremen, and other shoreside employees have a duty of care to provide reasonably safe working conditions, safety equipment, and safety training. The lack of these safety measures is considered negligence. Vessels and third parties can also be negligent and cause injury to these maritime employees. An experienced maritime injury attorney will be able to sort through your case and determine where the fault lies as well as the most suitable civil course of action for your maritime injury.

Attorneys for Shipyard Injuries in Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and California

With decades of combined maritime and personal injury experience coast-to-coast, the dedicated maritime injury lawyers of Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski, LLP based in Bellingham, Seattle, Portland, and San Francisco have handled hundreds of cases like yours. If you have been injured on a dock or in a shipyard while constructing a barge, repairing a ship, or shipbreaking a processing vessel, you may have a right to pursue compensation from a negligent vessel owner and/or third party.

The maritime injury attorneys of Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski, LLP will fight for you to receive the most favorable return in your case. To schedule your free consultation with Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski, LLP, call 1 (800) 262-8529 today.

Dock and Shipyard Worker Injury Information Center

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Causes of Shipyard and Dock Injuries

Harbor workers, crane operators, longshoremen, dockworkers, stevedores, shipbuilders, and shipbreakers all work in shipyards and docks and all face a very high risk of injury every day. This is due to the constant loading and unloading of heavy equipment and cargo, the handling of hazardous materials, being in tight spaces, and dangling over water. There are many opportunities for a shipyard worker to sustain an injury, though oftentimes standard safety procedures will prevent such an accident from occurring. Some accidents that cause serious shoreside injuries in Washington, California, Alaska, and Oregon, include:

  • Crane accidents
  • Forklift accidents
  • Dry dock accidents
  • Scaffolding or ladder accidents
  • Poorly-maintained vessels, gear, and equipment
  • Long-term exposure to hazardous substances like paints, solvents, cleaners, welding fumes, and asbestos
  • Slip and fall or trip and fall, especially off of ladders or scaffolds and/or into heavy equipment or water
  • Rotting or loose wood on the dock
  • Improperly installed electrical wiring, especially near water
  • Fire or explosions
  • Hypothermia and drowning

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Common Injuries in Shipyards and Docks in Washington, California, Oregon, and Alaska

Injuries in the shipbuilding, repair, maintenance, and breaking industry are twice as high as that of general construction and the kinds of possible injuries specific to maritime construction are countless. However, there are some maritime injuries in the shipyard that may be more common and more easily traceable to negligence. These injuries include:

  • Ruptured eardrum
  • Repetitive use injuries
  • Fractures
  • Eye injury
  • Back injury
  • Neck injury
  • Head injury
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Electrical shock
  • Burns
  • Amputation
  • Suffocation by asphyxiation
  • Mesothelioma

Most, if not all, of these injuries can be prevented by the implementation of proper safety procedures both by the maritime company and by any third parties involved. The lack of maritime safety procedures constitutes negligence and enables you to seek compensation for your maritime injury. An experienced maritime injury attorney at Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski, LLP will be able to guide your case down the civil paths that may allow for maximum compensation.

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Recoverable Damages for Shipyard Injuries

Maritime law is complicated for longshoremen, harbor workers, and dockworkers in that the damages you qualify for largely depend on the law your maritime injury case falls under. Many onshore maritime employees qualify for the Longshore and Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act (LHWCA), which is essentially federal worker’s compensation law specifically for onshore maritime accidents. However, some maritime workers that view themselves as harbor workers, such as those on tugs, barges, dive boats, and floating cranes, may qualify as seamen under the Jones Act.

Additionally, other maritime common law may apply to your case. If your case qualifies for LHWCA your employer is obligated to compensate you for the injuries or disability you suffered while on the job. Your employer’s refusal to do so creates a cause of action for you to pursue the recovery to which you are entitled. Under the LHWCA you may bring a civil suit against any involved negligent vessels and sometimes against other maritime third-parties. Consult with an experienced maritime injury attorney at Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski, LLP to better determine where your case fits legislatively and what compensation you are eligible for. Some of the compensation your dock injury case may qualify for includes:

  • Worker’s compensation through LHWCA
  • Past, present, and future medical bills
  • Reduced capacity or loss of capacity to work
  • Re-education/retraining and reassignment cost
  • Disability
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disfigurement
  • Mental anguish

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Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski, LLP | Maritime Injury Lawyer for Dock Workers

If you work in a shipyard or dock and were injured during your normal duties in the construction, restoration, repair, maintenance, dry docking, or inspection of a military vessel, yacht, cruiseliner, cargo ship, or other maritime vessel – you have a right to compensation for your injuries. Maritime law can be complicated, especially when it comes to onshore workers, so it is important to hire an experienced Washington, California, Alaska or Oregon maritime injury attorney. Let the decades of experience handling maritime injury cases at Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski, LLP work for your case. Call 1 (800) 262-8529 today and schedule your free initial case consultation.

This article was last updated on Friday, September 14, 2018.

  • The Maritime Law Association of The United States
    The Maritime Law Association of the United States (MLA) was founded in 1899. Its formation was prompted by the organization, some three years earlier, of the International Maritime Committee.
  • Washington State Bar Association
    The Washington State Bar Association operates under the delegated authority of the Washington Supreme Court to license the state's nearly 40,000 lawyers and other legal professionals.
  • Oregon State Bar
    The Oregon State Bar is a government agency in the U.S. state of Oregon. Founded in 1890 as the private Oregon Bar Association, it became a public entity in 1935 that regulates the legal profession.
  • Alaska Bar Association
    The Alaska Bar Association is a mandatory bar association responsible to the Alaska Supreme Court for the admission and discipline process of attorneys for the State of Alaska.