Dock and Shipyard Workers
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (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 all the maintenance required on a vessel, workers are constantly exposed to such risks as high temperatures, small spaces, dangerous tools, toxic chemicals, and the increased hazard 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. Vessel owners 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 injury.
Attorneys for Shipyard Injuries in Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and California
With decades of combined maritime and personal injury experience, the dedicated maritime injury lawyers of BoatLaw, 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, you may have a right to pursue compensation from a negligent vessel owner and/or third party.
The maritime injury attorneys of BoatLaw, LLP will fight for you to receive the most favorable return in your case. To schedule your free consultation, call 1 (800) 262-8529 today.
Dock and Shipyard Worker Injury Information Center
- Causes of Shipyard and Dock Injuries
- Common Injuries in Shipyards and Docks
- Recoverable Damages for Shipyard Injuries
Causes of Shipyard and Dock Injuries
Shipyard and dock workers 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 could have prevented such an accident from occurring. Some accidents that cause serious shoreside injuries 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
Common Injuries in Shipyards and Docks in Washington, California, Oregon, and Alaska
Injuries in the shipbuilding, repair, maintenance, and breaking industries are twice as high as that of general construction, and the kinds of possible injuries specific to maritime construction are countless. There are some maritime injuries in the shipyard that are more common and more easily traceable to negligence. These injuries include:
- Ruptured eardrum
- Repetitive use injuries
- Eye injury
- Back, neck, head, and spinal cord injuries
- Electrical shock
- Suffocation by asphyxiation
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 injury. An experienced maritime injury attorney at BoatLaw, LLP will be able to guide your case down the civil path that allows for maximum compensation.
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 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 BoatLaw, 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
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
BoatLaw, LLP | Maritime Injury Lawyers for Dock Workers
If you work in a shipyard or dock and were injured during your normal duties, 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 maritime injury attorney. With offices in Seattle, Bellingham, Portland, and San Francisco, the attorneys of BoatLaw, LLP have decades of experience handling maritime injury cases. Call 1 (800) 262-8529 today and schedule your free initial consultation.