Maritime workers in Alaska and anywhere else around the globe need to be attentive to the potential dangers they face. Working on the seas, navigating the waters, dealing with the weather, using heavy tools and trusting fellow workers are basic parts of the job. This is before considering the circumstantial risks with which they could be confronted.
The boat itself can place workers in jeopardy. This goes beyond the employer cutting corners, not adhering to safety requirements and failing to properly train staff. One example that was recently discussed by the U.S. Coast Guard is the chance of fire. Being proactive for safety is important, but when there is an accident, it is important that injured workers and their families know their rights.
Fisherman are told to watch for fire risk on their boats
According to the Coast Guard, a fire in an engine room on a fishing boat came about because of the dry exhaust system and combustible materials. For some commercial fishing boats, there are requirements in place to insulate combustible material. But the fishing boats are not under a mandate to take certain steps like using fire-retardant resin to prevent a fire.
One death resulted from an engine room fire and this sparked the Coast Guard issuing its warning. The commercial boat had around $200,000 in damage in the fire. There are specific steps that the Coast Guard advises the owners and operators to take to avoid the chance of fire.
However, it is a strong recommendation rather than an absolute mandate, making it possible that some commercial vessels will not adhere to the advice and placed the boat and its workers in jeopardy.
After fishing boat accidents, injured workers should seek qualified help
While many commercial operators will take the necessary steps to ensure a safe vessel, accidents can still happen. In some cases, they do not adhere to the recommendations made by the Coast Guard and other entities and people are injured and lose their lives because of it.
Commercial fishing is a hard job and workers need to be protected. Injuries—especially burn injuries—can be extensive and cause lifelong problems. They might never be able to do the same type of work they did before.
Other accidents can also cause severe damage like broken bones, head injuries, back injuries, lost limbs and more. Workers need to know their rights to recover compensation after a maritime injury and having experienced assistance can be key.