Accidents at sea can cause workers to suffer several different types of injuries, some of which are very serious and can have negative long-term effects.
One of the most common accidents at sea is drowning, which can happen when a worker falls overboard, when a vessel sinks or when it capsizes.
Collisions are also common when there are bad weather conditions or busy ports. Bad weather can make navigation difficult and increase the likelihood that the ship could hit another vessel. Accidents can also occur when cargo comes loose, causing an obstacle that workers can trip and fall over.
Fires and explosions can happen when there is a fuel leak or if the ship is carrying hazardous materials and hits another ship.
Workers can be injured if they cut themselves on sharp objects, fracture or break bones if they are in a collision and suffer from burns if they are exposed to a fire or an explosion. Their eyes can be damaged by debris as well.
In serious situations, workers can experience a traumatic brain injury caused by the impact of an accident, a permanent spinal injury, or life-threatening exposure to the elements. Unfortunately, some of these incidents can also cause the worker to have post-traumatic stress disorder or anxiety.
It’s important to have safety equipment on board, including life vests and first aid kits with bandages, medication and other supplies. Medical attention may not be immediately available at sea.