Offshore injury attorneys know that maritime work is a hazardous occupation. There are several common injuries that can be avoided when employers and workers observe safety protocol on the job.
From refineries and oil rigs on land to vessels and offshore drilling rigs, it’s common for work crews in the petrochemical industry to have a daily safety briefing in which crews are advised of the particular dangers they will face during the day’s work and how to avoid injuries and mitigate these hazards.
Here are some of the common offshore injuries these workers may face and ways to avoid them.
1. Back Injuries
Back injuries are among the most common injuries sustained by offshore workers and seamen, which happen most often while lifting an object without proper support. Workers should remember to let their legs do the work when lifting an object and follow all safety protocol. If an object is too heavy, consult a supervisor to get assistance with lifting it.
2. Eye Injuries
Working on ships and offshore drilling rigs exposes workers to many hazards, particularly harsh chemicals and airborne debris. Protective eyewear should be worn at all times, especially when welding, painting or handling hazardous materials. Workers who are not directly engaging in these tasks should still take care to wear their personal protective equipment when nearby.
3. Hand Injuries
Offshore jobs put workers in contact with many hot and sharp objects. Hand injuries are common when gloves aren’t used when needed to protect against cuts and burns. However, it’s also important to know when gloves should NOT be used, such as when working around rotating equipment in which gloves could become trapped and lead to injuries. Burns are one of the most common hand injuries. Workers should be aware of their surroundings and pay close attention to their hand placement to avoid touching hot equipment.
4. Head Injuries
Falls or being struck by a falling object are the common causes of head injuries on a vessel or offshore drilling rig. Workers can help avoid these injuries by wearing their personal protective gear.
However, it is also the employer’s responsibility to provide a safe work environment. Handrails should be provided where necessary, work areas should be kept in order to avoid trips and falls, and work crews should maintain good communication with others around them.
5. Foot Injuries
Footwear such as sandals or flipflops should never be worn for offshore work. These offer no protection from falling loads, burns or hazardous materials and can lead to trips, slips and falls. Employers should ensure that all workers are wearing the proper personal protective equipment for the job.
If you’ve been injured in a maritime job, contact the offshore injury lawyers at Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers today for legal assistance.