Accidents and injuries are common risks for longshoremen. They can occur while working on the docks, loading and unloading ships, or during other activities. If a longshoreman is injured on the job, they may be able to file a workers’ compensation claim to receive benefits for their medical expenses and lost income. Some of the most common dangers they face include:
1. Heavy Machine, Equipment, and Vehicle
Accidents with heavy equipment, cranes, and trucks are common among longshoremen. They may be struck by the equipment or pinned between objects. If longshoremen operate heavy machinery, they may suffer injuries to their legs and feet.
2. Slip and Fall
Longshoremen are also at risk for slip and fall injuries. They often work long hours, and fatigue can be a factor in their slipping or tripping. If longshoremen are outside, they can be at risk of falling off docks and decks or slipping on uneven ground.
3. Over-exertion and Repetitive Stress
Over-exertion may lead longshoremen to develop musculoskeletal injuries. Carrying heavy bags may cause them to suffer from strained muscles, sprains, and pulled muscles. Longshoremen who carry heavy objects without using the proper techniques may injure their backs. Repetitive stress from long work hours can also affect them, leading to carpal tunnel syndrome and tendinitis.
4. Unsafe Working Conditions
Unsafe working conditions can cause longshoremen injuries from electrocution, trenches, or confined spaces. If they work in tunnels or confined spaces, they could become disoriented or pass out due to a lack of oxygen. Longshoremen could also suffer injuries from leaking gas or other harmful fumes.
5. Violence and Crime
Violence and crime are longshoremen’s everyday risks. They should be aware of their surroundings and avoid boxing matches, brawls, or gang violence that could occur at their job sites. Longshoremen can also be subject to hate crimes because they may appear to belong to a different race or ethnic group.
6. Exposure to Loud Sounds and Vibration
Exposure to loud sounds and vibrations can cause dockers to experience hearing loss or damage to their eardrums. Longshoremen are at risk of developing noise-induced hearing loss due to prolonged noise overload. If they use tools without the proper ear protection, they may experience tinnitus or constant ringing in their ears.
7. Cargo Handling Risks
Longshoremen are also at risk while handling cargo on ships or terminals. They can be injured when they shift or move unstable cargo. Those who lift and transport improperly secured freight run the risk of falling and hurting their backs and necks. Longshoremen can also be injured if a ship moves while still handling cargo on it.
8. Occupational Hazards
Longshoremen can also be exposed to various potential hazards while at work. They may contact harmful chemicals if they are in charge of moving and handling cargo. These chemicals can injure them or cause them to become ill if they reach the skin. Dockers are also at risk of developing cancer due to potential exposure to harmful chemicals.
9. Fire and Explosions
Longshoremen are at risk of injury from fire and explosions. They can be burned or exposed to dangerous chemicals if a fire breaks out on a ship or in storage areas. Dockers can also be injured if they are near an explosion which can rupture their eardrums or cause them to lose consciousness. Longshoremen exposed to fires or explosions may develop lung problems due to inhalation of harmful chemicals. They are also at risk of developing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) if they have experienced a fire or explosion.
Longshoremen are at risk of developing different types of injuries while they work. It is upon every longshoreman to understand the legal process to follow in a personal injury claim. This includes getting a reliable lawyer to help you get a reasonable settlement.