The Dangers of Working in the Shipping Industry
The workers in the shipping industry are truly respectable. Firstly, they keep the economy moving through the transportation of goods. Secondly, they do this while being away from their family and friends. Thirdly, they do this while being near the dangers of working in such an industry.
The most apparent risk at sea is the weather condition. Hazardous conditions such as hurricanes, thunder storms, typhoons, and even merely big waves, may be severe enough to topple the biggest ships. When that happens, expect the worst. For those who are relatively luckier, the rainwater, strong winds, and force of crashing waves can merely shake the ship, but this can still cause accidents, such as slipping, tripping, falling, and even malfunctioning ship equipment. Violent weather is not only the natural hazard in the water, as there are possible obstructions that may pose the same dangers, such as coral reefs and icebergs.
Dangerous Working Conditions
Employers and owners of seafaring vessels are responsible for providing a safe workplace for its crew. According to the website of Williams Kherkher, failing in this responsibility may result into legal action through the Jones Act, especially if negligence or recklessness has been involved. Below are just some of the issues that can occur on a ship:
- Amputations and other injuries from heavy machine defects
- Drowning accidents from accidental falls into water
- Explosions and fires from electrical malfunctions
- Falling accidents from elevated spaces
- Slipping accidents from substances such as grease
- Suffocation and other oxygen problems from high pressure and small work areas
Mesothelioma and Other Exposure Complications
The ships themselves or their cargos may contain materials that can be dangerous to humans on long exposures. For example, many constructed ships today still have asbestos, and workers may get cancer from asbestos exposure. This cancer is called mesothelioma, and its symptoms may only surface after years of exposure. Other products that can be equally dangerous are chemicals that can create lung and skin problems and elements such as lead that can compromise your body systems.