April 2012 #2



All too often the doctors attempt to push the merchant seaman back to work too soon. Frequently we see this because the physician does not fully understand the rigors of work at sea. It is extremely important that you explain your regular duties to your physician so that he can adequately assess your ability to return to work without causing you to risk re-injury. Your doctor should know that for merchant seamen there is no light duty. You are either Fit for Duty or Not Fit for Duty. This means full duty.

Coast Guard NAVIC for the Physical Evaluation of Merchant Mariners states that, "All mariners should be capable of living and working in cramped spaces, frequently in adverse weather causing violent motion of the vessel. Extended workdays are common. All mariners must be able to participate in emergency evolutions such as firefighting or launching lifeboats or life rafts. Members of the deck and engine department must be capable of physical labor, climbing, and handling moderate weight (30 to 60 pounds)".

Make sure that before your physician clears you to return to duty, he is aware that you must be able to:

  • Climb steep or vertical ladders
  • Pull heavy fire hoses up to 400 feet and have the ability to lift fully charged fire hoses
  • Rapidly dawn exposure suits
  • Step over door sills of 24 inches in height and
  • Open or close water tight doors that weigh up to 56 pounds.

For more information on merchant mariner physical requirements please visit the web and go to http://www.uscg.mil/hq/cg5/nvic/pdf/1998/n2-98.pdf

About Our Law Firm

For more than four decades, merchant mariners, longshoremen, fishermen and harbor workers plying their trades at sea, on the docks, on our U.S. coastal waters and inland waterways have turned to the maritime law firm of Lyle C. Cavin, Jr. & Associates in Oakland. Today, we are proud to be recognized as one of the preeminent maritime law firms serving injured marine workers nationwide, as well as one of the most successful personal injury litigation firms serving victims of negligence in the San Francisco Bay Area and throughout the West Coast.

Team Approach to Every Personal Injury and Jones Act Claim

When you retain Lyle C. Cavin, Jr. & Associates with a Jones Act injury claim or personal injury claim, you don't get just one attorney, you get our entire team of dedicated professionals. Our attorneys offer more than 150 combined years of courtroom and negotiated claims settlement experience. We will represent your interests with unwavering dedication, speed and expertise.