Attorneys for the maritime worker
since 1970

3 important safety tips for anyone on the sea

People who work on seafaring vessels face difficult conditions nearly every day. It is imperative that they have everything they need to remain safe for the days, weeks and months when they are away from land.

There are safety tips that apply to all vessels, regardless of whether they are off the West Coast, in the Gulf of Mexico, or in frigid northern waters. Here are a few that all seafaring vessel crew members and owners should remember.

Occupation-specific points must be a priority

Each occupation has a different safety risk. The captain isn’t going to face the same risks as the deck hands. When on an offshore vessel, the men and women who are on the deck have the highest safety risk, but they often have the lowest perception of risk. This means that they may be apt to take risks that people in supervisory positions might not be willing to take.

Operators of these vessels need to remember that safety training must be made a priority. The training that each seaman receives must be based on the person’s position. The captain and first mate of the boat should be familiar with safety standards and practices of each position on the vessel.

Location of the vessel also matters

The location of the vessel during deployment also matters. When a crew operates in an area with frigid waters, they are at a higher risk of death while at sea than seamen who are on warmer waters. One reason for this is because of the chance of cold shock when falling overboard.

Even people who are in warmer waters need to be cautious about falling overboard. The shock of falling overboard can make swimming difficult. Having a life ring or other flotation devices is imperative in case someone falls overboard. Cold water crews need to have suits onboard that can help to prevent hypothermia.

Type of cargo is important

The cargo on the boat matters. The heavy cages used for crab fishing and shipping containers must be properly secured to avoid crushing injuries. Hooks must be secured and covered so that the workers don’t end up being stuck by them. Decks must be cleared as much as possible to prevent slipping. Anyone who walks on the deck must ensure that they have on appropriate shoes to help with traction.

When proper safety protocol isn’t followed, seamen and others on the vessel might suffer injuries. This could mean the need to take legal action to seek compensation.