Attorneys for the maritime worker
since 1970

Everyday risks tugboat workers face

While every job can have its challenges, work in the maritime industry can be especially demanding. Whether it is engineering, operating machinery or working close to choppy waters, the varying tasks — as well as uncertain weather conditions — make this line of work inevitably unpredictable. Californians with positions in tugboat work specifically may want to learn more about the direction the industry is headed in terms of safety.

WorkBoat Magazine reported in February that the tugboat industry saw an increase in accidents in 2016. Overall, however, this field has seen a gradual decline in the number of fatalities; safer working conditions largely played a part in this decrease in accidents. As for less serious incidents, WorkBoat reports a slight increase, with 1,231 vessel incidents in 2016. The marine magazine also notes that, despite safer environments across the board, falls overboard still occur in this industry on a consistent basis.

Many are likely familiar with the potential safety risks of this work, but VICE takes a step closer by investigating what an average day for a marine worker is really like. In an industry that generates billions, employees must work diligently to keep the industry on track. Calling tugboat employees the “workhorses” on the water, VICE goes on to inform readers that the equipment itself presents many dangers on the job. For instance, one worker suffered a traumatic accident after putting a line up to hold a boat, getting his fingers trapped in the process. Others suffer falls from cranes and ships. While the injuries themselves can make maritime work appear frightening to the average observer, VICE illustrates the closely-knit communities that often thrive in this industry. In part, this blend of teamwork and communication is what keeps this line of work as safe as possible.