Attorneys for the maritime worker
since 1970

May 2013 #2

Your Aching Back!PDF

Back injuries are one of the most common amongst seafarers. There are any number of ways to injure your back while working aboard a vessel. At the top of the list is pulling on lines as well as lifting. Lifting excessive weight or lifting without proper body posture is a recipe for harm. Years ago a seaman was expected to lift as much as 100 pounds. That number dropped to 70 and now, depending upon which source one consults, is down to a lesser number.

In recent years, the number of back injuries is on the rise due to the reduction in manning aboard vessels and the lack of assistance for many tasks. When in doubt as to the weight of an object or the strain of a task, be sure to ask for help! Always report your injury!

Question From The Bridge

I have undergone surgery for a herniated disc in my low back. Will this preclude me from returning to sea once my rehabilitation treatment is complete?.

Derek P. Mobile.


Any history of intervertebral disc surgery within the last 5 years is subject to “Medical Condition Subject to Further Review”. It would require an orthopedic, physical medicine or neurosurgery consultation with a functional capacity examination and testing, as well as itemization of medications with any side effects, and a list of restrictions and prognosis. There are many seafarers who have undergone such a procedure and returned to full duty. Keep in mind, however, that your work is considered heavy in nature and each case may have a different outcome.

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 Law Offices of Cavin and Marks, 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 Law Offices of Cavin and Marks, 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.