Many maritime accidents aboard ships, offshore rigs, and vessels involve cranes or derricks and the loading or unloading of cargo or pipe. Rig workers or ship crew may be seriously hurt or fatally injured by swinging cargo or a dropped load. Many of these accidents are preventable and were caused by a lack of attention to safety procedures by a maritime employer, including oil and gas companies. If you or a family member has suffered a serious injury in a maritime accident or rig accident, contact a maritime accident lawyer at Arnold & Itkin LLP at (888) 346-5024.
According to the Occupational Safety and HealthAdministration (OSHA), rigging hazards are everywhere for employees in this profession. One of the most common dangers in rigging is the risk of a serious fall. Wet and slippery work surfaces can present the possibility of a slip and fall accident.
Falling can result in all sorts of injuries, including:
Other common threats to employee safety include:
Other times individuals are injured on a rigging vessel when they are struck by swinging cables or crushed by heavy items. When gear and equipment for rigging aren't properly inspected or are defective, these serious accidents can occur. Also, if the equipment is allowed to move freely, or if loads are not safely rigged before being hoisted, this can present the danger of a struck-by or crushing injury. Sometimes, on rigging vessels, the tag line will allow hoisting materials to swing out of control, or loads that are suspended overhead will swing to one side or fall. Workers need to be properly trained to stay away from any swinging rigging or hoisted equipment that could cause injury.
Rigging also presents electrical hazards. Often, workers need to hoist equipment by energized lines when tools and equipment may not be grounded properly. Electrical cables can become worn because of saltwater and weather, which creates a shock risk. Electrocuted employees often suffer serious burn wounds or neurological conditions.
Hooking and unhooking a load or working in the fall zone of a crane is dangerous duty.
Every load presents its own challenges. Some loads are unstable or unusually heavy. The designated rigger must have the experience to rig the load for a particular job and guide the load. Employers must make sure that riggers have the qualifications and skill to handle the rigging work for a particular job.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor's current statistics, approximately 100 people a year die in crane and derrick accidents.
To reduce fatalities in crane and derrick accidents, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration updated safety rules for cranes and derricks in November 2010. The rules apply to cranes on barges, floating cranes, tower cranes, and mobile cranes. The rule changes require that operators of cranes with a lifting capacity of more than 2,000 pounds be certified for the equipment which they are operating.
The rule also creates an expectation that other workers assisting in hoisting loads, including riggers and signalers, be qualified for the jobs they're performing. The rule contains new inspection requirements and scheduling. All equipment, including synthetic slings, must be operated according to manufacturers' specifications and guidelines.
If you have been injured in a maritime-related accident such as a crane or derrick accident, you owe it to yourself and your family to understand your legal rights. You have legal rights to compensation if your injury was caused by the negligence of others, including ship owners and employers. Talk to an experienced crane accident lawyer at Arnold & Itkin LLP. We are aggressive advocates and skilled negotiators for injured seamen and maritime workers.
Do not hesitate to contact a maritime attorney from our firm today if you have suffered a rigging injury.
Arnold & Itkin represented nearly a third of the crewmembers injured in the Deepwater Horizon explosion.
Because maritime law is so complex and so complicated, it is crucial that you work with an attorney who has an in-depth understanding of how it works and who has proven themselves in similar cases before.