Offshore InjuryBlog

Workboat, Barge and Dredging Vessel Accidents

When working offshore, there are various types of vessels on which you may find employment. On each of these vessels, employees face different hazards which can cause serious injury:


Workboats are vessels used for commercial purposes. Many different types of accidents can occur on workboats, including:

  • Accidents involving towboats, push boats, tugboats, and barges along inland waterways
  • Accidents that occur on crew boats carrying workers to offshore rigs
  • Accidents on supply boats which are servicing offshore rigs
  • Accidents on survey vessels
  • Accidents on seismic exploration vessels
  • Employee accidents on cruise ships, even those that are sailing to international destinations


Working on a barge is one of the most dangerous of offshore jobs. Heavy, taut lines required for making up or unfacing a barge can give way suddenly under the pressures of weather, rolling seas or other environmental factors. Equipment and wet lines can be extremely heavy, but all too often, insufficient deckhands are assigned to tasks, resulting in serious lifting injuries. The very nature of making up two or more heavy vessels in an unpredictable environment creates unfortunate opportunities for injuries and falls that can occur with sudden, unexpected acceleration or collisions between two vessels.

Dredging vessels

Dredging vessels are ships that engage in underwater activities designed to gather sediments from waterways, usually with the purpose of maintaining waterway navigability. Workers stationed on dredging vessels are often paid high salaries, usually as compensation for the great risks inherent in their work environment. Dredge workers often sustain serious crush injuries, particularly on their arms and hands, when performing on-ship tasks like loosening blockages in dredge pipelines. Injuries also frequently occur while crewmembers are being transported to and from dredge boats.

Even though many dredging operations occur in shallow seas or inland waterways, dredging vessel employees are usually still offered the same protections as workers stationed on vessels that navigate the high seas.

Most individuals who work on any type of maritime vessel are offered special protection from on the job injuries under the Jones Act. At Arnold & Itkin, our offshore injury lawyers have extensive experience handling Jones Act claims, and can clearly explain your rights to you after an accident. We are happy to help you in the process of financial recovery under the Jones Act. Please consult our office today for a free consultation.

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