Offshore InjuryBlog

What Do Stevedores Do?

The role of a stevedore is very important in the maritime industry. They make sure ships can move quickly from port to port by providing efficient cargo loading and unloading services. These aren’t your average dock workers or musclemen. Stevedores are typically highly skilled and trained operators of advanced mechanical handling equipment. Some stevedores may still handle cargo hands on at certain ports, manually transferring cargo from between ship and shore when the time calls for it. Overall, a stevedore’s job has developed to involve much less human labor and more specialized machinery.

The History of Stevedores

This isn’t always what a stevedore was known for. Back before shipping methods and cargo loading / unloading had progressed to 2015 standards, a stevedore had very different responsibilities. In the earlier years of the shipping industry, there wasn’t any advanced machinery around to help stevedores remove and carry cargo to shore. Due to this, cargo was packed in loads that were small enough for a man to carry on his shoulders. This also meant that cargo was in varied packing containers of all shapes and sizes, requiring stevedores to know the best way to stow all shapes and sizes of cargo items.

Types of Machinery Stevedores Use

When the shipping industry changed to uniform containers, it also changed the job and responsibilities of a stevedore Instead of a majority of their day being physical labor, stevedores must now focus on strategically maneuvering advanced machinery so that they can transfer shipping containers to and from vessels at the port.

Some of the equipment a stevedore will use on a day to day basis:

  • Power Winches / Cranes
  • Forklifts
  • Grain trimmers Link to a File
  • Trucks & Tractors
  • Hose Lines

Stevedores, also known as longshoremen, may drive cargo on and off a ship, use a crane to pick up and move containers, secure cargo, tie down or untie the ship’s ropes at port, attach devices to winches, and even direct other dockworkers on the job. With such diverse responsibilities, stevedores play a key role in keeping the shipping industry efficient.

Dangers & Accidents Associated with Stevedores

While there is less manual labor required for a modern day stevedore, there is still more physical work involved in this occupation than your average desk job. As a stevedore, you will face a physically demanding work environment. Even simply operating heavy machinery could begin to wear on you. When moving hazardous or heavy materials, workers can face the risk of falling objects, crushing incidents, and much more. Due to the proximity to the water, slip and fall accidents can also be very common. No matter the type of accident, injuries can have a lasting impact on a worker.

If you or a loved one have been injured on the job at a longshoreman, Arnold & Itkin is here to stand by your side. We understand your situation and are here to help. Call us now as (888) 346-5024.

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