Vessel Boarding Accidents, Including Injuries on a Gangway, Jacob's Ladder, Step Ladder or Steps are Risks Seaman Face. South Florida Maritime and Admiralty Attorney Robert Gross Preserves the Rights of Those Injured in Gangway Accidents
Robert C. Gross, P.A. - Miami Maritime Attorney
Working aboard a ship, fishing vessel, tanker or barge is dangerous enough. Getting to work shouldn't be. Seaman who work aboard a vessel that travels in navigable waters are protected the Jones Act 46 U.S.C.§ 30104 – a kind of workers' compensation for those employed in jobs related to commercial shipping – have a specific right to be able to access their work in a safe manner. All gangways, ladders and steps must be in good repair and have adequate safety provisions. If they're not, the employer can be held liable for expenses related to ensuing injuries – and the vessel can be declared unseaworthy.
When a gangway is used for workers to board a ship, it must:
- Be easily accessible
- Have appropriate handrails
- Be properly trimmed with anti-slip material
- Have appropriate lighting
- Be out of the path of materials being loaded overhead
- Have appropriate netting safety precautions, if the gangway extends over water
In some instances, use of a gangway isn't possible, and a ladder – likely a Jacob's ladder – is used instead. While the use of Jacob's ladders has been debated by safety experts, they remain a legal form of entry, provided precautions are taken. Even when gangways and Jacob's ladders are property installed and maintained, injury can occur. For instance, a worker can be thrown as he boards the ship if a gangway is bumped as cargo is loaded. He can fall from a ladder and land in the water or a lower level of the vessel. The worker could be struck by equipment or cargo being loaded onto the ship. Injury can happen when a gangway or ladder moves for any reason.
If you've suffered a gangway injury, your employer owes it to you to see you through to full recovery. South Florida maritime attorney Robert Gross has been handling gangway injury cases for seaman since 1975 and he has the experience and knowledge of complex maritime and admiralty law to represent you and vigorously defend your legal rights in a Maritime or Admiralty injury claim. Call 305-670-9009 to schedule a complimentary and confidential evaluation of your case. You'll pay no fees unless Robert Gross earns you compensation for your injuries.