Every industry comes with its hazards to employees. In this region, that includes working on Louisiana’s docks and seaports. Some of the more common sources of injuries in this work environment are discussed below.
It does not take much imagination to figure out that loading and unloading cargo requires employees to use a variety of equipment such as forklifts and cranes, which come with their own unique dangers. These vehicles and equipment, along with others in use on docks and at seaports, could result in workers being crushed or run over, along with the potential for falling off vehicles and equipment. Workers can fall off more than just vehicles, however.
Working at the edge of a dock, on scaffolding around a ship or other areas where being at a height is an issue poses a risk for serious injuries. Even slip or trip-and-fall accidents could occur on surfaces that are not kept free from obstacles and slippery substances. The injuries suffered in falls can be substantial and even deadly. Outside of the potential for acute injuries, chronic injuries could also become an issue due to performing the same tasks repeatedly. Repetitive stress injuries can cause irreparable harm.
Anyone who works on Louisiana’s docks and seaports probably already understands the risks he or she takes on a daily basis. They may also know that if injured, traditional workers’ compensation benefits are not available. Instead, they must pursue restitution for medical bills, lost wages and perhaps more under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, which can be a challenge without the proper guidance and assistance.