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Admiralty and maritime law: Good housekeeping prevents injuries

Keeping a vessel clean and clear of debris helps increase the safety of everyone aboard. It would probably be a challenge to find any Louisiana residents who work on navigable vessels that would disagree. Unfortunately, failing to perform needed housekeeping duties could result in injuries from mishaps while working. Fortunately, admiralty and maritime law may provide a way to recover benefits for medical expenses and lost wages, among other things.

Picking up after completing tasks could save someone from tripping and falling over whatever it might be. Leaving oily rags around after doing hot work could start a fire. Slippery or wet floors due to liquids, water, snow or ice could cause slips and falls. Some who work on vessels have fallen off of them because of these cleanliness hazards. Even if a fall keeps a person on board the ship, the injuries could be serious.

Even those who do the housekeeping could suffer injuries from spilled chemicals, grime and grit falling from above, and other dangers caused by failing to tend to cleaning duties. Some serious injuries result from electrical hazards such as frayed wires, damaged insulation and poorly maintained energy sources. Those who perform these duties may find them mundane and menial, but their importance cannot be over emphasized.

Employers are required to search their vessels to identify all hazards and dangers to workers, including those that involve cleanliness. Louisiana residents who work on navigable vessels and suffer injuries due to poor housekeeping practices may pursue benefits through admiralty and maritime law. In addition, deficiencies could be reported to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in order to help ensure no one else suffers injuries under similar circumstances.

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