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Every maritime accident provides a chance to improve safety

Government agencies gather and analyze data on a variety of events. One of the areas in which the National Transportation Safety Board gathers this type of information is the country's waterways, including those around and in Louisiana. Every maritime accident has the potential of saving lives in the future.

The NTSB studied approximately 30 such accidents that occurred in 2018. The vessels involved ranged from passenger ships to personal crafts. The analysis of the data gathered could help save lives. They found commonalities among the accidents that may lead to better safety measures.

The agency discovered that issues such as training for emergencies, ensuring watertight integrity and recognizing propeller shafting metal fatigue, among other things, could help prevent future catastrophes on the country's navigable waters. Implementing even minor changes can enhance safety for crews and passengers aboard vessels here in Louisiana and elsewhere across the country. Some recommendations for changes in safety measures from 2017 could also make working on a vessel safer. It is up to vessel owners, employers and others to make sure crew members work in the safest environment possible. 

Of course, even with all of the latest safety measures, a maritime accident can still happen. When it does, the injuries can prevent the ability to work. During recovery, medical expenses and lost income can add up quickly. Financial concerns add another layer of stress to an already difficult situation. Admiralty and maritime law may provide a solution since those who work on the country's navigable waters may pursue benefits for these losses through either the Jones Act or the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act.

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