Tug Boat & Barge Injuries
Barges are integral to the shipping process because of their flat bottoms, which allow them to transport as much as 1,500 tons of cargo through shallow waters.
Despite their importance, barges and the tugboats that accompany them can be extremely dangerous for workers. Between 1997 and 2006, 305 employees were killed in barge/tow combinations, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. In the same time period, 379 explosions or fires occurred on barges and towboats, killing 14 people.
You may need an attorney in order to seek the compensation entitled to you by federal law, and it is essential that you choose the right one. Your future may depend on it. Allow Avram Blair & Associates to use our decades of experience to find the right attorney for your unique case.
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Common Hazards on Barges
Barges have no engines and are typically pulled by towboats. This puts two crews at risk for serious injuries resulting from slips, trips, and falls, equipment hazards or fires. Some common accidents that occur on barges include:
- Slips, trips and falls: Barges can be not only wet and slippery, but also littered with debris and obstacles. Holes in the deck can also result in serious injury, and falling overboard is also possible. OSHA lists multiple instances in which an employee has fallen off a barge and drowned after being pulled under the wake.
- Machinery and equipment hazards: It is not uncommon for barge workers to get limbs caught in moving machinery. Additionally, falling cargo can cause fractures or head injuries.
- Fire: Given the amount of cargo, machinery, combustible toxins and electrical equipment often found on a barge, employees are exposed to a serious risk of debilitating burns or death in the case of a fire.
Injuries resulting from the hazards on barges can be traumatizing and potentially deadly. You and your family are likely entitled to compensation for injuries suffered on a barge or towboat under the provisions of maritime law, and you should seek it now.