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Legal Blog

Causes of Container Ship Injuries

In today’s marketplace, shipping products and equipment over the water is critical. These items are normally packed and unloaded at shipyards in massive containers. This means that every day countless ships are being loaded and unloaded around the country. The workers in these environments have to use equipment that is large, heavy, or awkward to maneuver. This puts the workers at enormous risk for injury. Container ship injuries can also be devastating. There are numerous causes, but some are more common than others. If your work requires you to be around container ships or shipyards, be on the lookout.

If you were injured on or around a ship in Texas, speak with a Houston maritime lawyer. The law that governs maritime accidents is complex and significantly different from laws that govern work accidents on land. For assistance, contact The Krist Law Firm, P.C. We will review your situation and advise you whether you can recover damages for your maritime accident.

Contact us online, or call (281) 283-8500 today to schedule a free consultation.

Container Ship Injuries: Loading and Unloading

Shipping containers are generally extremely large and heavy. This makes them something of a danger themselves. The amount of workers and equipment it takes to move them is another source of danger. Depending on the situation, both land-based and water-based cranes are used to load and unload container ships. Once loaded, fastening equipment keeps the containers in place. While this is a necessary task, using such large pieces of machinery carries its own risk. Crane operators can make mistakes, and mechanical errors can also prevent cranes and other equipment from operating properly. This can lead to unsecured containers and tragic injuries, including:

  • Mild, moderate, or severe traumatic brain injury
  • Severed or crushed limbs
  • Broken bones
  • Spinal cord damage, nerve damage, or paralysis
  • Slipped, ruptured, herniated, or bulging discs
  • Back and neck injuries
  • Disfiguring lacerations

Faulty Equipment and Machinery Injuries on Container Ships

The machinery used in loading and unloading container ship undergoes a tremendous amount of daily strain. For this reason, it is not uncommon for shipping equipment to wear out. If this happens at the wrong time, it can be disastrous. Imagine a crane failing while loading containers on to a ship. People would be in extreme danger, both on the ship and on land. A failure of the equipment on the ship could have even more dire consequence. A combination of locks, pulleys, and scaffolding is used to hold containers in place on ships.

Fatigue or integral damage in that equipment could cause stacks of shipping containers to fall. This could cause almost unimaginable damage to the crew. Furthermore, it could cause extensive damage to the ship. This, in turn, could lead to even more crew injury. It is very important to make sure the equipment is free from issues such as weakened joints, stress fractures, and other types of damage.

Some of the common container equipment issues involve:

  • Improperly maintained and inspected equipment
  • Equipment that isn’t properly bolted, tied, or secured
  • Workers who aren’t properly trained in the safe use of equipment
  • Workers who aren’t provided with proper safety gear
  • Workers who aren’t provided with the right equipment for the job
  • Insufficient crew members assigned to work with a piece of equipment
  • Equipment that is defective when acquired by the employer, contractor, or owner of the vessel or rig

Container Ship Injuries: Human Error also a Factor

Even if machinery is functioning perfectly, it can still malfunction. The issue could be caused by the worker operating the equipment. The crane operator may have overloaded the machine, causing it to tip or break. Similarly, the containers can be overloaded on board the ship, causing them to tip or fall. The fastening devices meant to keep the containers in place may have been fastened improperly. They may not have been fastened at all. In addition, the ship and all related equipment should be regularly checked for defects or possible issues. Failure to do so can be considered a human error with potentially catastrophic consequences.

Contact a Maritime Lawyer About Your Container Ship Injury

An attorney knowledgeable about maritime law will be able to clarify your ship injury claim. Once we know the facts, we can advise you about the potential damages you may be able to recover, such as:

  • Medical costs
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Physical pain
  • Mental anguish
  • Physical limitations
  • Disfigurement

If you’re injured on a container ship due to no fault of your own, The Krist Law Firm, P.C. can guide you through the process. Discuss your case with our experienced lawyers today.

Call (281) 283-8500 or use the online form to schedule your free case evaluation.