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Legal Blog

Why We Need More Maritime Injury Reporting

The seas have never been safer for maritime professionals, but there is still a lot of room for improvement. Thousands of sailors are injured on the job every year, in incidents that in many cases could have been prevented by better safety standards.

Until the shipping industry jointly commits to increasing safety, as opposed to profits, maritime workers will continue to face preventable risks on the job. If you or a loved one has been injured in a maritime accident, you may be entitled to a financial recovery if your employer could have taken steps to avoid the incident.

Call The Krist Law Firm today at (281) 283-8500 for a free consultation about your case.

More Frequent and Consistent Incident Reporting Will Lead to Safer Ships

The maritime industry is struggling to adopt consistent incident reporting standards that could prompt the development of more effective safety practices on ships. A new report published by the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), the American Club, and Lamar University recommends an industry-wide review of how incidents and injuries are reported, because data collection and organization is different across different regions, companies, and research institutions.

The review covered a decade of ship accident data from the American Club, including 12,000 injury records totaling $246 million in damages. The largest incident category, accounting for a third of the total, was for lifting injuries and accidents that happened as a result of slipping, tripping, or falling on deck.

These incidents cost shipowners more than $85 million in total with each one costing $65,000 on average. Injuries to the victims’ head and neck involved even higher damages, averaging more than $100,000 per incident.

The study also took into account 100,000 records from the Mariner Safety Research Initiative (MSRI), a joint venture between ABS and Lamar University. This data set includes near misses as well as incidents causing injury.

Near misses happen more frequently and are just as relevant to improving safety as incidents that result in an injury or damage. Each near miss represents an instance where unsafe conditions were allowed to develop.

The European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) conducts its own annual review of incidents and casualties, and also found that slip and falls were a leading cause of injury. But the American researchers could not directly compare most of their data directly to that of their European counterparts.

Terminology and reporting requirements are not consistent from region to region, making international collaboration on safety issues particularly challenging.

Ship Owners Face Liability for Bad Safety Practices

Under the Jones Act, sailors have the right to sue shipowners to recover damages for their injuries. To get compensation under the Jones Act, you need to prove that the ship’s unseaworthiness or the shipowner’s negligence caused your injuries.

Proving these issues is the key to obtaining a result that adequately compensates you for your pain, suffering, lost wages, medical expenses, and lost earning ability.

Contact an Experienced Maritime Injury Lawyer

At The Krist Law Firm, our goal is to help Houston maritime professionals get back on their feet after an accident. We can act on your behalf in dealing with insurance adjusters, company representatives, and their lawyers so that you can focus on healing from your injuries.

The outcome of your case depends on the strength of the evidence you present, and how effectively you argue from the facts the evidence establishes. Letting an experienced legal professional construct and present a strong case for you can vastly improve the outcome.

Call (281) 283-8500 or contact us online for a free, initial consultation about your case.