Port Houston is one of the most active job sites in the United States with slightly more than 67,000 employees working with cargo and on vessels, according to the Port of Houston Authority. The 25-mile-long complex is home to nearly 200 private and public industrial terminals along 52 miles of the Houston Ship Channel. And with so much activity, it sees its fair share of work-related accidents.
The number of workers hurt on the job could decrease soon as community leaders, port stakeholders, and government officials work to fund a $1 billion major initiative called Project 11 to widen Port Houston. While all involved recognize the economic value of doing so, an additional benefit is a safer environment for the thousands of longshore and vessel workers at Port Houston.
Injuries at Port Houston can be physically, mentally, and financially devastating. The last thing you need while trying to recuperate is to worry about how to pay your bills. The Houston injury lawyers at The Krist Law Firm, P.C., are experienced at handling maritime accidents in the port. We understand the law and will fight for all the compensation you deserve.
Why Widen Port Houston
Port Houston is the busiest port in the United States and the second busiest in the world. In 2018, port workers handled more than 200 million short tons of international cargo, which generated $801.9 billion in economic value.
Port Authority officials contend that a third straight year of double-digit growth requires the plan to widen the port be fast-tracked. With more volume, comes more vessels, more cargo, more workers, and more chances for serious mishaps.
Our experienced maritime injury lawyers have helped workers receive compensation for common accidents in the port such as:
- Vessel collisions: widening and deepening the port will allow for two 14,000-TEU vessels to move through simultaneously. By providing more room, there is less likelihood of collisions between other ships or port structures. When vessels collide, workers can be injured in falls that could lead to broken bones and head, back, and neck injuries. They could also be crushed by shifting cargo or equipment. Depending on the cargo, fires or explosions might occur and cause burns and lung injuries.
- Vessel grounding: Because the port is currently so narrow and shallow, sometimes vessels can be accidentally grounded when there is too much traffic on the waterway. Much like vessel collisions with other ships or structures, when a ship hits the ground, the crew can be tossed onto the deck, into machinery, each other, or even overboard. If the grounding is severe enough, toxic spills can even occur.
- Cargo accidents: workers in Port Houston operate in tight quarters and use heavy equipment to move cargo. Job accidents related to the cranes and forklifts often used are fairly common. Falling cargo, too, causes serious injuries. Accidents related to cargo can lead to injuries ranging from crushed extremities to death.
- Docking mishaps: wider and deeper channels may also reduce docking mishaps. More room to maneuver may mean less stress when docking and workers can remain vigilant about mooring lines. The lines that connect ships to the dock can be dangerous if not secured properly. Unsecured vessels may drift into the port and cause a collision, resulting in injuries, or lines that are too tight could snap and maim nearby workers.
Port Accident Injuries Deserve Compensation
Even on a fast-track, officials believe that improvements to Port Houston will likely take four to five years. While it is hoped that widening and deepening the port will improve safety, workers remain susceptible to maritime injuries.
Fortunately, the skilled injury lawyers at The Krist Law Firm, P.C., can help get the compensation you are due if you’ve been hurt at Port Houston.
Call today (281) 283-8500 for a free consultation.