The Most Common Injuries Sustained While Working At Sea


Working in the maritime industry is inherently dangerous. Some of the reasons for this include the slick conditions on the deck, hazardous products, intense physical labor, and having to deal with heavy equipment. Most maritime accidents happen due to negligence or mistakes, including operating a vessel without proper training or experience, the influence of drugs and alcohol, lack of maintenance of equipment on the vessel, or reckless behavior.

If you have suffered an injury while working at sea, you may be able to recover compensation for your economic and non-economic suffering. Maritime workers would have to prove that their injuries were a result of someone else’s wrongdoing, fault, or negligence. Here are some of the most common injuries sustained while working at sea.

Back Injuries

Back injuries remain a common risk for workers in the maritime industry. Seamen can injure their backs by lifting heavy weights, being involved in an accident, or other types of events. Some types of back injuries can be a result of poor equipment or the unseaworthiness of the vessel. There are also different categories of back injuries, including damage to the nerve, bone, or muscle.

Some back injuries incurred while working at sea can be degenerative, which means they get worse over time. Activities such as lifting cargo when unloading or loading a vessel can cause spinal disc degeneration. Excessive fatigue, collision with cargo, being hit by gear, or slipping on the deck are some of the other reasons for back injuries while working at sea.

Traumatic Brain Injuries

Any injury to the brain is serious as it can lead to short-term and long-term disability. These types of injuries can require longer medical treatment compared to some of the other common injuries for seamen. As every function of the body is controlled by the brain, any traumatic brain injury can result in serious complications including paralysis, open head injury, and concussion.

Some of the immediate symptoms of traumatic brain injuries include severe nausea, headache, stiff neck, and loss of consciousness. However, several types of brain injuries only become apparent a few hours or days after the accident.

Soft Tissue Injuries

Any aggressive movement that causes the soft tissues of the body, such as tendons and ligaments, to overstretch can result in microtears in the soft tissue. These types of injuries can happen to any joint of the body but are most common in the ankle, knee, elbows, neck, and shoulders. These injuries can result in mild to severe symptoms, including pain and disability. The most common cause of soft tissue injuries is falling, although it can happen due to other reasons.

Electric Shock

The combination of water and electricity is dangerous, and workers can be exposed to this danger at sea. Almost all sea vessels have electrical systems and generators that operate the tools and equipment on board. If these electrical systems are not maintained and used properly, there is a risk of electrocution for the workers.

Electric shock can lead to lifelong damage. It can also lead to temporary loss of muscle control and spasms, causing the individual to suffer a fall or strike something. If the electric shock happens when the individual is using any equipment or tools, there is also a danger of causing harm to other workers and property on the vessel.

Lacerations and Bruising

A forceful impact can lead to bruising and lacerations for workers at sea. Minor scrapes or cuts are not serious, but the heavy impact of pressure washer injuries can be serious, and lead to severe consequences such as amputation. Even minor cuts and bruises can become serious if the injury becomes infected, so medical attention is important for all types of lacerations and bruising.

Fractured or Broken Bones

Traumatic accidents at sea can result in fractured or broken bones. Accidents, assaults, or falling are the most common causes of bone injuries. Most bone injuries will heal over time, but in some cases, surgery is necessary. Some bone injuries never heal properly, resulting in chronic pain and disability.

How a Maritime Injury Lawyer Can Help

If you sustained a maritime injury, you may be entitled to a claim for your damages, including medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other types of compensation. The legal team at recommends that you do not delay filing a claim if you want to get the maximum maritime law claim. Hiring an attorney will not only help you with getting compensation for your damages, but it also allows you to concentrate on healing and recovering from the accident while the attorney takes care of all the legal proceedings that are required to get you justice.


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