A worker suffered injuries on the job after he fell about 25 feet into the cargo hold of a ship, which was docked at the Port of Los Angeles.
According to a City News Service report in the Daily Breeze, the incident occurred the morning of June 16, 2014 at Berth 209 near the 1000 block of New Dock Street.
The worker, a man in his late 50s, fell into a very small area two levels below deck of the 623-foot bulk cargo vessel Navios Vector, a Panamanian-registered ship.
The area was filled with 60-foot-long steel pipes that were securely fastened and the man was not trapped beneath them, officials said.
The man was
rescued and transported to an area hospital with back and leg injuries. The worker’s name and medical condition is not known.
Dangers of Shipyard Work
According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), shipyard work is traditionally hazardous, with an injury-accident rate more than twice that of construction and general industry.
Some of the common injuries suffered in these types of accidents include head injuries, neck and back injuries and broken bones. Injuries are commonly caused by falls and struck-by incidents.
Causes and Compensation Issues
When a worker is injured in a shipyard accident, it is important to look into what caused it and how it could have been prevented.
How did the worker fall? Was he provided with fall safety equipment such as harnesses or safety nets? Federal law requires all workers operating at elevations to be provided with such safety equipment. Was the worker supervised at the time? Did he or she have sufficient safety and job training required to do the work?
These are just some of the questions that must be asked in order to determine how or why the incident occurred.
In such cases workers can seek workers’ compensation benefits from their employers.
However, in California, such compensation is woefully inadequate, especially in cases where the worker has suffered severe or catastrophic injuries. Back and leg injuries in particular can require lengthy treatment and rehabilitation. Workers in such cases may not be able to return to work for an extended period of time.
An experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyer may be able to advise workers about potentially filing a third-party claim against a party other than the employer who may have been responsible for the accident and injuries.
Examples of third parties include contractors, sub-contractors, manufacturers of defective products, etc. Third-party claims are worth a lot more than workers’ compensation benefits and monetary support from these claims could be invaluable to victims and their families.