Longshoremen and other dock workers work in ports and harbors all over the United States, unloading and loading cargo from ships, rail cars, and trucks. Physical labor is still used to transfer a lot of smaller cargos; however, larger cargos, such as cargo containers, require longshoremen to make use of special equipment such as forklifts, cranes, UTRs, tractors, top picks, side picks, and transtainers. Most of this work is performed outdoors, in all kinds of weather, on or near the water.
This work has many hazards, and workers get hurt often. Sadly, many common injuries for longshoremen could have easily been prevented. If you’re a longshoreman who’s unable to work due to an on the job injury, the Longshore And Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) and other maritime laws give you the right to seek compensation for the damages caused by your injuries, including medical expenses and lost wages.
It’s important for ship owners and dock managers to work together to maintain a safe work environment for longshoremen and seamen. When they fail to do so, accidents can happen. Longshoremen can get hurt, even killed. These accidents can include:
- Slips and trips
- Falling from a height
- Falling objects
- Lifting an object that’s too heavy
- Crane mishaps
- Crushed between ship and dock
- Chemical exposure
- Equipment failure and malfunctions
- Being struck by a forklift or other vehicle
5 Most Common Injuries for Longshoreman
These accidents can result in a wide range of injuries. Some of the most common injuries suffered by longshoremen include:
Traumatic Brain Injuries: Being struck in the head with sufficient force can result in a traumatic brain injury. These types of injuries are very serious, with the potential to permanently impair mental and physical functioning.
Repetitive Strain Injuries: Repetitive strain injury is a term used for the damage and pain caused by long-term repetitive movement and overuse of the muscles, nerves, ligaments, and tendons. These types of injuries aren’t caused by accidents but result from long years of pulling cables, working on assembly lines, loading or unloading pallets, and other jobs that require extended periods of repetitive motion.
Back Injuries: A longshoremen’s job often entails moving and lifting heavy weight. When a longshoreman attempts to lift an object that’s too heavy, or doesn’t properly position their body when lifting, a disabling back injury can result.
Hand, Arm and Shoulder Injuries: A lot of the things longshoremen do require the use of the hand, arm and shoulders. Accidents that happen while working with pulleys, winches, and ropes, or while operating defective or unsafe machinery, can cause hand, arm, and shoulder injuries.
Occupational Illnesses: Long term exposure to hazardous substances by longshoremen can result in the development of serious illnesses like Leukemia, Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, as well as brain, kidney, and lung cancers.
The Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA)
Longshoremen and other dock workers are specifically protected under the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation act, also known as the LHWCA. The LHWCA provides benefits for maritime workers who suffer occupational injuries or diseases but are not covered by the Jones Act or state workers’ compensation laws.
LHWCA benefits provide for medical and living expenses until the longshoreman recovers from their injuries. If the accident resulted due to a dock manager’s or ship owner’s negligence, the injured longshoreman may be able to take legal action to obtain compensation for damages not covered by the LHWCA.
Talk To an Experienced Longshoreman Injury Attorney
The maritime attorneys at The Lambert Firm has been protecting the rights of injured longshoremen and other maritime workers for over 40 years. We are dedicated to maximizing the recovery you receive for your injuries.
In some instances, your longshoreman accident injuries may be covered by multiple maritime laws. Let us put our vast knowledge of maritime law and decades’ worth of legal expertise to work for you.
Contact The Lambert Firm to schedule a free, initial consultation with a leading LHWCA attorney.