Longshoremen and seamen often work in dangerous conditions, and even when conditions are seemingly safe, everyday risks remain.
Here we provide areas of common injury frequently suffered, unnecessarily, by seamen and longshoremen.
Our brain is protected by the skull, which provides the brain with protection from most injuries. While most head injuries are minor, brain injury can be serious and potentially disabling.
Persons with severe brain injury often have problems with mental and physical functioning and may require on-going medical supervision.
Head injuries can result in:
- Impaired memory
- Headaches / chronic pain
- Dizziness / impaired balance
- Ringing in the ears and loss of hearing
- Impaired attention span
- Impaired or double vision
- Loss of smell and taste
- Difficulty with speech
- Disruption of normal thinking process
- Lack of energy and irritability
- Loss of function can lead to depression
Knee, Leg And Foot Injuries
The knee is a complex structure that can easily be injured aboard ships, fishing vessels, tug boats and ferries. Maritime workers can injure their knees by slipping on decks, falling while stepping onto the boat, twisting the body to pitch a fish, lifting heavy loads, or by just trying to keep their balance in rough seas.
Common knee injuries include:
- Fracture or dislocation of knee bones
- Torn ligaments
- Strained, sprained, ruptured or inflamed tendons
- Torn cartilage
- Inflammation or infection of the bursa
- Injured meniscus
- Locked knee joints
Leg and Foot Injuries
Painful and debilitation lower extremity injuries are common among maritime workers. Partnering lines may snap and cause fractures, legs and feet can get caught in a winch, amputations can occur with unguarded equipment. Working around moving lines, shifting cargo, chains, winches, cable nets and sharp equipment puts maritime workers at risk for injury.
Some of the most common types of lower extremity injuries/problems include:
- Torn ligaments
- Crash injuries
- Injury requiring knee or hip replacement
Back, Neck and Shoulder Injuries
Working on or around ships can be backbreaking work, requiring many hours of standing, lifting, pulling and twisting. Even the strongest of backs can be injured from falls, being hit by or handing heavy equipment such as winches, ropes, pulleys, forklifts and heavy cargo.
A back injury can leave a worker with chronic back pain and limited mobility, and may be extremely severe, resulting in paraplegia or quadriplegia rendering the worker permanently disabled and unable to work at all or work in the same trade. Many of these injuries occur to men and women in the prime of their careers and cause significant changes that reduce a person’s ability to earn a living and to continue their pre-accident lifestyle.
Shoulder, Elbow and Wrist Injuries
An injury to a shoulder, elbow, wrist or hand can end a seaman’s career and are among the most common injuries on the docks and at sea.
Maritime workers need manual dexterity and strength to work pulleys, winches, ropes, load and unload heavy equipment – however, these activities all take a toll on shoulders, arms and hands.
Working around unguarded machinery, defective and unsafe equipment adds to the chances of suffering an injury.
Upper Extremity Injuries
Some of the most common types of upper extremity injuries/problems include:
- Crash injuries
- Severed tendon
- Severe lacerations
- Rotator cuff injuries
- Joint dislocation
- Torn muscle or tendon
- Nerve damage
- Reflex Sympathy Disorder
The following is a list of cancers with known links to work activities of railroad and maritime workers:
- Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
- Multiple Myeloma
- Hodgkin’s Disease
- Myeloma Dysplastic Syndrome (SDS)
- Aplastic Anemia
- Kidney Cancer
- Brain Cancer
- Lung Cancer (non-smokers only)
Should you or a family member suffer any similar injuries or illnesses on the job, please feel free to contact us at 888-566-4437, or complete our confidential form and we will follow up with you directly.