The True Danger of Longshore Work

When it comes to dangerous professions, longshore workers are right up there with the riskiest. Longshoremen are required to work from dangerous heights using heavy equipment and lifting heavy objects in a fast-paced environment where even one small mistake could lead to a serious injury or fatality. Even stringent safety standards can only do so much to help reduce the number of injuries that occur on longshore job sites every year.

Common Longshore Injuries

Back Injuries
Perhaps the most common injury for a longshoreman is a back injury. Because longshore workers are often required to lift heavy loads, it’s not uncommon for one of these loads to place too much strain on a worker’s back, especially if they don’t have the proper support or training to help avoid it. Repeated wear and tear on back muscles and spinal structure can lead to loss of range of motion, weakened muscles, immense pain, and even extensive surgery to try to correct the problem.

Burn Injuries
Longshore workers are frequently required to work with various types of fuel. Whether the fuel is for a ship in port, a vehicle hauling cargo, or a crane to lift heavy objects, this fuel always presents a fire hazard, particularly when exposed to oxygen. Fuel that accidentally sparks can catch fire, causing severe and incredibly painful burns to any workers who happen to be in the vicinity. Be extremely cautious when handling fuels.

Pleural Disease
Longshore workers find themselves exposed to a wide array of chemicals with varying levels of toxicity, including asbestos fibers. Pleural disease is essentially when chemical exposure causes hardening or thickening of lung tissue, reducing lung capacity and making them far more difficult to move. This leads to reduced ability to breathe and extreme discomfort, and possible death. Both offshore and longshore workers are prone to this condition thanks to the use of toxic chemicals in their daily job.

Slip & Fall
Being near water and working outside means the conditions for wet, slippery surfaces are always present. Slip or trip and fall injuries happen fairly frequently, but can potentially have devastating consequences, particularly in a shipyard or port. These accidents frequently result in everything from broken bones to tendon damage to loss of mobility, and much more. Port operators have a responsibility to ensure their employees are in the safest possible working environment, so spills or wet spots should be cleaned up quickly, if possible.

Brain Injuries
Brain trauma is a huge problem with longshore workers. Between large, heavy objects being carried overhead and heavy equipment constantly in motion, it’s fairly easy for a simple accident to cause a concussion, which contains a whole range of added health risks. Those who suffer from concussions can become confused easily, become prone to fainting or dizzy spells, and even have a greater risk for Alzheimer’s later in life.

If you have suffered an injury working as a longshoreman, it’s important to know that you don’t have to deal with the consequences of your injury on your own. At Chestnut & Beller, we strive to protect the rights of those who have been injured on the job and help them receive the compensation and benefits they deserve. We understand the last thing you want to deal with after an on-the-job injury is a confusing and difficult lawsuit, but justice isn’t always guaranteed. Our Cobb County workers’ compensation attorneys are fully devoted to your case and strive to help you obtain a successful outcome so you can focus on one thing: your recovery.

Call Chestnut & Beller today by dialing 770-285-5542 and ask to receive a free consultation to discuss your workers’ comp claim now!