Marine Towing Industry Safety Report Reveals Dangers

The Coast Guard has released a new safety report detailing incidents, fatalities and injuries occurring over the last ten years. The report summarizes a decade of deaths, workplace injuries and other incidents in the hopes of better understanding how and why these accidents occur.

The most common incidents include allisions (the collision between a moving vessel and another standing still), material failure, flooding and sinking. There was a slight decrease in such incidents in recent years, but numbers remain largely consistent over the last decade. Generally, however, the severity of the majority of these incidents is considered to be quite low.

Common accident types account for the majority of injuries onboard towing vessels. Falls onto surfaces, line handling, caught in lines, struck by moving object and crushed between two objects. The study reveals an increase in severe injuries from 2013 to 2014. The majority of injuries, however, appear to be classified as either minor or moderate.

Fatalities are trending down, with only four in 2014 – the lowest number on record. These fatalities are most often caused by falls into the water, asphyxiation, being crushed between two objects, and being struck by a moving objects. These clearly echo the injury trends in the industry, highlighting the need for extra precaution around those particular incidents. Though the overall number of towing industry deaths are down, the number of deadly falls overboard has remained mostly the same.

This report highlights the main safety problems in the towing industry. With this information in mind, industry leaders can continue to improve conditions for their workers.

Jones Act & Maritime Accident Lawyer

Earning a living on the ocean is a dangerous business. The unpredictability of the ocean can put even the most experienced of sailors or the strongest of ships at risk. These conditions demand competence, professionalism, a well trained crew, and properly maintained equipment and machinery. Anything less places lives at risk.

Richard Serpe gained a Masters Degree in maritime law from Tulane University School after graduating law school. He has also been awarded the rank of Proctor (the highest rank available) from the Maritime Law Association of the United States. Mr. Serpe has helped victims of serious injuries, and families affected by a wrongful death, for over 29 years.

If you’ve been injured because of someone else’s negligence, contact us today and setup a free consultation to discuss your situation.