If you live near any port city, chances are you’ve seen a barge. These enormous flat-bottomed boats lug goods up and down rivers, canals, and inlets, making transportation of large quantities of heavy items relatively cheap and simple. Barges can carry up to 1,500 tons of cargo and are relatively low-emission compared to other shipping methods, such as rail or truck. However, because of their large size and the heavy machinery used on these vessels, there is a high potential for injury.
There are numerous ways in which one can be injured on a barge. This is no surprise, considering the diversity of goods shipped, the sheer weight of machinery on the barge, and the barge’s immense size. Some possible hazards include: faulty or defective equipment, not being properly trained, chemical exposure, fire or explosion, slip, trip and fall injuries, drowning, and wrongful death.
- Moving parts and heavy machinery can cause injuries to hands, feet or limb if they are caught or crushed.
- Traumatic brain and head injuries can occur from heavy falling items.
- Rusty airtight tanks remove oxygen from the environment, and workers can asphyxiate if they shut the door or become trapped.
- Cranes are also potentially deadly, because they can collapse under immense weight, drop heavy or dangerous cargo onto workers below, and knock people overboard.
- Sometimes the materials transported on barges are hazardous. These chemicals, gases, or liquids can be dangerous if not properly handled.
- Fires and explosions can be devastating and fatal, and so it is important for employers and supervisors to maintain all electrical equipment, hazardous or flammable material containers, and tools on board.
- Wet surfaces, mechanical problems, dangerous behavior, and missing safety equipment can all result in falls overboard and drownings.
Speak with an Experienced Maritime Accident Lawyer
Cases involving accidents in the water are subject to different rules than normal on-shore injury cases. If you or a family member has been injured in an accident on a barge, you need a skilled and knowledgeable attorney on your side.
Attorney Richard Serpe obtained his Master’s Degree (LLM) in maritime law from Tulane University School of Law, and has the highest ranking (Proctor) from the Maritime Law Association of the United States. He tenaciously fights for his clients, ensuring that they receive just compensation for their injuries. For any injury in and around water, do not hesitate to contact our firm.