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Boating Accidents 1.16.2022

Great Lakes Ports Busy Cargo Year: How Will Increased Traffic Impact Maritime Injuries?

 Despite ongoing supply chain issues through the St. Lawrence Seaway, third largest port in the world located in China’s recent closure, and traffic disruptions due to COVID-19, Great Lakes port officials recently announced that Great Lake ports experienced a busy cargo year in Fiscal Year 2021. A Workboat Article pointed out that Great Lakes ports “overall, cargo shipments via the Seaway between March 22 and November 30 totaled 33.3 million metric tons, a rise of 1.7% from 2020.” Port officials didn’t see delays or vessel congestion, even with the added challenge of the general decline in traditional cargos.

Of course, with this increase in activity at Great Lakes ports and potential for additional spikes, there is an associated rise in maritime accidents. Cargo ship crew, dock workers, crane operators, and other longshoremen are exposed to many work related hazards in this environment and working around water can lead to devasting injuries. Detroit maritime injuries attorney can assist with the legal process if you were hurt, but let’s  look at some of the types of traumatic injuries and an overview of relevant maritime laws that may be helpful to you maritime workers.

Common Injuries in the Maritime Workplace

Workplace dangers exist in every employment setting, but working around docks, cargo, mooring lines, motorized vehicles, port cranes and other heavy equipment put maritime workers at higher risk of serious injuries. The nature of the danger and injuries vary according to the position and job responsibilities, falling into three main categories:

  • Crane Work Operations Injuries: Defective or poorly maintained equipment can lead to failure, and improperly trained workers, and improper loading techniques are causes of injuries to crane operators. These causes can lead to injuries from traumatic brain injuries, herniated discs, whiplash, carpal tunnel syndrome, crush injuries, including broken bones, and spinal cord injuries.
  • Mooring Lines Injuries: Failure to comply with workplace safety regulations can lead to trip and fall injuries, but among the biggest threats to workers handling mooring lines is falling overboard and drowning in the river or sea water.
  • Docks and Loading Injuries: Heavy cargo shipments, and containers can shift or become unbalanced due to improper handling, securement, loading, and unloading, leading to accidents and severe injuries to dock workers. These workers often suffer fractures, lacerations, TBI, and neck or back injuries, post-traumatic stress trauma, as well as the risk of severe burns from hazardous materials handling on docks and ports.

Overview of Maritime Injuries Laws in Michigan

Accidents at Michigan ports and related work areas are covered by the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA), a statute that establishes a system for federal workers’ comp. While similar in some ways to Michigan law, the LHWCA offers additional advantages to qualifying workers. For instance:

  • If eligible, an injured worker can obtain benefits to pay for all medical treatment, including surgery, hospitalization, prescription drugs, and other care.
  • You may qualify for payment of your wage loss, at the rate of two-thirds your average weekly wages.
  • For maritime workers who suffer a disabling medical condition, LHWCA may pay disability benefits on a temporary or permanent basis.
  • Death benefits are available for surviving family members too.

Schedule A Free Consultation With A Michigan Maritime Injuries Lawyer

Get more information about your options after suffering injuries in a maritime accident, please call 866-HIRE-JOE or go online to reach The Joseph Dedvukaj Firm, PC. We can schedule a no-cost case review at our offices in Michigan or come to wherever you want us to meet you.

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The Joseph Dedvukaj Firm, P.C represents Michigan clients in a full range of personal injury matters. If you have been injured, contact us for a free consultation.
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