Seamen and dockworkers face numerous hazards in their work. Louisiana employers are required to provide a safe work environment, and many of them do what they can to make that happen. Therefore, it would seem like a simple task to keep the deck of a vessel clear of water and other debris that could result in an offshore injury to maritime workers. Failing to do so could leave a worker with debilitating injuries.
One man claims that this is what happened to him on July 20, 2014. Documents filed in the U.S. District Court Eastern District of Louisiana assert that North American Shipbuilding Inc. employed the man as a fuel rigger. On the day in question, he was assigned to fuel one of Harvey Gulf International Marine’s vessels. While on deck, he says that water and oil on the deck caused him to slip and fall.
He alleges that he suffered back injuries so severe that he is now unable to work. The accident left him with bulging discs in the lumbar region of his back. He blames Harvey Gulf International Marine for failing to provide a safe work environment, among other things.
As would be the case with any other serious offshore injury, the man claims that he has incurred significant medical bills, lost wages and no longer enjoys the same earning capacity as he did prior to the incident. If the court rules that the company was negligent, he could be awarded the damages he seeks. Injuries suffered on navigable waterways are not handled under normal workers’ compensation laws. Therefore, it is crucial for anyone who is injured to gain a clear understanding of his or her rights and responsibilities.