Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Maritime Law - The Effects of Hazardous Weather on Maritime Workers

Nobody likes nasty weather. Hurricanes, blizzards, tornadoes and even just foggy, soggy days are a plain nuisance and not something that anyone truly looks forward to. For people who spend their lives and make their living on the sea though, bad weather is more than just a nuisance; it can be a mortal threat. Maritime workers are in an already risky business as there is a chance, every time that their ship sets out for sea that it might not return. Add to that the constantly changing and sometimes volatile nature of the sea and the dangers that seaman face on a day to day basis is already extraordinarily high. Throw in some truly severe weather and you have a recipe for disaster.

Most people would probably venture to say that smart money would be on staying ashore during hazardous weather. The truth of the situation though is that often bad weather comes up out at sea, and the ship and crew have no option other than to weather the storm where they are. There is really very little chance of outrunning a storm, and they very rarely follow a totally predictable pattern. Another fact is that, for a ship, bad weather is often best weathered away from port, where there is less chance of the ship being dashed upon rocks. For a ship's owner and captain, preserving the vessel is often top of mind.

For a maritime worker, hazardous weather means that there is extra work that needs to be done. While those that work on land can hunker down during an ice storm, and wait for it to pass, those aboard a ship must constantly work to break the ship free from the ice. During a tropical storm, people on shore stay inside, barricaded against the winds and rain. Maritime workers often find themselves out in the thick of it, lashing lines, securing beams and making sure that all that is supposed to be on deck stays on deck.

For maritime workers, hazardous weather means that their already dangerous jobs are even more risky, and that their increased mortality rates are even higher than usual. For fisherman especially this can be a near deadly situation. Many fishing boats will continue to drop their nets and trawl, even during vicious storms, all in the hopes of landing a good catch. For the fishermen aboard the boat, this means also hoping that they are able to stay aboard and unharmed.

If you have been injured while working on a sea vessel, you should call a maritime lawyer at SMSH. The Jones Act attorneys at the firm will examine your injuries and their cause to determine if your employer is liable for damages. Call 1-800-949-6671 for a free consultation.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Chris_S_Work

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