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St. Charles Parish Barge Accident Lawyer

Flat-bottom barges are a common sight in the waterways of many major cities, ferrying extremely heavy goods through rivers and canals too shallow for container ships. With big loads can come big risks to match, however, and employees aboard these vessels often contend with serious safety hazards on a daily basis.

While some accidents can be expected, there may be grounds for a lawsuit if your injury resulted from the negligence of a barge owner or the towing company handling the barge. If you were injured while working on a barge, a St. Charles Parish barge accident lawyer can review your case. Work with a qualified maritime injury attorney that could determine the legal options available to you.

Incidents Involving Heavy Equipment

Barge workers typically spend most of their day around large pieces of equipment, which accordingly cause many of the injuries that occur on barges. Injuries to the limbs are common, especially when utilizing large pieces of moving equipment. Employees can also become trapped under large items if safety precautions are not followed.

To prevent these occurrences, barge owners and towing companies are responsible for various preventative measures to decrease the risk of accidents. These include:

  • Ensuring all equipment is regularly inspected and subject to routine maintenance
  • Providing employees with proper training and education, and only allowing adequately trained employees to operate equipment
  • Ensuring large items are properly secured
  • Giving employees easy access to emergency shut-off valves

Injuries Caused by Fatigue and Exhaustion

Working on a barge can be hard and stressful, so employees receiving an adequate amount of rest is often a vital component of onboard safety. Fatigued employees may fall overboard, incorrectly operate equipment, forget to turn off power before inspecting equipment, or perform any number of other unsafe actions because of physical or mental exhaustion.

All crew members, including barge owners and/or operators, should be capable of recognizing fatigue. However, some barge owners encourage this type of behavior so that workers can accomplish more in less time. This philosophy towards barge work can lead to extremely dangerous situations, and any company that encourages employees to work under exhaustion may be held liable for any accidents or injuries that occur as a result. A St. Charles Parish barge accident lawyer can help injured employees attempt to establish liability, and hold their employers accountable.

Common Injuries Sustained by Barge Workers

Injuries sustained on barges can be life-threatening and expensive, and some may even prevent employees from ever returning to work. Injuries such as broken bones, lacerations, burns, internal bleeding, and lung problems (stemming from the inhalation of chemicals) are common among barge workers.

More severe injuries can cause brain damage, paralysis, or even death, and may leave the victim requiring constant medical attention for the rest of their life. By offering more opportunities for safety training and properly managing employee fatigue, barge owners can often significantly reduce the rate of injury aboard their vessels.

Consulting a St. Charles Parish Barge Accident Attorney

If you were injured due to unsafe working conditions aboard a barge, you may be able to obtain compensation for your suffering and pain. A seasoned personal injury attorney can help you file your claim and take can attempt to take the right steps to protect your rights. Your attorney could work to give you a voice, fight for justice, and receive compensation whenever possible. Contact a St. Charles Parish barge accident lawyer today to learn more.