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Maritime workers are at risk for stress injuries

On Behalf of | Nov 11, 2019 | Maritime Law |

Working in the maritime industry comes with a lot of perks. While some log hours at their desk, typing away at a keyboard, you get to experience the fresh air, the smell of the ocean, and all the excitement that comes with nature. But this line of work does come with its dangers and risks. Workplace injury is not foreign to the maritime industry. But in conversation about workplace injury, catastrophic injury tends to take center stage.

Catastrophic injury is on the lips of many in the conversation of injury because of the nature of maritime work itself. Manual labor can be grueling, and the unforgiving nature of the ocean just adds more risk. Whether it be water making for a slippery deck or strong winds causing issues, many people commonly think to danger with a capital D, rather than everyday tasks. Because they seem mundane, right? In reality, they can be the root of stress injuries.

How do everyday tasks cause repetitive stress injuries?

While catastrophe can certainly put a lot of stress on the human body, so can everyday tasks. Because completed day in and day out, the wear and tear that they place on the body accumulates. Repeated tasks might bring soreness at first. But then soreness might move into something greater. After all, while the workload may have not changed since the first day of work, the human body does. What’s more, there’s a risk of catastrophe, but the risk of stress injuries come from work that one has to do regardless.

What are the causes of stress injuries for maritime workers?

  • Lifting objects: When deadlines are approaching and the work is piling up, it is common to value speed over form. Depending on the angle, some might find themselves using their back to lift more than they’re supposed to.
  • Turning the neck: While tourists might see a ship as a vacation, workers see it as an ecosystem, one where one must look around frequently so as to not get in the way, to spot tasks or potential issues.
  • Cold weather: Maritime workers deal with cold temperatures, which can in turn lead to nerve damage and muscle stiffness.

As you can see, maritime workers are at a high risk for stress-based injuries. The work that they do and the environment that they’re in create an increased likelihood that injury may be just a day away. Because stress injuries accumulate, it’s often much harder to be cognizant of it taking place. As a result, any hesitancy to file workers comp gets amplified. If you have any questions about filing for workers’ comp reach out to a legal professional.