If you work on a tugboat, you should understand the significant injury risks associated with heavy tugboat lines. If you experience an injury while working in the maritime setting, you may be eligible for benefits under the Jones Act.
Review these common tugboat line hazards and take steps to stay safe at work.
Dangers of tugboat lines
If a heavy tugboat chain or line snaps, it can whip across the deck and injure or even kill anyone in its path. Workers can also suffer these injuries if they get trapped between two lines or a line and a piece of heavy equipment. Improperly secured lines can result in a catastrophic collision.
Tripping over a poorly placed or moving line can cause a deckhand to fall overboard, one of the most common causes of maritime worker fatalities. Wet and slippery surfaces compound this risk, especially when inclement weather arises.
Compensation for tugboat injuries
If you work on a tugboat and spend at least 30% of your employment time on the water, you may be able to receive benefits through the Jones Act after this type of accident. This law allows you to recover medical expenses and lost wages as well as nonmonetary costs such as emotional suffering, pain, lost enjoyment of life, and punitive damages.
Maritime workers who think they may have a claim for damages under the Jones Act must file a lawsuit within three years of their injury. You can also file a Jones Act claim for wrongful death if your spouse or loved one died in a tugboat accident.