drydock

What Is a Drydock Accident?

Drydock accidents are extremely common in Louisiana. Unfortunately, these types of accidents can cause devastating injuries. In fact, drydock accidents can be just as dangerous as accidents that take place at sea. Drydocks, which are narrow basins or vessels that can be flooded to allow a load to be floated in, are used for the construction, maintenance, and repair of boats, ships, and other types of watercraft. Work on drydocks often involves dangerous equipment, heavy machinery, and inclement weather conditions. This makes drydocks dangerous places to work. Below is an overview of drydock accidents in Louisiana. 

Common Types of Drydock Accidents

Fires: The engine room is the most vulnerable part of the ship for dangerous fires due to oil-fired boilers, leaky pipes, and oil cans. During drydock, a ship’s engine room may be filled with portable equipment like blowers, lamps, grinders, and other electrical devices. When someone acts negligently or electrical connections aren’t properly insulated, dangerous fires can result.

Machinery and loading accidents: The equipment used by drydock teams is heavy and dangerous. Crew members must move heavy ship materials and parts, all of which can cause serious injuries. Machinery and loading accidents often occur due to the negligence of maritime employers. For example, employers sometimes fail to assign enough employees to tasks involving machinery and loading, thereby increasing the risk of accidents. In addition, employers sometimes allow inexperienced and untrained employees to operate cranes during drydock—this endangers all employees in the vicinity. Equipment failures and collapses can also cause catastrophic drydock accidents. 

Slip and falls: Finally, slip and fall accidents are common on dry-docked vessels. Vessel docks are often filled with tools, broken pipes, spare parts, and other types of dangerous equipment during drydock. These types of debris can result in slip and fall accidents. It is the responsibility of employers to ensure that employees safely store such materials to prevent accidents. Employers are also required to warn their employees of potentially hazardous drydock conditions. Whenever an employer’s failure to take such steps results in an employee injury, the injured employee can pursue financial compensation from the employer. However, attempting to obtain compensation for an injury without the help of an attorney can be difficult. Therefore, maritime employees who are injured on the job should contact a Gulf of Mexico and Louisiana maritime attorney for assistance. 

Contact a Gulf of Mexico and Louisiana maritime attorney 

If you’ve been injured in a drydock accident, you need a talented group of Lousiana and Gulf of Mexico admiralty and maritime lawyers on your side. At Koch & Schmidt, our experienced maritime attorneys serve maritime employees in Southern Louisiana and the Texas Gulf Coast region. If you are an injured maritime worker, we can help you obtain the compensation you deserve. Please contact us today for a free evaluation of your case.