Commercial fishing has earned its reputation as one of the world’s most dangerous occupations. Shrimping and fishing in the Gulf of Mexico aren’t for the weak of either body or mind. Unfortunately, being brave and tough isn’t enough to prevent injuries. When a fisherman is hurt on the job, it can be necessary to talk to a Boating Accidents Attorney in order to be treated fairly.
Many commercial fishing accidents are preventable. According to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), if these known risks were anticipated and prepared for, many of these fishing injuries and even fatalities would not occur.
Fishing accidents are most often a result of one of four factors.
- Bad Weather – Storms can blow up quickly on the Gulf. The weather can’t be controlled, but proper maintenance can help to ensure that the boat doesn’t have an engine or equipment failure at the worst possible time. Fishing is dangerous even when the Gulf is calm, but employers don’t always want to quit when the conditions have become too harsh to continue.
- Lack of Safety Gear – Owners of vessels and fishing businesses are required to provide safety equipment, including life jackets, life rafts, and radio beacons. This equipment should also be in good condition.
- Lack of Training – Fishing attracts the young, both for the adventure and the wages. Not all fishing companies take the time to make sure that these inexperienced workers receive the training needed to know what to do in an emergency. When safety is not made a top priority, accidents happen. It’s the responsibility of the employer to provide the training that will teach an inexperienced worker how to recognize and avoid dangerous situations that put themselves and others at risk.
- Exhaustion – Fishing isn’t a 9 to 5 job. Exhaustion can cause someone to behave almost as if they were drunk. Judgment becomes impaired and the body doesn’t respond as quickly. The fishing culture assumes that working while overtired is just part of the job, but exhausted people are much more likely to be injured. Many accidents could be prevented by enforcing longer sleep rotations.
The Jones Act was passed so that an injured seaman can recover greater damages from the employer than is otherwise possible. When you need a Boating Accidents Attorney, contact The Gaar Law Firm. These maritime injury attorneys have a combined experience of 58 years. .
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