Common Burn Injuries in Maritime Accidents

maritime fire

There is little doubt that conditions for maritime workers tend to be fairly risky and often difficult as a rule. Accidents aboard boats, ships at sea and ocean platforms can be expected at times, but workers should never become injured because their employers ignored certain safety protocols or failed to take necessary precautions to keep them safe. Everyone in a maritime workplace has an obligation to keep everyone involved as safe as possible.

Burn Injuries Are Common Maritime Accidents

Beginning with the earliest days of shipping and exploration, among some of the most common injuries among maritime workers have been burn injuries, either from fires and explosions, scalding from steam that escapes from the engine room, or burns caused by contact with hot machinery or hot fluids in various parts of the ship. Quite often, sailors and seamen can be the victim of burns caused by negligent maintenance of engines and compressors, careless storage and disposal of flammable substances like oil or gas, inadequate or defective fire suppression equipment, or even a failure to enforce smoking bans on oil and gas platforms.

As one can guess, electrical equipment and wiring aboard any vessel floating on the water has the potential for disaster if not handled properly, since any wet surface or standing water acts as a conductor for electricity. Any electrical short or a connection that is not properly grounded can cause electrical burns, as well as electric shock or electrocution – the most dangerous of maritime accidents. In addition, electrical arcing can serve to ignite flammable substances on board, which is why the owners and operators of ships are absolutely required to follow very strict inspection and maintenance protocols. When they fail to do so and a maritime worker is burned, they can be held liable.

Medical Problems After A Maritime Burn Injury

In many cases, burned victims develop many complications, not the least of which are infection and possible death. One of the worst problems associated with a burn injury is a condition called cerebral hypoxia, a condition caused by the large-scale death of brain cells due to a lack of oxygen in the brain. Fire consumes a lot of oxygen very quickly, leaving very little for workers to breathe when trapped in a fire.

For many maritime workers who have endured burn injuries, life can change forever. For one thing, burns can be among the most physically painful of all workplace injuries and the trauma suffered can leave a permanent emotional scar. Some suffer severe muscle and nerve damage if the burn goes very deep, and the burns sometimes lead to serious infections, which, in turn, can lead to amputation if the infection can’t be brought under control.

Recovery from burn injuries can be both excruciatingly painful and extremely slow, and leave people with permanent scarring and disfigurement. Quite often, burn victims require a great number of surgeries, including painful skin grafts and other types of treatment, such as physical therapy and rehabilitation, all of which combines to create obstacles to rebuilding the life that they had before.

Maritime Workers Hurt On The Job Need Offshore Injury Lawyers

Any maritime worker who has been seriously burned needs a strong legal advocate on their side to fight for their rights. Based on specific maritime laws, injured workers may be entitled to compensation for every aspect of their burn injury, including money to pay for medical bills, to recover lost income as well as for pain and suffering and emotional distress. It is necessary in every case to conduct a thorough investigation to determine exactly which parties may be negligent and to determine the true extent of their burn injuries.

We at the Gutierrez Law Firm handle all kinds of maritime accident claims, regardless of the source of the burn, including chemical burns, electrical burns, burns source of the burn, we can help.