Whether you are new in business or have gone on a hundred trips with your company, you need to keep updated on maritime laws and OSHA standards. You may think that most rules and laws do not change, but that’s not always the case, and the last thing you need for your company is a troublesome lawsuit when it comes to your maritime employees. If you find yourself under pressure within these specific regulations, Irwin Law Firm in St. Lauderdale and Miami can help you understand the law and where you stand.
As a maritime employer, you must provide at least a few basics when it comes to employment and safety while on your ship and shipyard. The first and most obvious is that the ships and vessels you are using are approved and seaworthy for each journey. This regulation may seem like a no-brainer to some, but it’s not as simple as it may seem. You’ll have to take anything and everything into consideration for the vessel’s safety measures. This means that you must consider any foreseeable sea conditions the vessel may encounter, along with the type of cargo, how heavy it is, and the length of the trip to ensure it’s going to make the journey safely and effectively. You also have to make sure that the interior of the ship is safe through practical safety processes. These can range from safe food preparation techniques to emergency preparedness training. The actual ship itself needs to be safe as much as the interior and what people are doing while inside. Ensuring these simple shipyard industry standards will help your business flourish, keeping you and your employees safe and secure everyday.
You may be wondering if laws require maritime employers to follow OSHA standards, and the short answer is yes. You should be following OSHA standards no matter what your vessels are being used as, to ensure overall safety of both your employees and any passengers you may have on your vessels as well. This includes informing employees of any hazards of the job, or chemicals and other items they may come into contact with while on the ship. That being said, there are certain vessels that will most likely not be inspected to ensure OSHA standards are being met if the vessels are also inspected by the U.S. Coast guard. This means certain freight and passenger vessels and seagoing barges may not be subject to OSHA inspections. When OSHA does investigate is often due to a call from an employee who may have suffered an injury or is worried about the working environment. You should have a proper time frame for fixing any issues after getting a complaint about unsafe equipment or vessels, in which case an OSHA inspection may be resolved quickly.
What Damages Are Allowed For Injuries to Maritime Employees?
In most cases, maritime employees will be eligible and receive damages for their maintenance and any post-op care for the duration of their injury or illness from work related injuries. Maintenance care includes food and lodging for most employees, as they are typically onboard a vessel for a long length of time, and in these instances, unable to work. Any medical or rehabilitative care will include up to the best recovery possible, depending on their injuries.
If you find yourself in a work-related injury with your maritime employees, it’s critical to seek legal aid in determining the best possible solution. Irwin Law Firm is your Miami and Ft. Lauderdale resource for all maritime legal issues, helping you understand the law and what your next steps should be. Call us today to get started!