Where Head Injuries Occur
When working on a vessel, on a dry dock or anywhere that has confined spaces and moving, heavy objects, head injuries will occur. Head injuries are especially common in the maritime industry due to the nature of the work. Maritime workers are surrounded by cranes, crawling through confined spaces and walking through doors with low hanging beams. Anyone who has ever set foot inside a tug boat has seen that the doorways and manholes do not look like they were made for adults. Often times it is even hard for a smaller adult to squeeze through these openings. Because of this, bumps on the head are common events.
How Head Injuries Occur
Injuries to the head will occur no matter what precautions are taken. Head injuries are inevitable in a vessel or in a shipyard. However, there are times when these injuries are preventable. Many head injuries are due to negligence of vessel owners and other employers. Head injuries can occur due to an unseaworthy condition or when the vessel is not fit for its intended use. Railings and beams that are not secure and pieces of the vessel that come loose and strike a worker in the head are examples of unseaworthy conditions. Head injuries also occur with unsecured crane loads or unsecured falling objects. All of these types of accidents can and should be prevented by the employer. The employer is responsible for ensuring that the vessel is reasonably safe for workers.
Types of Head Injuries
Head injuries can be open or closed. Open head injuries occur when the skull is penetrated or broken. Open head injuries typically occur with fast moving objects penetrating the skull. It is true though that these injuries can be from anything that causes a break in the skull. Closed head injuries happen with a hard blow to the head with a striking object. Closed head injuries can be less serious or more serious than open injuries. Closed head injuries are usually more difficult to diagnose. A concussion is an example of a closed head injury. Head injuries should always be reported immediately to an employer in case a worker needs to prove later that he or she was injured on the job.
Ways to Prevent Head Injuries
To prevent injuries to the head, workers should always wear hard hats where necessary. Be aware of your surroundings and do not walk beneath a crane hoisting a load. Make sure loose loads are secure when a vessel is underway. Following these steps can help to prevent head injuries and keep workers safe.
The Lambert Firm represents victims of head injuries and all maritime accidents. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury on the job, please call The Lambert Firm today to receive a free case evaluation.