Dense fog, sudden gales and major storms at sea are among the most significant causes of fishing accidents. Having the potential to cause vessels to capsize, get grounded or become lost, bad weather is often also known to cause collisions. Heavy storms and rough seas can also damage hulls, causing vessels to sink, or result in deck fittings becoming loose.
Consequences of bad weather
It is clear that the risk of accidents at work on fishing vessels leading to potentially serious, even fatal personal injuries is significantly increased by bad weather. Poorly maintained or non-existent weather warning and radio communication systems further increase the potential of serious injuries at work. Taking the necessary precautions to prevent such casualties is subsequently of utmost importance.
Preventing casualties at sea
The first steps to preventing work injuries caused by bad weather is to ensure vessels are in good, solid condition, monitoring weather conditions and refraining from heading out to sea when bad weather is forecast. Other measures to prevent crew members being injured at work during bad weather include:
- Providing personal protective clothing, including water-resistant, insulated and close-fitting work clothes and buoyancy gear
- Ensuring both radio communication and weather warning systems are installed and maintained in good working order at all times
- Securing deck fittings adequately to prevent accidental injuries by loosened equipment
- Bringing in nets, etc, and securing them properly as quickly as possible
- Remaining below deck as much as possible to prevent being swept overboard by waves or high winds
- Providing well-maintained rescue equipment like life savers and inflatable lifeboats to ensure crews are not exposed to prolonged periods in freezing water.
Naturally, it is essential to head for shelter as swiftly as possible under the given conditions.
Claiming for compensation
If you sustained a work-related injury because these precautions were not taken, you may qualify for work injury compensation. You can find out whether you are entitled to claim by contacting Accident Advice Helpline.
About the company
Accident Advice Helpline is a law firm that was established in 2000 to assist victims of accidents caused by someone else to get the compensation they deserve. Calls to Accident Advice Helpline are free and can be made at any time every day of the year. Claims for industrial injury compensation are handled by the company’s experienced injury solicitors on a no win no fee* basis.
Date Published: September 30, 2014
Author: Accident Advice