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Injuries and illnesses prevalent among shipyard workers

On Behalf of | Jul 21, 2020 | Workers' Compensation

Georgia residents who work on a shipyard should be aware of the dangers they face. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that there are some 165,000 shipyard workers spread out across 26 states. Between 2011 and 2017, the fatality rate was 4.0 per 100,000 shipyard workers with a total of 45 fatal accidents occurring. This is higher than the fatality rate for all U.S. workers in general.

As for the non-fatal injury/illness rate between those years, it came to 5,370 per 100,000 people. This is nearly double the rate for U.S. workers when taken altogether. It’s understandable that shipyard workers would be so prone to injury or illness as they engage in welding, cutting steel, machining, electrical work and cleaning up fuel residue.

Welding fumes, paints, fuels and asbestos can all cause harm upon inhalation. Lead exposure and smoke inhalation, among other things, will lead to respiratory illnesses. Respiratory cancers are more common among shipyard workers and, in particular, welders. Welders and electricians working around nuclear-powered vessels raise their risk for leukemia.

The physical hazards are many: extreme temperatures, noise pollution, continual vibrations and the risk for ergonomic injuries due to being in an awkward body position for prolonged periods. Working at a great height is another danger faced in the industry. Under workers’ compensation law, workers who incur an injury or a chronic illness are eligible for benefits. Filing the claim can be difficult, especially since employers often deny payment, so it may be wise to hire a lawyer for assistance.

With Steven Morgan, clients can receive personal attention at every step of the filing process. Unlike other lawyers, Mr. Morgan does not hand over files to a case manager. Call today or simply walk on in to consult one-on-one with Mr. Morgan.