What Happens When You’re Hurt While Working on the Docks?
- Dan T. Matrafajlo
- Wed Aug 2017
- Workers Compensation,
You already know that it’s a big deal to get a job on the docks. Whether you’re working at Port Newark or Port Elizabeth, you are grateful for finding employment that everyone else wants. Then, one day it happens. Someone operating a forklift goes into reverse and accidentally hits you. You fall to the floor in agony. What happens if you’re hurt at one of the dock terminals?
First things first. You should know that all New Jersey employees are covered for work injuries. In your case, you may be a longshoreman. Like many workers, your accident must be reported to OSHA. The purpose? To ensure the incident is investigated to determine how your accident happened. Additionally, there’s the hope of preventing future accidents of a similar nature.
Unlike some other types of employees, you may be covered under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA). Therefore it is important to speak with an experienced workers compensation attorney to see if you are due benefits under this Act or under New Jersey workers’ compensation law.
Dock Workers Injured on the Job
Dock workers at both the Port Newark and the Port Elizabeth may find that their job puts them at greater risk for injury than the average type of employee. Handling, loading and unloading cargo, as well as working around dangerous equipment greatly increases the need for care while working, as well as the risk of injury. Here are some examples:
- Tearing and breaking down stowed cargo – When cargo is being stacked or removed, there is always a possibility of some level of injury. Employers should have protective measures in place to safeguard the workers, but accidents can still happen.
- Roll-on and roll-off operations – Any time cargo is loaded or unloaded, there is a greater risk of injury.
- Utilization of cargo elevators – improper use or maintenance can result in accidents and injuries.
- Handling of hazardous cargo – The cargo itself, such as chemicals and solvents, can present a danger from exposure.
- Falling Objects – Workers are at risk of being struck by falling objects, such as tools, equipment, debris and even crane loads.
- Faulty tools and equipment – If tools and equipment are not properly maintained, they present a serious safety risk.
- Vehicle accidents – Any vehicle utilized at dockside poses a threat to workers, particularly when used in unmarked pathways or in the presence of other employees.
- Exposure – Working outdoors can result in illnesses brought on by exposure to rain, heat, cold and the hazards of precipitation such as snow and ice.
Think you have a claim?
If you suffered an injury while working at Port Elizabeth or Port Newark, it is your right to seek compensation from your employer to protect your health, family, and livelihood. If a loved one died while working on the docks, you might also be able to seek a claim.
We can help. Call the Law Offices of Beninato & Matrafaljo to review information concerning your accident. There is no cost to meet with us.