There is no one right way to train maritime employees. Employers are provided with significant discretion about how to train their own crew members. However, with that discretion comes a responsibility to train crew members in a way that results in a seaworthy voyage and compliance with the law.
As a New Jersey and New York maritime attorney, I believe that there are many ways to properly train maritime workers. But, I also believe that all trainings must be:
- Relevant: the training must be relevant to the voyage and vessel. For example, commercial fishermen off the Northeast coast require different information than seamen transporting gas off the Florida coast. Additionally, all training related to safety gear must relate to the gear that the seamen will have available during the voyage.
- Understandable: the training must be accessible and understandable to seamen. It should not be overly technical. For example, handing a seaman a 1,000 page manual and doing nothing else to train the seaman may be inadequate.
- Timely: the training must be done in a timely fashion. For example, when new safety gear is added to a vessel, training should be completed within a reasonable time and not after several voyages have already been made.
If your employer has failed to provide adequate training for you and you have been hurt as a result, then you may be entitled to damages. Contact a New York and New Jersey Jones Act attorney at 1-800-3-MAY-DAY for more information.