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Refrigerant dangers aboard vessels

Sometimes, chemical leaks occur aboard ships. Many different types of systems could potentially be a leak source. One such system are refrigeration systems.

Refrigerants sometimes end up leaking out of vessel refrigeration systems. Such chemicals can be quite hazardous. Ammonia and halocarbons are two types of hazardous chemicals that are sometimes used as refrigerants aboard ships. When a vessel experiences leaks of these sorts of chemicals, it can pose major safety risks to workers, such as chemical exposure risks (being exposed to substantial levels of these types of refrigerants can cause a wide range of health problems) and fire/explosion risks.

As a note, such maintenance and repairs can raise their own worker safety concerns. Specifically, such maintenance and repairs could result in workers having to be in areas where there is a high risk of exposure to a hazardous refrigerant. Thus, it is important for employers of workers who perform maintenance and repair work on vessel refrigeration systems to take proper precautions for protecting their employees, including providing proper protective equipment when their employees will be working in areas with high chemical exposure risks and complying with all federal regulations regarding worker protection.

When a maritime worker is harmed by accidents or exposures involving refrigerants or other chemicals, the process of pursuing appropriate compensation can sometimes be a complicated one. Maritime injury attorneys can help maritime workers hurt as a result of chemical exposures/accidents aboard a ship with navigating the complex tangle of laws that regard maritime accidents and help them understand their options and what the processes are for pursuing such options.

Source: U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, "OSHA Fact Sheet - Hazards during the Repair and Maintenance of Refrigeration Systems on Vessels," Accessed Nov. 25, 2015

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