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Electrical accidents aboard maritime vessels

One of the types of work that is sometimes performed aboard maritime vessels is electrical work, such as electrical repairs. As with other types of maritime work, dangers can arise for workers in relation to electrical work aboard ships. One such type of danger is the risk of electrical accidents.

Examples of electrical accidents that can occur in relation to electrical work on maritime vessels include:

  • Electric arcs.
  • Arc flashes (heat/light releases related to electric arcs).
  • Arc blasts (explosive releases of molten material related to electric arcs).
  • Electric shocks.

Many things can impact how likely such accidents are to occur in relation to shipboard electrical work, such how well-trained the workers performing the work are, the condition of the electrical equipment being worked on, the condition and type of tools used in the work and what type of prep work was done prior to the electrical work. Thus, there are many different things that can be an important part of electrical accident prevention aboard vessels, including: workers being properly trained on electrical work they are assigned to do, workers who are performing electrical work being given appropriate safety equipment, steps being taken to ensure the tools being used in electrical work are the right ones for the job and in proper condition and proper testing being performed prior to electrical work being conducted.

Included among the injuries maritime workers can suffer in relation to shipboard electrical accidents are burns, concussions, struck-by-object injuries, fall injuries and ear drum injuries.

Maritime workers who suffer these injuries or others in shipboard electrical accidents have rights. An important thing to note though is that these rights can be impacted by what actions the worker takes after their accident. Thus, following suffering a harmful shipboard electrical accident or other shipboard accident, a maritime worker should consider promptly speaking with an experienced maritime injuries attorney for guidance on what to do, and not to do, following their accident.

Source: U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, "Shipboard Electrical Hazards," Accessed Jan. 7, 2016 

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