If you work in a shipyard as a ship breaker, you may be aware of the dangers that your job entails. In fact, shipyard injuries are twice more common than construction injuries, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. During the ship breaking process, old vessels are dismantled to use for scrap metal or to throw away. The process itself can be complicated and challenging. After removing all of the equipment and gear in the old boat, the team cuts away at the ship’s structure. In addition to serious physical injuries, this process may cause certain environmental issues that you as a worker must be careful of while engaging in this dangerous work.

Before the vessel is dismantled, workers must crawl into cargo tanks and make sure they are clean. Workers may be subjected to explosions, fires and falls. They may also be exposed to hazardous gases and materials, such as coal, pesticides, fuel residue, lead paints, preservatives, asbestos, sewage, radioactive materials, cyanide and toxic byproducts. If you are not wearing the proper personal protective equipment, these materials can cause serious respiratory and physical ailments that may cause long-term damage.

Workers have access to very dangerous areas, and people who are not properly trained to work in these areas may be crushed by heavy objects, fall off ledges or be hit by a falling object. When working in these areas, be sure that you are wearing hard hats, and other proper gear to protect you from these hazards.

This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice. 

Paul T. Hofmann
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Focused on personal injury, with an emphasis on maritime, railroad and construction worker tort claims.
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