The fishing industry requires all kinds of workers to remain afloat, from the fishermen who bring in the catch to the packers who prepare the stock for delivery. If you prepare fish for the freezing and packing process on a trawler or fish processing vessel, your injury may qualify you for benefits under the Jones Act.
Common Types of Fish Processing Injuries
Many fishermen, packers, and deckhands suffer serious injuries every year as a result of vessel hazards and unsafe working conditions. An injury at sea is likely to be fatal, but those who survive often have permanent disabilities that significantly limit their ability to earn a living.
The most common injuries among fishermen and workers who process fish include:
- Back and neck injuries. Long hours lifting heavy seafood boxes can cause irreparable damage to the spine, while the repetitive motions of bending and leaning over fish to be cleaned can put undue stress on the neck. As a result, commercial fishermen may suffer herniated discs, pinched nerves, and other painful back and neck conditions.
- Lacerations and puncture wounds. The process of slicing, skinning, and gutting fish often causes cuts or penetrating wounds from blades, bones, and fish spines. A minor laceration on the hand can result in an infection caused by exposure to bacteria or parasites on the fish.
- Fractures. Bone fractures in the arms and legs are especially common on fish processing vessels due to falls on slippery decks, conveyor belt accidents, struck-by injuries, and crush injuries.
- Amputations. Vessels that process fish and other seafood products are equipped with heavy machinery, including augers, presses, bait choppers, and automatic deheaders to remove fish heads and tails. An overworked employee may accidentally lose a finger or even a hand due to automatic cutting tools.
If you or someone you love has been hurt at sea, the maritime injury attorneys at Hofmann & Schweitzer can determine who may be liable for the accident and what you are owed under the law. Call 1-800-3-MAY-DAY today or download your complimentary copy of Are You a Seaman Injured in a Maritime Accident? Know Your Rights.