How Do Maritime Burn Injuries Occur?

A burn injury at sea can be devastating. The injury can quickly become severe and the pain can be intense while you are many miles from medical help. Accordingly, it is important to know how common burn injuries occur at sea so you can do your best to avoid them. You should also know what to do as soon as an accident occurs.

Why Burns Happen On Board

You are surrounded by water, yet a fire can occur quickly on a vessel as a result of any of the following occurrences:

  • An explosion. Fuel used for the vessel or onboard equipment is combustible and may result in a serious explosion that can quickly cause a fire.
  • An engine room fire. The engine equipment can malfunction and ignite, creating a dangerous situation.
  • Equipment malfunctions. Other equipment used in the course of your work on your ship can malfunction and start a fire. Anyone near the incident is at risk for being burned.
  • An electrical accident. Any electrical equipment may spark or start a fire.
  • A kitchen accident. The risk of a burn is as great in a ship’s galley as it is in your home kitchen. However, the close quarters on board may increase the risk of fire and injury.

What to Do If You’ve Been Burned at Sea

Your vessel should have emergency first aid equipment on board. Immediate first aid will prevent the burn from worsening and help you manage your pain until you can get back to shore. If the burn is severe and requires emergency medical treatment, do not hesitate to radio for help. Once you are back on shore, you should get prompt medical attention and follow your doctors’ orders.

If you were burned on board ship while working at sea due to faulty equipment or a lack of safety equipment, you may be able to recover damages from your employer. Call us to find out if how we can help.

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