Unseaworthiness refers to an unsafe condition of a vessel. The vessel owner has a duty to provide a safe work place for their employees. Violations of this employer duty can lead to a lawsuit by a worker who was injured because of the vessel’s unseaworthiness. In these cases, vessels can refer to ships, boats, oil rigs, production platforms, barges, helicopters and moored casino boats. Unseaworthiness generally refers to conditions that could have been avoided by the company.
Examples of unseaworthiness include:
- Use of asbestos or failure to remove asbestos
- Poor design of the vessel which can lead to dangerous conditions or instability in high seas
- Worn out ropes
- Slippery decks and stairways
- Lack of proper scaffolding or safety equipment