Dredge workers face a variety of hazards as they deepen or maintain existing channels in shallow and inland waters. Luckily, the majority of individuals working on dredging vessels are protected by the Jones Act, a federal regulation that offers financial compensation to injured seamen.
A dredge worker’s main task is to suction material from the base of harbors, rivers and channels. Often, large materials found in the sand and mud will not fit through these suction tubes, prompting dredge workers to loosen large debris in the pipeline by hand. Unfortunately, this dangerous action leaves dredge workers susceptible to hand and arm injuries.
Dredging equipment is also used in several maritime occupations. Many commercial fishermen use clam dredges, trawlers and scallop rakes, which can also cause serious injuries. Dredges often have sharp edges, which can lead to amputations for those assigned to use or repair the equipment. Dredges that are mounted on sea vessels also pose a danger. Workers who operate these dredges face the same injuries as bulldozer drivers, with the additional hazards of working underwater.
Because the majority of dredge workers are covered by the Jones Act, compensation may be granted if they are injured or killed on the job. They may recover lost wages, future wages and medical bills. Contact a maritime attorney today if you are a dredge worker who has been hurt on the job.