Shipyard workers in Charleston serve an important purpose by ensuring that ships and commercial fleets are able to transport goods and products. Shipyard workers are also often charged with loading and unloading cargo vessels, and ensuring that the goods and products safely reach their destinations.
However, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, working in a shipyard in Charleston can be a dangerous occupation, with estimates showing that shipyard accidents have an injury rate nearly two times as high as the general construction industry.
If you have been injured in a shipyard accident, a Charleston shipyard accident lawyer will be able to help guide you through the difficult process of applying for workers’ compensation benefits. An experienced workers compensation attorney help you determine fault, and whether you should consider a civil suit to recover for your injuries.
Common Shipyard Accidents
Working in a shipyard can be a hazardous working environment even when there are proper safety procedures in place. The very nature of working in a shipyard means workers are often tasked with repairing ships, hauling heavy objects, working with heavy machinery, are often exposed to hazardous and toxic chemicals. A Charleston shipyard accident lawyer can help shipyard workers in Charleston and other South Carolina areas after they experience any of the most common shipyard accidents, including crane accidents, forklift accidents, scaffolding accidents, ladder accidents, slips and falls, exposure to toxic chemical leaks or spills, electrical shocks.
What Types of Injuries Result from Working Hazards?
Because of the hazards of working in a shipyard, not only are accidents common, but injuries are common as well.
Shipyard injuries can include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Lower back injuries
- Head and neck injuries
- Broken bones
- Amputation of limbs, fingers, and toes
- Loss of vision
- Loss of hearing
- Repetitive stress injuries
Shipyard accidents tend to lead to severe injuries, leaving workers out of work for days and weeks. Many shipyard workers struggle to pay their medical bills and meet their financial obligations following a shipyard accident. However, injured Charleston shipyard workers may be entitled to significant compensation for their injuries.
Workers’ Compensation for Shipyard Workers
South Carolina’s workers’ compensation system is designed to provide injured workers with coverage for medical treatment and disability payments for disabilities and impairments resulting from a workplace injury.
While most employees are covered under South Carolina’s Workers’ Compensation Act, shipyard workers may be entitled to more compensation for their injuries under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA), or the Defense Base Act, depending on their status as an employee and whether they are working on a military base.
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act is a federally enacted law that provides many shipyard workers a means of compensation following a workplace accident and injury. The LHWCA provides coverage for a variety of shipyard and maritime workers including:
- Shipyard workers
- Crane operators
- Dock construction workers
- Forklift Operators
- Ship repairers
- Workers disassembling ships
- Sheet Metal Mechanics
- Marine Machinists
- Pipe Welders
- Crane Tenders
Civilian Protection Options
The Defense Base Act (DBA) is another federally enacted law that protects private civilians who are either working outside the United States, those working on a military base, or those working under a contract with the United States government for public works or national defense. Individuals who are injured while working in a shipyard should contact a Charleston shipyard accident lawyer who can help explain the various benefits under each of these systems.
Shipyard workers should be aware that there is only a limited amount of time to file a claim for medical coverage, disability payments, and permanent disability payments under each of these laws. An experienced Charleston shipyard accident lawyer can help ensure that an injured worker’s claim is properly and timely filed, and can help them pursue fair compensation for their injuries.
If you have suffered an injury while working in a shipyard in Charleston or another South Carolina waterfront, a compassionate lawyer understands the difficulties you are facing. If you have suffered a shipyard accident, do not hesitate to contact a Charleston shipyard accident lawyer.