You can watch plenty of reality TV shows about the dangers of working on the water, but maybe you find yourself wondering just how risky it can be. After all, travel by water is ancient. This is something humans have been doing forever, and now we have incredible technology to help keep people safe.
In an age in which we can put a man on the moon, is it really that dangerous to work on the water?
The danger is real
Construction is very dangerous, with all of the fall risks. Working in factories exposes workers to potentially deadly machines. Anyone who drives for a living is constantly surrounded by inexperienced drivers, drunk drivers and distracted drivers.
And yet, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention note that maritime “workers face a higher risk of fatality, injury, and illness than the average American worker.” This is nothing to take lightly.
How many maritime workers are there?
To really understand the level of risk, it is important to know that there are about 400,000 maritime workers in the United States. While the cliche is perhaps a worker on a shipping freighter or a fishing boat, potential fields of work include:
- Working in a shipyard
- Working at a marine terminal
- Working in the seafood processing industry
- Working on a fishing boat
- Working as a commercial diver
- Working in aquaculture
- Working in marine transportation
Frankly, Most have an industry for maritime workers, and while they may be more prominent in coastal states like Louisiana, but it’s a national workforce.
Commercial fishing and water transportation
Two areas with high risks are commercial fishing and water transportation. This may come as no surprise, as the media has really latched onto the idea that commercial fishing is often fatal. They’re not wrong. It’s one of the deadliest jobs in the country. However, water transportation rarely gets the same publicity, despite its similar risks. Studies have shown that the fatality rate in this industry is 4.7 times what you will find when looking at all other workers combined.
Now you can see the true danger of working in the maritime industry. If you suffer a serious injury, or if a loved one passes away in a workplace incident, it is very important to know all of your legal rights.