As important as technology may be to the modern economy, when things must be moved from A to B, human labor is often required. The physical loading and unloading of trucks, trains, and planes is the reason the shelves stay stocked at your local supermarket and why you have gas in your car and heat in your home. But when it comes to imports and exports, there is one mode of shipping that dwarfs all the rest.
Did you know that merchant shipping accounts for around 90 percent of international trade? It is the lifeblood of the global economy and has been for centuries now. The enormous industry has been made infinitely more expeditious and efficient by new techniques and technologies. But loading and unloading these massive shipping barges still requires a human hand.
Whether you call them longshoremen or stevedores, these dockworkers are responsible for preparing and receiving large shipments of goods. They generally ply their trade at major ports and wharfs and work long, exhausting shifts that involve a lot of manual labor. With that said, longshoremen make a pretty good living. The average hourly rate for a dockworker is around 30 dollars, which is four times the national minimum wage.
Why do they make so much?
To begin with, most longshoremen do a lot more than simply load and unload cargo. They also operate heavy machinery and help repair ships and bridges and other structures. Not to mention the fact that their job is any incredibly dangerous one. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 350 dockworkers are seriously injured in on-the job accidents each year in America, making it one of the riskiest professions in the nation.
About twenty percent of all shipyard fatalities are related to the loading and unloading of cargo vessels, according to industry reports. Most involve slip and falls, drowning, or machine-related accidents. Slippery work environments are arguably the number one concern, since they cause a disproportionate number of these accidents and they are almost impossible to address. You simply cannot keep a dock dry due its proximity to the water. The best you can do is to make sure that your employees have the right gear. But even so, slip and falls will invariably occur.
When to contact a Fort Lauderdale longshoremen injury lawyer
With some of the busiest commercial ports in the nation, dock accidents are quite common in the state of Florida. Although many laws have been enacted to protect maritime workers from injuries and financial loss, it is important to seek legal counsel if you are injured on the job. Whether the accident was caused by a slippery dock, faulty machinery, or the negligence of another, a Fort Lauderdale longshoremen injury lawyer can help you receive the damages you are entitled to.
What are they?
As a group, most dockworkers understand that accidents are a part of the job. And when they do befall them, most longshoremen aren’t looking to get rich because they were hurt at work. They simply don’t want to be taken advantage of or exploited when they are injured through no fault of their own. At the very least, an injured longshoreman should seek compensation for his medical bills and lost wages and possibly something extra for the pain and suffering he experienced, if the accident was the result of gross negligence.
What does that mean?
When an employer is aware of a potentially dangerous working condition, whether it be a faulty machine or a slippery surface, and does nothing to address that issue in a timely manner, he is mostly likely guilty of negligence if someone gets hurt as a result. All your attorney has to do to prove negligence is interview a few of your coworkers and establish that your boss knew about the issue and did not rectify it, thereby creating an unsafe workplace.
To schedule your free consultation today with one of our longshoremen or Fort Lauderdale uninsured motorist lawyers today, please dial (954) 784–6310. You can also fill out and submit the form on our homepage and one of our attorneys will contact you directly.