This week, the Coast Guard evacuated a seaman from a chemical tanker in Galveston Fairway Anchorage near Galveston, Texas. According to the Coast Guard, watchstanders received a report that a crewman aboard the tank ship had suffered an injury after attempting to lift a heavy object. A helicopter was dispatched. The man was successfully hoisted off the tank ship, the Eagle Toledo, and was transported to the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. There is little information about this man's injury, but from whatever information is available, it seems that he suffered a back injury while attempting to lift a heavy object. These kinds of injuries are exceedingly common in the maritime environment. Seamen may be expected to perform plenty of lifting, carrying, pushing and hauling activities during the course of a single day. Even the most experienced maritime worker can suffer a muscle strain or sprain in the back. There may be other more serious injuries including ruptured disks, that can be characterized by severe and persistent pain. Back injuries are the most common injuries that seamen face. Unfortunately, maritime insurance companies often try to downplay the significance of back injuries and treat these as minor. Just about every human being has suffered a back ache at some point in his or her life, and insurers may try to use this to show that a worker's injuries are minor. For a maritime worker, a back injury that is severe, chronic and constant, can mean the end of his career. It can mean no more lifting activities, which means you can perform hardly any duties on a vessel. If you're a maritime worker with a back injury, you likely have questions about the impact of this injury on your career and your future employment. Consult with a maritime attorney at my office for a free initial evaluation of your case. You don't have to pay anything to speak with us. Image Courtesy: Flickr – wirralwater
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