Maritime workers in Washington State, Alaska and across the United States are at risk of injuries based simply on the type of work they do and where they do it. Being on the water can be dangerous. Fishing boats and other offshore endeavors require the use of heavy equipment, teamwork, trusting employers to ensure the workplace is safe and maintenance crews to do their jobs.
Accidents are a common way in which fishermen and maritime employees are injured and lose their lives. However, even if there is not an accident while on the job, maintenance and repairs can be done in the wrong way leading to fires and other problems. Recently, this was found to have been the case after an investigation into a fire on an offshore supply vessel. Such an error could happen on any boat and workers should be cognizant of it.
NTSB report blames wrong sized bearing for engine issue and subsequent fire
A fire in an engine room that caused more than $1 million in damage to an OSV in 2022 was blamed on a wrong sized bearing being used. An engine failed leading to the fire. This happened during a sea trial.
The diesel generator engines received maintenance a few months earlier and they were tested in open waters. While this was taking place, the crew heard a noise and saw flames by one engine. They put out the fire before anyone was hurt.
According to the National Transportation Safety Board, the workers who conducted the service failed to identify the correct bearing number and used the wrong kind to replace it. This was the catalyst for a leak, a spike in the temperature of other parts and the subsequent fire.
Although the reason for the fire was discovered and no one was injured, this should be worrisome to maritime workers whose ships are reliant on proper repairs and maintenance using the right parts and equipment.
When there is a fire and people are injured or lose their lives, it is imperative that the entire case be investigated fully to determine the cause. Those who made missteps should be held responsible and workers duly compensated for their injuries, lost income and more.
Maritime accidents need to be fully investigated with professional assistance
It is vital to have assistance that is tailored specifically to these types of accidents and incidents. That means contacting professionals who have a wealth of experience investigating maritime accidents, helping injured workers get the maximum in pay to which they are entitled, having their medical expenses covered and for families be protected if there is a fatality.
Maritime workers place their trust in their employers. When repairs and maintenance are not done correctly with – as in the above example – the wrong type of components used, it can place everyone in jeopardy.
Consulting with professionals who are well-versed in these matters and other aspects of maritime cases such as the Jones Act, maintenance and cure, unseaworthiness, medical negligence at sea, workers’ compensation and more can make a major difference in a positive outcome.