Commercial diving is an inherently dangerous profession, to say the least. The brave men and women who work as commercial divers understand that risk is part of the job. They are subjected to some of the most challenging conditions of any employment, and to succeed, they have to rely on their training, their colleagues, and other factors that help keep them safe.
However, under these demanding circumstances, commercial diving accidents do frequently occur, leading to severe injuries or even death in the extremes. These accidents can be complicated, in large part because they fall under maritime law. As such, most victims are advised to seek help from a commercial diving accident attorney as soon as the accident occurs.
Having said that, here is a breakdown of some of the facts you need to know about commercial diving accidents and what rights you have after sustaining an injury in a commercial diver accident.
What do Commercial Divers do?
A commercial diver is a maritime worker who works below the surface of the water and utilizes special tools and underwater breathing apparatus to help them navigate the water channels easily. Commercial divers succeed in their daily tasks with the help of a variety of power and hand tools, such as welding equipment and torches.
Commercial divers are tasked with carrying out multiple activities below the water’s surface. Some of these activities, as indicated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, involve:
- Ship and barge inspection and repair
- Salvage operations
- Scientific study
- Dam construction, inspection, and repair
- Maintain Oil platforms
- Bridge construction, inspection, and repair
Dangers Commercial Divers Face
Maritime workers are exposed to various hazards in the workplace, and commercial diving is no different. Even with proper training and skills, demanding circumstances and other factors make commercial diving accidents unavoidable.
Put briefly, commercial diving accidents and injuries may arise as a result of:
- Oxygen toxicity
- Crush injuries
- Welding burns
- Collision with a dive boat
- Propeller cuts
- Decompression sickness
- Injuries caused during marine life encounters such as sharks
Preventing Commercial Diving Accidents in New Orleans, Louisiana
Not all accidents are unavoidable, and some commercial diving accidents may arise from their colleagues’ human errors, negligence, and mistakes. While most accidents lead to non-fatal occupational injuries, others are fatal and, in fact, life-threatening.
That said, here are some of the possible causes of commercial diving accidents and how they can be prevented:
Many types of equipment are involved in underwater exploration. At times, commercial divers end up using defective equipment unknowingly. Consequently, a malfunction resulting from the faulty equipment may occur, leading to a commercial diving accident.
To counter this, divers need to conduct regular checks on their equipment before getting into the water, which will ensure that they are safe and are not at risk of any malfunctions.
Lack of Proper Training
Untrained commercial divers are at risk of sustaining injuries underwater or injuring others. This is because they are unable to recognize physical hazards underwater and, at the same time, lack proper skills to counter any imminent danger.
As such, commercial divers must be appropriately trained and have the necessary experience before they undertake any underwater operations.
Apart from human errors, environmental hazards also contribute to a commercial diving accident. Harsh environmental conditions such as cold deep waters, hostile marine life, and dangerous currents make it hard for commercial divers to navigate underwater easily.
However, with proper skills and training, commercial divers can recognize such conditions and avoid them.
Other causes of commercial diving accidents in New Orleans, Louisiana
- Poor maintenance of equipment
- Failure to follow safety procedures and protocols
Protecting Your Rights after a Commercial Diving Accident in New Orleans, Louisiana
Although commercial diving is a risky undertaking and prone to accidents, most of these accidents are avoidable. Accidents arising from defective equipment and improper maintenance of equipment could have been prevented if the appropriate measures had been taken. But this is not always the case.
If you are a commercial diver who has been injured in an accident, you have the right to file a claim for compensation under the Maritime law. As a maritime worker, you are entitled to compensation that will ensure you recoup all the losses you incurred due to the accident.
The Jones Act is one of the fundamental pieces of legislation that protects seamen who are exposed to harm or danger while working. Commercial divers may qualify for compensation under the Jones Act. However, establishing whether you meet the definition of a seaman can be a daunting task. That’s why you should contact an attorney who is well versed in maritime law.
At The Mahone Firm, we recognize the fact that commercial diving accidents can be devastating, and that’s why we will work to ensure you obtain the compensation you deserve. Contact Mike Mahone today at (504) 564-7342 or send us a message online for a free consultation today.