Lifting Injuries

A male worker experiencing lower back pain at work in an industrial warehouse.


Maritime Lifting Injuries

“Lifting” can sound like a simple job description at first, but it’s one of the most frequent tasks a maritime worker can perform – and one of the most dangerous, under the wrong conditions.

The sort of lifting done in maritime work can often involve dangerously heavy objects, often of irregular sizes or containing sensitive materials. This lifting needs to be done properly, under the correct circumstances and using the correct methods – circumstances and training which needs to be provided by your employer and/or the owner of your vessel before the work is performed. 

Injuries from improper lifting are among the most common sources of injury for workers across the world, and maritime work is no exception.


Maritime Injuries from Heavy Lifting

Some of the most commonly seen maritime injuries from lifting and/or heavy lifting include, but are not limited to:

  • Shoulder injuries – torn rotator cuffs, shoulder sprains
  • Lower back injuries – slipped discs, lumbar damage
  • Back injuries – microtears in the muscle or spinal cord injuries
  • Crushing injuries from heavy objects being dropped on hands, feet, or other body parts
  • Nerve damage resulting in partial or complete paralysis
  • Chronic strains caused by repetitive motions

These injuries can be devastating in many cases, and may result in a loss of ability to earn income – or even a loss of life.


Causes of Heavy Lifting Injuries in Maritime Work

The source of a heavy lifting injury can take many forms, and in some cases may not even be immediately obvious at first, such as:

  • Forced repetitive motions without time for breaks/rest
  • Lifting from an awkward position, such as a box that has been put away incorrectly
  • Negligent or distracted crewmates (potentially under the influence of alcohol)
  • Inadequate safety features such as handholds, strong gloves, or weight belts
  • Overly-heavy cargo, weighted beyond designated safety standards
  • Lack of support for items requiring more than one person to move

Many of these conditions can be created by a lack of diligence on the part of the vessel’s owner, and can be considered negligence in certain circumstances.


What If I Was Injured Through Heavy Lifting At Sea?

If you or a loved one have suffered an injury thanks to heavy lifting at sea, the maritime lawyers of O’Bryan Law can help. Contact us today with the details of your case and we can help you fight for justice against even the biggest shipowners.