Dredging is vital to the American economy as it keeps our ports, docks and water ways open and accessible. Dredging has allowed for more shipping traffic than has ever been available in the US. This makes working on a dredge vital to the economies in many areas along the US coast, including ports in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. Unfortunately, while extremely important, this work can also be highly dangerous. In many instances, working on a dredge vessel can be among the most hazardous jobs in the maritime industry.

It is difficult enough to dig a wide and deep channel. Add the complication of: (1)having to dig the channel underwater; (2) having to synchronize the movement of a small fleet of boats, barges and specialized vessels; (3) Having to work in an area where there is ongoing maritime traffic; (4) having to work on a tight time to finish to job so that the waterway, port or dock can be freely used as soon as possible; and (5) having to transport tons and tons of silt and sediment over large distance over land and sea. Add weather and tide to these factors, and it is obvious that a dredging company must be very careful to ensure that the necessary equipment is available and properly maintained, the job is planned properly and the supervisors and qualified and properly trained.

Dredge Accidents and the Jones Act

Most dredge workers are considered Jones Act Seaman and are covered by the Jones Act. As Jones Act Seaman, these dredge workers have special rights and benefits that most workers that work on land are not entitled to. These laws are complex and specialized. An injured dredge worker should not try to handle his claim himself, nor should he hire a lawyer that does not specialize in Jones Act or Maritime Law. The lawyers at Simon & O’Rourke Law Firm, PC have over thirty years of experience representing dredge workers. Some of the job titles of dredge workers we have represented are:

  • Deckhand
  • Mate
  • Captain
  • Second captain
  • Dredge operator
  • Tender boat operator
  • Crane operator
  • Booster operator
  • Engineer

Why Workers Need A Dredge Accident Injury Attorney

The dredge owners have their, adjusters, insurance carriers, and a team of attorneys on their side. These people are trained, experienced and dedicated to protecting the dredge company when an accident occurs. An injured worker needs an experienced, tenacious, and dedicated team on his side as well. Simon & O’Rourke, PC can be this team for you. We will not be outworked by any team the dredge company has. We will work hard and use our decades of experience to ensure that you and your family are protected and that you receive all the benefits that you are entitled to, including the settlement that you deserve.

Contact us today to schedule a no-cost, no-obligation consultation. We can discuss your case, develop a strategy, and get you the money you need to get back on your feet.

If you were injured while working for a dredging company, you need to contact a qualified Jones

Causes of Dredge Accident Injuries

Mechanical Failure

With so much activity aboard dredges and all their support vessels, when the owners of the vessels do not always keep to a strict maintenance schedule on their equipment. The equipment can be overworked, worn out or rusted and corroded and simply breakdown. A slight mechanical issue can turn into a catastrophic accident and leave workers at risk for serious injury.

Fatigue and Long Hours

The risk of heavy machinery breaking down is not the only hazard with which dredge vessel workers must contend. Many dredge workers must work twelve hour shifts for as many as fourteen to twenty-eight days in a row without a day off. This creates a dangerous work environment in which a working too tired to safely do his job and create the risk where he or his coworkers can be injured.

Inadequate Support

Many specialized vessels have to work together in a dredging operation such as tender boats, anchor barges, crane barges, boosters, pontoons and sometimes, multiple dredges. The demanding nature of all these vessels working together can leave workers without adequate support. This lack of support can come from a lack of proper supervision, poor training, or working on a “skeleton crew” without enough support staff. When vessel owners fail to provide their workers with adequate support, any one of these factors can lead to accidents that can leave workers with serious injuries.

Types of Dredge Accidents

Several types of accidents can occur aboard dredges and their support vessels. Any one of these can cause serious injuries, or even death. Most of these can be prevented when dredge owners take the proper precautions.

Dredge Accidents and the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act

In 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that dredge vessels fall under the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA), a federal law that “provides for the payment of compensation, medical care, and vocational rehabilitation services to employees disabled from on the job injuries that occur on the navigable waters of the United States.” The ruling means that workers on dredge vessels are entitled to the same compensation as workers on any other type of maritime vessel.

Dredge Accidents and the Jones Act

Many workers on dredge vessels are also entitled to protections under the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, also known as the “Jones Act”. The Jones Act allows injured workers to sue the vessel’s owners if their injuries could be attributed to the owner’s negligence. A knowledgeable dredge accident injury attorney can assess an injured worker’s case and determine if they are eligible for these protections.

Why Workers Need A Dredge Accident Injury Attorney

The vessel owners have their insurance carrier and a team of attorneys on their side. Workers need an experienced, tenacious, and dedicated team on their side. A seasoned dredge accident injury attorney can stand up in court for an injured