Working on the water has its benefits: no stuffy offices, great views, and plenty of room to stretch your legs. But as the seasons change, the difficulties of working on a dredging vessel also change, possibly putting you at risk of injury.
Autumn’s arrival can signal drastic changes to safety that affect a vessel’s entire crew. Many boaters and dredging vessel crew members may not know how to–or weren’t trained to–properly adjust to the seasonal changes.
At Lapeze & Johns, we want all of our dredge workers in the Rio Grande Valley to stay safe while out dredging during the fall season. Be sure to look out for the following when going out to your next dredging job.
The Dark Creeps Up Faster During the Fall
Ship crews lose a large portion of that bright sky once Autumn sets in. The times for sunset drop back an hour–sometimes two, depending on your location–sooner than you’d expect.
Avoid any nighttime trouble by making sure your vessel has proper lighting and a robust sound system so you can warn other ships out on the sea of your presence. Not only that, but it’s vital to have those systems in place to get the necessary attention in the event of an emergency.
The Winds Are Stronger
Sailors should beware the earlier months of fall, as they occur in the dead of hurricane season. While the odds of actually running into a hurricane out there are slim, it’s still important to check the wind speed.
Wind speeds pick up in the fall, which can shift your boat’s path and cause you to lose your balance on when out on the deck. This makes falling into the water that much more of a real threat, as standard dredging equipment includes a high powered suction system that could prove instantly fatal.
The Water is More Lethal
As the temperatures cause the mercury to dip lower and lower, the water follows suit. The water temperatures in the month of October are still fairly safe; however, should you fall into the water, your breathing can suffer once the temperatures fall below 77 degrees Fahrenheit, which usually happens in November.
Major risks manifest when the temperature of the ocean slips below 70 degrees come December. Cold stress and hypothermia can also set in even if the air is around 40 degrees.
Take caution to wear the necessary equipment to aid your breathing and body temperature just in case you take an accidental fall into the water.
Negligence Out in the Deep Blue Sea
Around the holidays, anyone on a vessel can expect a massive increase in boat activity around most of the major passageways.
Unfortunately, these holidays are also notorious for drunk drivers, even out on the water. Crane operators who have had a few too many also pose a serious risk of injury to other people on board a dredging vessel.
To ensure the safety of all dredge workers on a vessel, strict company policies should be implemented that ban the use of illegal substances. Random drug tests can further help curb the use of such illegal substances on a dredging vessel.
At the same time, not only must these policies must be enforced, they must also take into consideration if any dredge worker takes prescription medication that can cause issues while piloting a vessel or operating equipment. Appropriate staffing and schedule changes must be made to ensure the safety of all those on board.
McAllen Dredger Accident Attorneys You Can Trust
If you’ve suffered damages from someone else’s negligence on a dredger, you can still find help.