Working on a tugboat might not sound that dangerous, but it is highly labor-intensive. There are many inherent dangers for those who work in maritime occupations, specifically when they work on tugboats. Several factors are at play when you work on a tugboat, like the potential for the tugboat to collide with a marine ship, cables becoming entangled, and other situations that put people at high risk for injury. 

The risk of death and injury is much greater for those who work in maritime occupations, including those who work on tugboats, which is why maritime law dictates what a person who works on a vessel or tugboat is entitled to when or if they are injured, regardless of who is at fault.

According to a maritime attorney in Houston, in the maritime industry, there are very strict safety measures that must be adhered to. One slip-up could lead to disaster and in some instances, death. Things like weather conditions and other things outside the worker’s control weigh heavily on their safety, which is why there are such stringent protocol measures in place to try and lessen the potential for injury.

Even when protocol is followed, some accidents still occur when people are working on tugboats -- and they happen frequently. Crew members on vessels and tugboats face a higher risk of death and injury than individuals who work in other industries. When injuries and damages do happen, the hazards can be far-reaching, including loss of property and severe injuries. 

Those who work on the sea, including tugboat operators, are not guided by the same workers’ compensation stipulations as in other occupations; they are instead guided by maritime law. So when they are injured, they have a different set of compensatory damages that they can recover. When an accident does occur, those who work in maritime occupations are able to sue for injuries regardless of fault or the circumstances surrounding the incident itself.

Who is eligible to receive compensation in a tugboat injury?

Workers in the fishing industry are at the highest risk for injuries due to the type of work they do and the treacherous nature of their job. Tools such as winches and lines are highly dangerous, and in a split second, serious and long-lasting injuries can happen. Even though it’s a dangerous occupation, as the saying goes, “someone has to do it,” which is why there are special allowances afforded to those who work on tugboats and other boats. 

Safety Standards

For every occupation, there are specific standards of care and safety measures that are implemented according to the standards of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration or OSHA,. The United States Coast Guard has implemented several measures that seek to minimize injury and death for those who work at sea. 

Unfortunately, those guidelines aren’t always followed. There are times when those who own and operate a tugboat or marine vessel aren’t all that concerned with the safety of their members, and someone can get hurt. Not adhering to the standard of practices on a vessel or a tugboat can lead to the vessel owner being liable for negligence. Unlike other injuries, when you are hurt on a vessel or tugboat, you can sue your employer for damages according to maritime law.

Compensation for injuries

The ability to pursue compensation includes both, those who are injured and those who lose their life through various incidents at sea. The owners of a ship or vessel, including tugboats, have an obligation to protect the wellbeing of those who work for them. If a worker is injured, the onus to care for the employee befalls the employer, and they might become liable for any damages or ensuing injuries. The employee does not need to be at fault to recover for damages, according to maritime law.

If you are injured on a tugboat, then you might have the ability to sue your employer to receive fair compensation for your injuries. In the same respect, if you lose a loved one due to a tugboat injury, you might be eligible for compensatory damages. The best way to ensure that you receive what you are entitled to is to consult a lawyer who specializes in maritime law.