Ladder and Step Accidents
Maritime Injury Accidents Aboard Ship on Steps and Ladders
Many seamen and fisherman are needlessly injured aboard ships each year in accidents involving falls on ship’s ladders and stairs. In fact, ladder and stair accidents are one of the leading causes of accidents aboard ship. Proper design and maintenance of ladders and stairs would have prevented many of these accidents from happening. Stairs and ladders should be equipped with proper handholds, railings, rungs, and non-slip surfaces. When steps and ladders are unreasonably dangerous, the vessel may be found unseaworthy, and the employer negligent. Your employer owes each of its seamen a duty to provide a safe place to work and a seaworthy vessel.
Stairs must have adequate width and should be even and uniform in rise and run. Ship construction standards recommend stairs have a width of 11 inches. Steps that have non uniform heights and widths may present an unreasonable risk of injury. OHSA and ASTM standards also provide guidance as to proper shipbuilding standards as it applies to ship’s ladders and stairs.
Stacey & Jacobsen, PLLC is one of the most experienced maritime personal injury law firms in the Nation. They have represented thousands of injured seamen, and recovered millions of dollars in compensation for their clients through out the county. In many cases involving ladder and stair accidents, before the injured seaman can inspect the accident scene with his lawyer and an engineering expert, the steps are changed, altered, painted or repaired. If you have been seriously injured in a fall on shipboard steps or ladders, you should take photographs and measurements as soon as possible, and ask the vessel owner to preserve the evidence.