Aging Ohio River Infrastructure Creates New Risks for Workers
The Ohio River is a crucial shipping waterway in the Midwest with more than 50 million tons of cargo passing through annually. Thousands of workers are employed to assist in the transport of goods, and to ensure safe travel of boats and barges up and down the Ohio.
However, due to the crumbling Ohio river infrastructure of existing dams, locks, river piers, platforms and docks, many workers are at risk of serious injury at the workplace.
Each year portions of the Ohio River are closed to barge traffic when dams and locks fail to function, or keep up with the huge amount of shipping traffic. Overloading issues and overworked transport staff may lead to injuries and workplace deaths.
When dams and locks and other equipment is damaged, employees find themselves at a heightened risk of injury. With some of the dams and locks almost 100 years old, this is becoming more of a common occurrence with each passing year.
The Army Corps of Engineers officials routinely warn that much of the Ohio River infrastructure is at risk of failure. Barge operators also say this continuing problem is caused by a lack of funding.
A lack of federal funding means old dams and locks break down and require more frequent servicing, disrupting river traffic, and raises the risk of workplace injury. Recreational boaters may also be affected, and find the river less safe as a result of disrupted commercial traffic.
Types of Serious Workplace Injuries
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recorded over 4,600 fatal work injuries in the United States at last count. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has noted that up to 50 percent of all industry fatalities are caused in part by heavy equipment like equipment found around dams and river locks. Some common injuries may include:
- Crush Injuries
- Spinal Injuries
- Bone Fractures
- Burn Injuries
- Orthopedic Trauma
- Fall Injuries
Ohio River Accident Lawsuits
Large transport companies and government institutions have a responsibility to provide workers with safe working environments. When they fail to protect workers, they must compensate employees and families for the damage they have caused.
Workers at Ohio River dams and locks, and other river workplaces who have been injured or developed health issues may have claims against their former or current employers. Do not hesitate to seek medical and professional legal assistance.
If you or a loved one suffered an Ohio River workplace injury, and have questions about the legal remedies available to improve quality of life and medical care in Ohio, contact The Lyon Firm (800) 513-2403. You will speak directly with Mr. Lyon, and he will help you answer these critical questions.