Avoiding those slips, trips and falls when you're afloat on a boat
Are you planning to take to the waves this year? Whether you favour fighting a Force 10 in a 3-masted schooner or cruising gently around the Med, there are things you need to know if you're to avoid the headaches of making a personal injury
Growing knowledge of waterborne accidents over the past 2 decades has enabled experts to identify the main marine threats and consequences faced by expert enthusiasts and casual beginners alike.
It's estimated there are 7 primary risk hazards, 76 common threats which could cause accidents if not contained, and 450 controls that should be in place.
Of these, slips, trips and falls represent nearly a 3rd of all the big personal injury claims
submitted in the UK over the last 10 years. And they've led to personal injury compensation claims in the millions.
Slips, trips and falls when at sea can mean injury or even death, with individual carelessness often to blame for a tragedy. Every incident, from minor mishap to major trauma, shows that when you're moving around on-board or even mooring a ship or a boat, you need to be alert
– these activities are a lot harder than if you're on dry land.
Yet it's not just carelessness or immediate human error that's the cause of so many accidents. Lack of nautical training and awareness can take its toll, as can unfamiliarity with a vessel's layout.
What if you work on a ship or boat? Design flaws which make it difficult to do your job properly can put you in a hazardous situation over which you've no control.
The costs of personal injury claims
– not to mention the human suffering involved – mean that all the reasons behind on-board slips, trips and falls have to be thoroughly understood if they're to be controlled and prevented.
If you're working at height or with potentially dangerous machinery and you've no training in doing so, try and obtain help from someone who has. And make sure you're wearing the right gear.
Simply keeping your eyes open when you're aboard can go a long way to spotting what could go wrong and cause accidents. If you're an experienced seafarer, you'll probably know what to do. But the relaxed regulation of the modern world offers up so many more opportunities to try new things – and not everyone is a salty sea-dog.
So read those manuals, get the clothing, obtain the offshore charts and make sure you listen to the shipping forecasts – they could be the difference between the exhilaration of the sea breeze and the pain of the personal injury claim.