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How to Prevent Fires in Maritime Accidents

Oct 4, 2014 - Articles - by Dodson & Hooks, APLC

Many people in Louisiana and throughout the Gulf region make their living working on boats or oil rigs. Whether it is a small fishing boat or an offshore drilling platform, there are many dangers that may arise. The BP oil spill highlights how quickly some of these problems can become too big to handle, and result in death and serious injuries for workers.

When one of these maritime accidents happens, officials want to know what caused the accident. They want to understand why the accident occurred, and how they can take the necessary steps to prevent the accident from happening in the future.

Fire is one of the greatest dangers facing workers on ships and oil rigs. They can be caused by almost anything – oily rags, bacteria, pressure build-up or explosions are just some of the things that may lead to a destructive fire.

Many of these occupations rely heavily upon machinery to perform essential job functions. When they break down, maintenance must be performed right away. Time spent not working is lost production and profit, meaning that everyone is losing money. This could mean that safety takes a backseat, which can put all individuals onboard at risk. This could result in a bad situation becoming much worse, because it can take a long time for rescue personnel to reach the vessel or rig. It is often up to the crew to address any issues that arise. Fires often spread very quickly, leaving individuals with little time to escape.

So, what can be done to prevent these fires from occurring? Even the most experienced crews may find themselves having to deal with a fire or explosion. It is important that all safety procedures are posted and followed, and that everyone on board knows what to do in the event of an accident. Precious time could be lost if people do not know what they need to do should a fire occur.

Some crews may practice drills so that everyone is familiar with their role in the event of an accident. At a bare minimum, crew members should be informed where safety equipment can be located, and taught some basic firefighting techniques.

If they are able to get the fire under control, they can help prevent serious injuries or death of their fellow crew members. However, some fires spread too quickly. If this happens, crew members need to know escape routes and how to relay this information to others.

If you have been injured in an accident at sea, speak to an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your options. It will be important to do this as soon as possible to preserve the evidence from the accident. Discovering the underlying causes can help determine who is at fault, and potentially improve the chances of recovery.

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