commercial diving injury attorney

10 Most Common Commercial Diving Injuries

Commercial diving is a dangerous job, whether you are performing repairs, doing research, or doing maintenance work. As a result, you may suffer commercial diving injuries at some point in your career.

Learn more about common causes of injuries, and if you have been injured while working, call Fuquay Law Firm at 251-257-7337 to set up a consultation.

10. Drowning

Drowning happens for a number of reasons, all of them with the same traffic outcome. Divers may experience health issues that leave them unable to realize when they are in danger of being the victim of failed or damaged equipment. Divers can also get tangled up in diving lines and be unable to free themselves in time.

9. Hypothermia

Although divers wear protective gear, cold water is strong enough to penetrate even the most reliable diving gear. This is one reason that diver training is so important. A diver must realize when they start feeling cold and know that they have to surface as quickly as possible.

8. Injuries That Happen Aboard a Vessel

Not all injuries happen in the water. Divers, much like other seamen who work aboard vessels, are at risk for onboard injuries.

7. Gas Poisoning

Divers rely heavily on their tank and airline to give them sufficient oxygen throughout their dive. If the oxygen is not enough, the slow buildup of carbon dioxide can cause a diver to pass out. Another issue that may arise is nitrogen narcosis, which leads to confusion and impairment for the diver. This puts them at serious risk for injuries and even death.

6. Rapid Surfacing After a Deep Dive

Most people have heard of the bends, which is a more common term for decompression sickness. After a deep dive, a diver may experience decompression sickness if they surface too quickly. Another condition to watch out for is an arterial gas embolism. As a diver approaches the surface, their lungs expand. If they do not exhale every breath fully, air remains in the lungs. This leads to overexpansion when they breathe again. The excess oxygen leaks into the pulmonary capillaries, causing air bubbles that can cause convulsions, confusion, paralysis, and even death.

5. Injuries Caused by Improperly Maintained Dive Ship

A significant number of injuries are linked to poorly maintained vessels, so it should come as no surprise that a number of diver injuries have the same root cause. If the equipment used aboard during a dive is unsafe or has not been maintained, it may fail and leave the diver unprotected.

4. Poorly Maintained Diving Equipment

The equipment a diver uses is literally lifesaving, which is why regular inspection and maintenance is crucial. When equipment fails, it may do so when it is too late for the diver to help themselves. When equipment fails during a dive, an inexperienced diver may not realize it in time to surface.

3. Injuries Caused by Inexperience or Poor Training

The significant shortage of commercial divers has led to shortened training times and protocols in some regions, and unfortunately, that often puts divers themselves in serious danger. If a diver is not experienced in certain underwater conditions or depths, they may panic when they find themselves in an unfamiliar situation. This is the ideal combination for serious accidents and fatalities.

2. Injuries Caused by Inadequate Preparation

Extensive preparation and planning are critical to the success of any dive. However, when people get comfortable, they may skip the necessary planning and preparation in favor of saving time. This is why it is crucial for every single dive to have a detailed plan that is reviewed by multiple people.

1. Fires

Fires and explosions are an extremely common source of injuries for commercial divers. They may occur on a ship because of poor maintenance, or they may happen underwater if the diver is working with hazardous chemicals or flammable materials. Oil wells and natural gas vents can also trigger large explosions.

All of these scenarios can be attributed to one of the following causes:

Failure to Follow Safety Protocols

Unfortunately, a significant number of commercial diving accidents are due to human error and carelessness. This is an inherent risk in any job. As people get more experienced in their field and become more comfortable with routine work tasks, they lose sight of the potential injuries that await them. Divers and support teams may skip necessary safety protocols if a protocol over time.

Defective Equipment

Commercial divers use an enormous amount of equipment every single day. At any time, one of these pieces of equipment can malfunction and put the diver at risk of injury or death.

Inadequate Maintenance

Every piece of diving equipment has a recommended maintenance schedule. Failing to get gear checked out in a timely manner or skipping routine maintenance can be fatal for divers and their support teams.

Inexperience or Improper Training

Commercial diving is an extraordinarily complex field. As the field has grown and demand for divers has increased, it has been more difficult for employers to find employees who meet their standards. Some companies have shortened training periods to meet demand and get divers working more quickly.

Environmental Issues

Commercial diving is an inherently unpredictable field, due to the ever-changing nature of large bodies of water. Extremely cold water can pose serious threats to divers, and low visibility can make it difficult for divers to finish their work within the given timeframe. Other potential threats include currents and underwater life. Unfortunately, many of these threats are difficult to predict, which makes it difficult to plan ahead for them.

Discover How Fuquay Law Firm Can Help You

Have you been injured while working as a commercial diver? If so, you may be eligible to seek compensation for your injuries and your time away from work. We can help. Schedule a consultation with Fuquay Law Firm now by calling us at 251-257-7337 or getting in touch with us online.

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