Working on commercial boats is a hazardous job, but it’s an extremely important part of our economy. Grueling boat work often involves weeks away from home, long or irregular shifts, and physically demanding work that takes its toll on your body. Given that, it should not come as a surprise that tendon and muscle injuries are relatively common amongst commercial boat workers.
Have you sustained an injury while working aboard a commercial vessel? Let the team at Fuquay Law Firm help you out. Call us at 251-219-0329 to schedule a consultation now.
Commercial Boat Workers’ Demanding Tasks Strain the Body
The work you do on a commercial boat puts your body through the wringer. The demands of your work depend on your specific title, but there are few maritime jobs that aren’t physically taxing.
For example, if you work as a commercial fisherman, you may spend your time throwing heavy nets and lines into the water, pulling full nets back on board, and preparing fish for processing. Those who repair vessels may have to haul heavy equipment, work in narrow or uncomfortable spaces to repair different components, and bring heavy replacement parts. Underwater divers work in all types of weather conditions that strain their muscles.
As a result, many maritime injuries involve the body’s tendons or muscles. Getting the proper treatment for your injuries and plenty of rest is key to making a full recovery.
Commonly Injured Areas of the Body
Maritime work can lead to injuries anywhere, but certain areas see the most wear and tear. Injuries commonly affect:
- The back (upper, middle, and lower)
- Shoulders and arms
- Elbows and wrists
- Hands and fingers
As you can see, the joints are often heavily impacted by maritime injuries. The intense nature of your work can wear out some parts of your body more quickly than others. For example, if you do a lot of detailed repair work, your fingers and wrists will likely start failing more quickly than other parts. If you are a commercial fisherman, your shoulders and back may take the biggest hit.
Signs of Tendon and Muscle Injuries
The symptoms of a muscle injury and tendon injury tend to overlap, which is why it’s important to be attentive to your body’s pain signals while working. It’s tempting to push past the pain, finish a shift, and then evaluate if you need medical care. However, if you experience sudden or rapidly worsening pain, there could be something seriously wrong. It’s best to get it checked out as soon as possible.
If you suspect an injured tendon, watch out for these symptoms:
- A snap or pop that you feel or hear
- A crunching sound when you use the affected tendon
- Rapid bruising
- Weakness in the affected area
- Intense pain
- Inability to use the affected area
- Inability to bear weight
- Stiffness in the affected tendon
- Warmth or swelling in the affected area
If you believe you may have injured a muscle, look for these symptoms:
- Gradual or rapid onset of pain
- Ongoing soreness
- Decreased range of movement
- Bruising of the affected area
- Stiffness of the muscle
- Muscle spasms
- Soreness in surrounding muscles as they compensate for the injured muscle’s weakness
What to Do If You’ve Suffered a Muscle or Tendon Injury
Under maritime law, you can seek compensation for injuries suffered at work. However, you have to know your rights to exercise them. Under the Jones Act, the Death on the High Seas Act, and other laws, you can receive maintenance and cure for your workplace injuries.
While most employers are ready to work with you and help you use all of the options at your disposal, not all employers are quite so ethical. If you experience pushback or retaliation for trying to apply for benefits, you need a maritime law attorney.
Take the Next Step with Fuquay Law Firm
The team at Fuquay Law Firm knows what it takes to get compensation after a maritime injury. Our extensive experience in this area of law gives us the tools to handle your case. If you’re ready to explore your options, call us at 251-219-0329 or reach out to us online to set up a consultation.