A dock worker removes old paint from the side of a container vessel.

There are risks in maritime industries, such as heat and cold stress, or the use of power tools, that are similar to risks seen in general industry. However the marine environment also offers its own challenges and unique hazards. Vessel disasters, water immersion, severe weather, working and living within restricted space, and isolation from home and family are some examples of those challenges.

Many hazards presented by the marine environment can be encountered both on the water and at shipyards or marine terminals – and some hazards are unique to specific maritime industries. For instance, aquaculture workers may face hazards from the use of tractors or all-terrain vehicles, in addition to water borne vessels. Commercial divers are also exposed to a variety of marine hazards, including drowning, respiratory and circulatory complications, and hypothermia, which can be worsened by the number and length of dives, physical demands of diving, and limited visibility underwater. Longshoring work includes moving containers and other heavy loads with the potential to cause serious injury or death if a mistake is made, in addition to other general maritime hazards.

Page last reviewed: February 19, 2019, 08:45 AM