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How Does OSHA Play A Role In Your Offshore Injury Case

Maritime Safety: OSHA and Your Crane

To keep maritime workers safe, OSHA has established several regulations for the maritime injury. Some of these regulations specifically govern the use of a crane in a maritime setting. If your employer has failed to comply with OSHA regulations governing the use of your crane, you may have a Jones Act claim, or a claim under another section of maritime law. What do OSHA requirements say about operating a crane in a maritime setting?

Temporary Cranes and Derriks

OSHA regulation requires very specific handling of temporary cranes and derriks onboard a vessel.

The weight of a temporary crane or derrik must be posted.
Any exhaust gasses are required to be vented in a direction that is away from the vessel and from personnel.
Any and all electrical equipment is required to have adequate guards.
Charts must be posted near any temporary cranes or derriks that explain the use of these pieces of equipment.

Failure to comply with these OSHA regulations governing temporary cranes and derriks can represent negligence, and can be the basis for a Jones Act claim.

Crane Clearance

When operating a crane onboard a vessel, OSHA regulations state that there must be a minimum of three feet of clearance. Anything less represents a violation of OSHA regulations and can place workers in an unsafe position.

Fire Safety

Every crane and derrik onboard a vessel must have a fire extinguisher in the cab. Access to these fire extinguishers is essential for fire safety, which is a serious concern onboard a vessel.


Any workloads placed on a crane in a maritime situation cannot exceed the manufacturer’s recommendations. A worker who places a load heavier than the manufacturer’s recommendation is violating OSHA regulation. If this contributes to an injury, the worker’s employer and the owner of the vessel may be negligent according to a failure to follow OSHA regulation, and this may qualify for a Jones Act claim or third party suit.

There are many other OSHA regulations governing the use of equipment in maritime settings. These regulations are designed to keep workers safe, but it’s not uncommon for employers to violate OSHA regulations in spite of the danger to workers. Consult a maritime attorney to determine whether any OSHA regulations were violated in your maritime injury case, and whether it constitutes negligence under the Jones Act.

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