While you can be hurt in any line of work, there are certain types of injuries that are more common in Louisiana shipyards than in other areas. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration states that many of these occur during duties that involve hot work, such as brazing, welding and cutting. There are several ways you can be injured while performing any of these tasks.
First, many injuries are caused by repeat trauma. In hot work, you are often required to use pneumatic tools, such as grinders. The repeated vibrating motions can cause many health issues, including tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome and vibratory white finger disease. Many of these issues occur gradually, preventing workers from recognizing the early symptoms until long term damage or disability has occurred.
Second is exposure to harmful substances. While your employer may try to prevent acute exposure to dangerous toxins, working with certain chemicals and materials can prove hazardous over time. This can include toxic metals, such as lead, cadmium, chromium or zinc.
Another problem that plagues shipworkers is improper body positioning. If you are remaining in a static position for a long period of time, health issues can develop. This is even more problematic if you are required to assume a position that is awkward. Putting extensive pressure on the knees, craning the neck or twisting the spine can all lead to injury. These movements can be common in shipyards because of the positions you are required to hold while working on a ship or in small spaces. This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal or medical advice.