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Commercial fishing can be a dangerous profession in Rhode Island

On Behalf of | Nov 27, 2023 | Workers' Compensation

It has long been known that commercial fishing is a dangerous profession in Rhode Island. However, what most people didn’t know was the extent of the dangers involved. A new study found that more than 100,000 people die every year from work-related accidents and illnesses in the commercial fishing industry, a number almost four times larger than previous estimates. This alarming statistic has brought attention to the need for stricter safety regulations and increased awareness among fishermen.

The dangers of commercial fishing

Commercial fishing involves various tasks, such as setting and hauling nets, sorting and storing catches, processing fish on board, and navigating rough waters. These tasks are physically demanding and often require long hours of work in harsh weather conditions. As a result, injuries such as musculoskeletal disorders, cuts and bruises are common among fishermen.

In addition, workers who have to take deep dives and work in confined spaces are at risk of suffering from decompression sickness, also known as “the bends.” This condition occurs when nitrogen bubbles form in the blood and tissues due to rapid changes in pressure. In severe cases, it can lead to paralysis or even death.

What to do when injured

In case of an injury, you should know you have a right to file for workers’ compensation in Rhode Island to cover your medical care, rehabilitation services and lost wage benefits. On top of that, if your employer was negligent or failed to provide a safe working environment, you can file a personal injury claim to seek additional compensation for your pain and suffering and any future medical expenses.

All work environments are dangerous, some more than others. Regardless, all employers and employees should adhere to safety protocols and regulations to prevent injuries and accidents. If you work in the commercial fishing industry, you must be aware of the potential risks and take necessary precautions to protect yourself. And in case of an injury, seek proper medical treatment and know your legal options for compensation.