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PERSONAL INJURY

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PERSONAL INJURY

Introduction




Owners are under an obligation to maintain a safe working environment on board the vessel at all times. If a member of the crew, a passenger, or shore personnel are injured on board the vessel or in the vicinity of the vessel as a result of the failure to maintain a safe working environment, owners will be held liable. Occasionally, owners' liability will extend to injuries suffered by the crew whilst ashore.

In certain jurisdictions like the United States, awards for personal injuries are extremely high. In order to minimise owners' exposure to personal injury claims, the Master must be constantly vigilant against defects in the vessel which may affect the safety of the working environment. He also should ensure that every incident which results in an injury, however trivial, should be properly recorded and the procedures outlined below followed carefully.

This chapter examines the following:‑

Injury to crew;

Injury to stevedores and non‑crew members;

Evidence required from the vessel.

Injury to Crew

If a member of the crew is injured, the Master should ensure that a record is made of the cause and details of the injury. Most owners provide a form which should be completed in the event of an injury. An example of such a form is provided in the appendix to this chapter.

Usually, the member of the crew will report the injury himself and assistance will be rendered on board the vessel. If the vessel is in port, the crew member may be sent ashore for treatment. The Master also should ensure that a note is kept of the type of treatment administered to the crew member on board, the treatment administered to him ashore, by whom the treatment was administered, and the exact time the treatment was given.

In the event that the injury was caused by a failure of a part of the ship's equipment, the Master should ensure that the damaged part is retained for future inspection. In certain jurisdictions, if owners are unable to produce the allegedly defective equipment, there is a presumption that the

equipment was damaged and owners will be put in a position of considerable disadvantage. If the item of ship's equipment is seriously damaged, the Master should request owners to call in a surveyor to inspect the damaged part.

Injuries to Stevedores and Non‑Crew Members

Claims for personal injury by a stevedore or other person who is not a member of the crew may be submitted months and even years after an incident. Therefore, in the event of an incident on board the vessel or in the vicinity of the vessel, the Master should ensure that the incident is properly recorded. He also should attempt to identify the injured party and discover the reason why the person is on board. Finally, he should make a note of whether or not the circumstances of the accident were

unusual given the purpose for which the injured party was on board.

As in the preceding section, the Master should. complete a standard accident form and record details of the treatment administered on board the vessel or retain any piece of ship's equipment which may have caused the accident.

Evidence required from the Vessel

As well as completing a standard accident form, the Master should prepare a report of the accident. In addition to the information discussed in the preceding sections, the report should include the following information:

Details of the circumstances surrounding the incident;

The conditions at the time of the accident and whether they contributed to the accident;

Whether or not the injured party in any way contributed to the accident or whether there was any

obvious negligence on the part of a third party;

Names of the witnesses to the accident, including crew members;

A drawing or photograph of the area where the accident occurred.

CONFIDENTIAL REPORT FOR THE INFORMATION OF OWNERS' SOLICITORS

(To be filled in by the Master in every case where an accident occurs which results, or may

result later, in a member of the crew being incapacitated from work, or in his death.)



Vessel……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Owner's name and address ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Name of person injured ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Address of person injured …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Date of Birth .

Nationality …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

7. Rating Wages ……………………………………………………………………………..

8. Date of Accident ….Time ……………. Place ………………………………………………………………..

9. Date when injured person ceased work ..

10. Port of Discharge ………………………………………………………. Date ……………………………………………………………..

11. Description of accident and nature of injuries, showing how the injured person was employed at

the time (attach copy of Log Entry and Report by Officer under whose supervision man was

employed at the material time. If accident due to breakage of gear, broken parts must be

carefully preserved) ..

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..……….

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

12. Date when and by whom notice of accident received ………………………………………………………………………..

13. Particulars of medical treatment on board and/or shore ……………………………………………………………………

14. State whether Doctor's Report submitted …………………………………………………………………………………………..

15. Has the injury incapacitated the seaman from work, totally or partially? ………………………………………..

16. How long is incapacity likely to continue? .

17. Was the injured person at his usual place of work when the accident happened? If not, was he

doing something he was authorised or permitted to do for the purpose of his work? .

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

18. Was the accident due to any negligence, misconduct or default on the part of the injured person?

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..…

20. Was the accident due to negligence on the part of any other person? ……….

21. If so, give name, address and occupation of such person and details of negligence ..

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

21. Was the accident caused by collision? If so, give name and owners of colliding vessel …………………….

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

22. What was the state of the light when and where the accident occurred? If artificial lighting, give

details ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

23. ANY FURTHER INFORMATION

Signed: Master

Date: ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..






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