If you have been injured in an underwater welding accident, our lawyers in Houston can help you. We represent workers who are injured in the maritime industry.
You deserve top-notch representation. Let us evaluate your situation and help you get the compensation you deserve.
Talk to an underwater welding accident lawyer in Houston today. Call Haun Mena today for your free consultation.
Lawyers Representing Underwater Welding Accident Victims
When you are injured in an underwater welding accident, our lawyers can represent you. We protect your legal rights and advocate for your interests. Some of the ways we can assist you are:
Making sure that your injury is reported properly
Determining what laws apply – like the USL&H (Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act) Jones Act, state laws or other bodies of law
Knowing what compensation you may receive and the appropriate amounts
Explaining standards of liability and what is necessary to prove your case
Filing your case, working to pursue your case efficiently
Building evidence and proof of your right to compensation
Exploring your different options for going forward and pursuing compensation
Representing you throughout the legal process
It can be hard to know what to do following an underwater welding accident. You may not know how to begin or how to pursue your legal interests. The Haun Mena team of legal professionals focuses on the rights of injured victims who work on the high seas and navigable waterways. If you have been hurt, we invite you to contact us to speak about your situation.
About Underwater Welding
Only a few thousand people work in underwater welding in the United States. These jobs are concentrated on the coasts and in the Gulf of Mexico, including the Houston area.
Underwater welding is used in several industries:
- Ship repair
- Oil rigs and platforms
What is underwater welding?
Underwater welding is the fabrication process of joining materials together while submerged in water. It is a specific welding activity that takes place underwater.
Underwater welding is a specialized construction activity. Welding is the process of taking two materials – usually metals or plastic – and binding them together. Pressure and heat are used to fuse the pieces together.
Underwater welding is just that – it is welding that takes place underwater. The additional challenge of the activity taking place submerged in water adds additional dangers and risks for the professionals working in the industry.
What is the purpose of underwater welding?
Underwater welding is an important part of shipping, transportation, energy and other industries with activity on the high seas. It is often the least expensive option for maintenance and repair of ships and submerged infrastructure. Rather than having to move the damaged vessel or structure to a repair location and remove it from the water, the welder travels to the work location. It saves time and money. It allows for emergency repairs in a relatively short period of time.
The Dangers of Underwater Welding – Accidents and Injuries
In a 10-year period, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reported 116 fatalities in occupational diving, including underwater welding. They cited drowning as the leading causes of death. In addition to the risk of drowning, underwater welders face risk of injury from a number of dangers.
Risks of underwater welding
Underwater welding professionals face many dangers. Some are related to the welding activity while other dangers stem from the activity of diving. Common dangers include:
- Electric shock
- Decompression sickness
- Cognitive damage
- Musculoskeletal injury
- Ear and nose pain
- Eye damage
- Organ damage, harm to bodily systems
- Cuts and lacerations
- Attacks from marine animals
Welders working underwater perform dangerous work. A welding accident can happen in an instant, but the injuries can be life-changing or even fatal.
Causes of underwater welding injury
Gear or equipment failures
Failing to follow safety protocols
Not adequately monitoring activity
Lack of a viable work plan
Environmental issues with visibility, currents and sea life
Dangers from a ship, structure or pipes
A lack of PPE, like insulated gloves
Lack of communication, failing to have two-way communication
Failing to de-energize tools before placing in or retrieving from water
Not grounding the welding machine
Poor storing of explosives
Failing to respond appropriately when a diver requests termination or does not respond correctly to communication
Our lawyers can investigate the cause of the accident, including gathering evidence and interviewing witnesses.
Legal Rights for Injured Underwater Welding Victims
What are my rights if I’m injured doing underwater welding?
If you’re injured doing underwater welding, the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) may apply. It covers job injuries that occur on the navigable waters of the United States or adjacent areas used in maritime activity. The Jones Act covers seamen who are assigned to work on vessels, while the LHWCA is more likely to apply if you travel to a site where work needs to be done.
Under the LHWCA, you may receive a variety of benefits:
- Medical treatment that is reasonable and necessary for the injury
- Temporary total or partial disability pay
- Permanent total or partial disability pay
- Vocational rehabilitation
- Transportation expenses for medical care
LHWCA benefits are similar to what you might find under a state workers’ compensation system, with additional rights if the injury occurs as the result of negligence. It is a unique body of law with its own legal process and rights for victims.
If you are injured while underwater welding, you must identify what laws allow you to claim compensation. That will determine what benefits you may receive and how to go about making your case.
Lawyers in Houston, TX for Underwater Welding Accidents
We are experienced Houston lawyers representing individuals who are hurt while working in maritime and seafaring employment including welding. We understand the challenges that workers face when they are hurt on the job. As we represent you, we work to investigate your options, explain your rights and pursue your case efficiently.