Pleasure boats may be a source of leisure and excitement for many, but we must not forget that they are still dangerous. They are powerful vehicles with components that are sharp and can become hot to the point that they could cause third-degree burns. Boats are also filled with gasoline and run in hot weather that could cause fumes to ignite.
Marina owners must ensure that they follow both federal and state safety laws that are regulated and enforced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to help prevent a workplace injury like the ones that occurred this week at a New York marina.
A serious fire broke out at the Long Island marina on Wednesday afternoon just before 4 p.m when workers were removing a fuel tank from a boat that was dry-docked at the time. Despite being near a large body of water, the fire quickly spread in to a nearly uncontrollable blaze. In fact, over 200 firefighters were called to the scene to help control the flames and put out the fire. The firefighters were brought in from eight different departments.
It took nearly two hours to control and put out the fire. When the last flame finally died, it was determined that 16 boats were destroyed by the flames. Sadly, two workers were seriously injured in the blaze. They were transported to a nearby hospital where they were treated for severe burns.
Thankfully, the injuries were non-life threatening, but that does not mean that they were any less serious. Injuries such as these come at a high cost to workers beyond even the physical pain. Injured workers not only have to pay high medical bills and lose income during treatment and recovery, but the injuries often cause permanent damage.
Source: The Wall Street Journal, “NY marina fire injures 2 men, destroys 16 boats,” Feb. 1, 2012