Almost every industry has something known as “quality control,” and it can involve a range of factors. When you consider the maritime industry, the issue of quality control takes such things as equipment testing and upkeep, system operations, and even installation into consideration. There are a lot of working parts in any vessel, and so quality control has to consider them all. (Furuno.com, 2015)
Is quality control something that is considered mandatory? That is an interesting question, and is an important one after there has been equipment failure that led to injury, disability or death of a crewmember.
When an accident or incident occurs and is labeled as being due to equipment failure, it can leave a maritime worker with very few options. If that worker has been seriously injured, disabled, or even killed in an incident triggered by equipment failure, it could be easy enough to say that the machine or gear failed to work, and so no one is at fault or liable. However, that may not be the case at all.
Equipment may fail to do its job because the person using the equipment did not have adequate training in using that gear. The lack of training is actually viewed, in the eyes of the law, as negligence on the part of the employer or vessel owner. Additionally, an employer or vessel owner may fail to provide their workers with the appropriate gear, and this cannot be labeled as equipment failure but as a negligent behavior on the part of the owner or employer.
So, this tells us that you can be seen as qualifying for compensation when an accident, injury, disability or death has been caused through equipment failure. The key is to determine if there was something that could have prevented that equipment failure from leading to such negative outcomes. This is why someone pursuing compensation after they have been injured, or suffered a loss due to an equipment failure, must get in touch with an experienced maritime lawyer.
The burden of proof is always on the individual seeking compensation, the worker. If they feel that their employer or another third party should be providing compensation after an accident, they have to prove why. Most often, the maritime lawyer looks at the training the individuals involved in the incident may or may not have had. Inadequate training, particularly if it is documented, is often a good bit of evidence that there was negligence behind the mechanical failure.
There is also the issue of inadequate maintenance and upkeep, any equipment can fail when it is used on a persistent basis, without being inspected and repaired as needed. The owner of a vessel, or an employer, is obliged to perform this basic care, and if they don’t and equipment fails, it is a clear indicator that negligence played a part in any accidents or injuries that may have resulted.
So, if you have been injured to any degree because of equipment failure, and you work in the maritime industry, you may be due for compensation for your injury and more. The first, and wisest step is to sit down with a maritime lawyer and review the issue. What led to the problem? Was there something that should have been done, which was not, and it led to the failure? If so, you probably have a case that can be pursued. The federal laws exist to protect you should something happen out of negligence, and yet you still should rely on a lawyer to handle the issues as they have the experience you need for the best outcome.