According to the definition, the Maritime Law is “A body of laws, conventions and treaties that governs international private business or other matters involving ships, shipping or crimes occurring on open water. Laws between nations governing such things as national versus international waters are considered public international law and are known as the Law of the Seas.”
If you are considering working on a ship or if any member of your family is interested to become a ship crew member, it is important to fully understand your rights.
All people who work on board of ships need Maritime law to protect them from employer’s negligence, which can cause injury, disability and even death. Very often the working conditions of seafarers and other crew members on board of ships are totally different from those that work on land. Seamen depend on their employers for safety and health while inside all type of sea vessels.
The safety comes first!
The employers are forced by maritime law to provide the best working conditions in company ships in order to be safe at all times. This is one way in which all workers aboard a sea vessel are protected.
Sometimes the life at sea can be extremely harsh and it can become very hard to work on a ship in the middle of a sea or ocean, thus, it is important that the employer provides emergency supplies, medications, adequate food, proper equipment and other things that ensure that the lives of the people who are working aboard the vessel are protected and their health is not affected. They will give their best when they know that they work in a safe environment. On the other hand, every man at sea leaves at home a worried family. But families of seamen will have peace of mind knowing that their husbands or fathers have access to basic necessities of life even while at sea.
The benefits in case of injury
In case the seamen get injured while they are working on a vessel, the protection that maritime law provides to sailors involves a set of benefits. Unfortunately, accidents happen and when they do, it is the responsibility of the employer to provide medical facilities and medication that will ensure that everyone who works on the ship will be cared for until they get back on their feet. In the cases in which the employer’s negligence caused the accident, there are benefits offered to the injured person and to his family. Even if the seaman or sailor on board the vessel is unable to perform his duties due to injuries, the family of that particular person should continue to receive his benefits or salary.
Financial protection for sailors’ families
A fact well known is that most of the sailors and crew members of sea vessels are bread winners of their families. Thus, in cases of permanent disability or death, the families of seamen will really suffer not only at the human level but also financially. Thankfully, maritime law also guarantees that family members of seamen who die or suffers permanent disability resulting from negligence on the part of the employer will be well compensated.
These are only few important ways in which the Maritime Law protects the workers at sea and their families. So, if you are one of them, make sure that your rights are respected and don’t accept anything less.