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Barge accident requires rescue team response on Passaic

Bad weather can wreak havoc on practically all workers. From office workers waiting for delayed mass transit to snow plow drivers attempting to keep the roads clear during a winter storm, virtually everyone experiences difficulties caused by weather.

Some workers may bear the brunt of bad weather more directly than others, namely anyone who has to work outside or who must deal with the consequences of weather related accidents like emergency personnel. Construction workers often have to endure bone-chilling cold, ice and snow that can cause accidents and injuries that lead to workers' compensation claims.

On Thursday, a worker on a barge in the Passaic River was injured in an accident during the winter storm. The man's injury was first described as a "nosebleed." However, they proved to be much more severe, with facial and leg trauma the result of his being hit by a boom crane on the barge.

Because of his location on the barge, which was described as an "awkward position," the rescue required the response of Lyndhurst's Fire Department dive team. The man was lifted off the barge and onto the rescue boat and then taken by ambulance to University Hospital in Newark.

The news story describes him as a contractor. For workers' compensation claims, this could be significant, as a contractor working on the barge would not be considered a member of the barge's crew and not covered by the federal Jones' Act.

Presumably, he would be subject to the normally applicable New Jersey workers' compensation system that applies to all covered workers in the state. If he had been a member of the crew, the workers' compensation act would not apply and he would receive compensation for his injures through the Jones' Act.

Source: NorthJersey.com, "Lyndhurst team aids injured barge worker during storm," Meghan Grant, January 22, 2014

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