Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Another Longshore Worker Injured at Tacoma Port

For the fourth time in three months, a longshore worker has been injured in an accident at the Port of Tacoma.

The latest incident occurred May 12 while the longshoreman was working on a ship in the Olympic Container Terminal, according to the port. A bar the worker was using to remove lashings from containers on a ship slipped from his control and hit him in the eye and cheek, according to port spokeswoman Tara Mattina.

The Tacoma Fire Department responded to the ship just before 6 p.m. and transported the unidentified worker to St. Joseph Medical Center with not life-threatening injuries.

The injury is the fourth to a longshore worker at the port since March; two of the previous incidents were fatal. The port was temporarily shut down March 25 after refrigerator mechanic Dana Gorham died about 8 am that day while working at the APM Terminal. According to port workers, Gorham was working from a five-foot ladder when he fell from the ladder, possibly after being shocked by a nearby electrical cable.

According to the Pierce County Medical Examiner’s office however, the 57-year-old Gorham had an enlarged heart and the cause of death was ruled a heart attack.

In a March 12 incident, 46-year-old crane mechanic Jeff Surber died around noon while atop a crane he had been maintaining at Pierce County Terminal. He was making adjustments to the wire ropes used to raise the metal containers to and from the ship’s deck, according to the International Longshore & Warehouse Union.

The medical examiner’s report said Surber died of blunt force trauma to the head.

Also in March, a longshoreman suffered minor injuries while lashing down containers on a ship in Tacoma’s Husky Terminal. He apparently missed a step while climbing and fell to the ship’s deck.