The Charleston port expansion has been huge news both locally and around the state. In the summer of 2017 the State Ports Authority approved a massive construction project that would dredge and expand the Charleston Port by 52 feet. This will double its capacity.
The project would cost nearly $3 million and include the building of Leatherman Terminal, which could cost another $762 million. The expansion will be very beneficial for Charleston’s economy, as well as that of all of South Carolina. However, with expansion and growth there is also always the possibility of more accidents and injuries.
With such a huge expansion and the building of an entirely new terminal, the economy will first see a boon in the amount of jobs created. The terminal will require hundreds of construction workers over a long period of time, as the first phase is to be done by 2020 with it reaching completion several years after that. In addition, once the canal has been completely expanded, it will need 400 longshoremen for the loading and unloading jobs at the ports.
The news is good for the economy, but it also means that there are likely going to be many people hurt on the job. The construction industry is one of the most dangerous for workers and unloading and loading at the ports also carries a certain number of risks. The South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission is likely going to be busier in the coming years because of the potential for these types of accidents and related injuries. As the Commission becomes busier, it could also mean that more workers fall through the cracks and get wrongfully denied their benefits. Others may not always get the full amount of benefits they are entitled to.
In addition to the workers working on the expansion, there will also be workers on the ships coming through the canal once the expansion has been completed. With any kind of transportation come inherent risks and workers and possible passengers may also be hurt while on the ship and while they or embarking or disembarking. There may be compensation available for these injuries as well. Workers on ships will also have to go through workers’ compensation, while passengers may have a valid personal injury claim if they are injured while on a ship.
The expansion of the Charleston Port will have many benefits for the economy in Charleston and around South Carolina. However, as with any project of this size, new growth also means an increased risk of accidents and injuries. Anyone that is injured while on a ship or during the construction phase should speak to a Charleston personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Workers’ compensation is never a guarantee, and those applying for it need a lawyer that is experienced working within the system. An attorney is the best chance anyone has at getting the full amount of benefits they are entitled to and can take care of the paperwork and ensure everything is filed properly so those injured can focus on their own recovery.