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What are the risks of working as a utility galley worker?

On Behalf of | Aug 23, 2021 | Maritime Law |

Working on a cruise ship can be labor-intensive, especially for utility galley workers. These are the employees that perform tasks as part of a cruise ship’s food service, including the handling and clean up of food, utensils and food equipment. Sometimes this kind of work can lead to serious injury.

According to Business Insider, a utility galley worker may have the most physically demanding job on a cruise ship. The duties of these workers can often expose them to certain hazards.

Cleaning hazards

Utility galley workers have to handle tasks that involve using hot or even scalding substances. A galley worker often cleans cooking equipment with very hot water or hazardous cleaning chemicals. Without wearing protective clothing and eyewear, some workers have suffered blindness from chemical splashes in their eyes and also severe burns on their skin.

Lack of breaks

Business Insider further explains that some cruise ships work their utility galley workers so hard to the point that they cannot take scheduled breaks. In some cases, their supervisors require them to enter breaks into their worksheets even though they did not take them.

This is not only a form of wage fraud, but it puts these workers at risk of fatigue and other health issues. A lack of breaks deprives a worker of food and rest, which may result in mistakes committed during work. It could also make it more likely that a worker will suffer a slip and fall accident or even take a tumble overboard.

Training and safety is important

Cruise ship owners and supervisors on these vessels should not recklessly expose their workers to dangers that could injure or disable them. Proper safety gear, training and respecting the right to take breaks may prevent a bad outcome from happening.