Just as the FRSA protects rail workers who report safety hazards, the Seaman’s Protection Act (SPA) protects mariners who report safety issues directly to the U.S. Coast Guard. But the American division of the Maersk international shipping conglomerate prohibits seaman from reporting safety concerns to the U.S. Coast Guard without first reporting internally. In a landmark ruling eight months ago, OSHA slammed Maersk with punitive damages for firing a seaman who reported directly to the Coast Guard. Here is a commentary on OSHA’s detailed findings regarding Maersk’s SPA violations.

Now it turns out the cargo ship that took out Baltimore Harbor’s Francis Scott Key Bridge was time chartered by Maersk. This looks to be an East Palestine moment for the maritime shipping industry. The press is hammering Maersk, and the National Whistleblower Center is calling for a Congressional investigation. Here are just a few of the articles:

For more on the right of maritime employees under the Seaman’s Protection Act, go to the free Rail Whistleblower Library.