Covering the High Seas in Four Simple Questions
Who is covered by the Longshore Act?Those who employ workers for maritime work or in a maritime occupation (either full or part-time) on the navigable waters of the U.S. or in adjoining waterfront areas are covered. This includes a longshoremanand any harbor worker, including a ship repairman, ship builder and ship breaker. Others engaged in maritime employment may include construction workers, maintenance workers, general managers of shipyards, machinists, pipefitters, sandblasters, security guards, sheet metal workers and welders.
Sorry, Captain Jack Sparrow is not covered!
What are the coverage areas?Areas covered include piers, wharfs, dry docks, terminals, marine railways and other adjoining areas customarily used by a marine employer in loading, unloading, repairing, dismantling or building a vessel. Areas not covered include offices, public streets and shipyard shops not used in shipbuilding.
Add to the not covered list: Port Royal, Tortuga, Davy Jones Locker
What are the injury benefits?Employers are responsible for insuring the payment of compensation and medical benefits to injured employees through private insurance carriers or self-insurance as directed by the Department of Labor. Benefits include the following:
- Medical, surgical and hospital services and supplies
- Weekly indemnity benefits at 66 2/3 percent of the employees weekly salary, subject to the specified maximum in effect at the time of injury for as long as the effects of the injury continue
- Compensation for permanent impairment of specified limbs, hearing loss and loss of earning capacity
- Vocational rehabilitation services if a worker cannot return to previous employment
- Death benefits to a surviving widow or other eligible survivors if the injury causes death, including funeral expenses up to $3,000 and 50 percent of the employees weekly wages for life or until remarriage. Awards of 16 2/3 percent for dependent children end at age 18, but can be extended if the child is a student or incapable of self-support
Whats an example?If a temporary employee was injured while working for a client loading and unloading shipments on a dock adjacent to the Mississippi River in Louisiana, the employee would be eligible to receive benefits under the LHWCA. The employers workers compensation policy would provide coverage only if it had been endorsed with the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act Coverage Endorsement.
If that same temporary employee was instead a crew member of a barge traveling the Mississippi River and was injured in the course of employment, they would have rights to sue the employer under the Jones Act. The liability suit would be covered by the employers liability segment of the workers compensation policy only if the policy was endorsed with the Maritime Coverage Endorsement.
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