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Louisiana Maritime Law Blog

The risks of paint clean-up waste

Shipyard workers face a host of risks on the job. They often have to work around heavy machinery, for instance, or they may get exposed to dangerous chemicals. They can get hurt in many different types of accidents, and these injuries can change the course of their careers.

One thing that perhaps does not get enough attention, though, is the risks of paint clean-up waste. Many shipyards are heavily involved in painting and surface-coating procedures. This can lead to overspray, chemical inhalation and a lot of waste products that must be cleaned up and disposed of properly.

Admiralty law is not connected to lawsuits for punitive damages

Working on the water may not be riskier to life and limb than logging or trucking, but it comes with unique challenges that require a certain firmness from workers who choose it. And these special challenges have convinced governments to afford maritime crews and laborers special protections so they can do their jobs.

The concept of admiralty law was one of early nations' ways of protecting their assets and citizens on the high seas. Among other important ideas, these laws allow governments to claim jurisdiction over their flagged ships in territorial or international waters. For example, if a crime takes place on a U.S. flagged ship many miles off the coast, a U.S. court can rule on it.

Workers may wonder if the Jones Act applies or not

A life at sea is a complicated thing. Some people get caught up in maritime work after a chance job or two lead to a career, and some people feel a natural calling to the water. People who want to work at sea almost always have options, but security is something that never really exists in an absolute form.

Workers' compensation that is managed by state funds and collected from employers' insurance payments do not cover incidents what happens in waters not claimed by the state. A federal law called the Jones Act takes over in these areas, guaranteeing coverage to workers on vessels. The Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA) helps workers with jobs on land that support maritime commerce.

Liftboat accident caused workplace injuries

Liability may be complicated in a motor vehicle accident, but jurisdiction is usually clear. The court in the parish where an accident happened can rule on any criminal act or civil liability connected to a collision. But where do we turn if an accident occurs on the water?

This is a constant question for many maritime workers and others who spend time in the Gulf of Mexico. Who can help in the case of an emergency that causes an injury or damage? Fortunately, the federal government often takes over where the state boundaries end a few miles off the coast.

Consider the 3 possible sources of help after a work injury

Service on the water has always come with risks, from dealing with unusual equipment to getting washed overboard. That does not stop dedicated workers from keeping shipping, fishing and resource extraction operations running to fuel and feed the country. And the federal government has taken steps to help the people who get this vital work done.

There are three possible sources of help for a worker in a maritime-based industry if there has been an injury or illness in the line of duty. The first is the Jones Act, a century-old law governing American shipping on the high seas, covers vessel crews if they require help with recovery.

Four dangers in the commercial fishing industry

As a commercial fisherman, you spend days and even weeks at sea to earn a living. You’re at the mercy of the elements and the dangers of working on a commercial fishing boat. You don’t have to be told that fishermen face hazards that can lead to severe injuries and even death.

Commercial fishing is one of the most hazardous occupations in the United States. The fatality rate is 29 times higher than the national average worker fatality. The Gulf coast shrimp industry had the highest number of deaths from 2005 to 2014 in all commercial fishing fleets.

Different courts rule on different types of cases

A life on the water is not an easy one. Everyone from the captain of a vessel to the deckhands face risks that no landlubber would see or even understand, and caution combined with experience can easily save lives on the sea, the river or other bodies of water hosting American trade.

This risk is considered higher when the recourse can be confusing for people who suffered an accident, especially when it leads to injury or illness. Workers in factories and warehouses have the protection of workers' compensation laws in Louisiana and other states, but these safeties are more complicated offshore.

Dredge worker injured on board needed Jones Act protection

When your feet are on land, you can take a lot for granted. Then everything changes when you set foot on a boat or ship headed for trade waters. One of those changes is an employer's liability if you are injured or sickened on the job.

In the same way that workers' compensation laws in Louisiana and other states guarantee medical help financing in this case, the Jones Act covers American workers at sea or working in interstate commerce on the water. Sometimes, seamen and other maritime workers have to fight for these rights.

Barge crash could have resulted in admiralty law claims

Most workers who are in danger of being injured or sickened in the office know that workers' compensation laws in their state will help them recover. But what if you don't know what state you were in when you were injured? What if you weren't in a state at all?

This can be the case when people are hurt on the interstate trade lanes of America's rivers and lakes, as well as the deepwater routes off the Gulf Coast and in the Atlantic Ocean. Fortunately, the government in Washington has its own version of workers' compensation laws to cover workers on the waves.

Workers at sea have different workers' compensation laws

Have you known someone who took a full-time job just for the health benefits? Have you been that person? Some people aren't cut out for office work, but they take it so they can afford a trip to the doctor. Fortunately, when it comes to workers on the water, they have certain guarantees regardless of their employer.

This protection for maritime workers comes from the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act of 1927, which is similar to workers' compensation laws in Louisiana and other states. The federal statute was created because courts were not awarding claims to workers on boats and ships in the same way as workers on land.

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