A life at sea is a difficult one, but many people take to it for the opportunities that the water affords. Even more laborers support marine commerce, fishing and other vital industries with work in shipyards, on docks or on stationary platforms offshore. There are enough hoops to jump through to keep a maritime work life safe without the difficulties of getting care after illness or injury.
How are workers on the water protected by law?
Many states have workers' compensation laws that require employers to have insurance to make sure they can pay the reasonable medical expenses of their employees. A federal law called the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA) offers the same protections to workers on or near the working waters of the United States. This law also offers survivor benefits to the families of workers who are victims of fatal incidents.
Who is covered by this law?
The LHWCA covers people who build, maintain or demolish ships and shipyards on or near navigable waters. Some other workers may apply for compensation under the act if their injuries or illnesses are connected to these areas as well. Some civilians working on military bases or offshore oil rigs may also apply for help.
Who is not covered?
Government employees and vessel crew members are often covered under different regulations. Many workers near the water who are covered by a state's workers' compensation act may not apply for help under the LHWCA.
How can I get help with a claim?
An attorney can help make a claim or dispute a rejected claim under the LHWCA. No worker should have to suffer after an injury without the right assistance.