If you work on a Louisiana dock loading and unloading ships, you know how dangerous your job can be. You may put yourself in dangerous situations every day just to get the job done. Just because you stay on shore doesn’t mean that your job is any safer than the jobs of workers out on the ships. But the protections that cover those workers in case of injury may not cover you.
Workers considered crew or masters of a vessel have the Jones Act to pay for any on-the-job injuries. But the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) covers maritime workers who work on shore.
Who does LHWCA cover?
LHWCA is a federal coverage of injured maritime workers. It covers a large amount of people who work in the maritime industry on land. This can include anyone who works on a harbor or dock doing a job related to loading or unloading of ships or construction of ships. LHWCA also covers workers on off-shore drilling rigs and civilians who work on government projects or contracts.
This coverage excludes anyone who works on a ship or vessel’s crew and spends most of their time working on the ship since the Jones Act covers those workers. LHWCA also excludes those who work near the water but don’t perform duties related to loading, unloading, repair or construction.
What benefits does LHWCA have?
LHWCA is similar to state workers’ compensation plans. Employers either administer a plan or buy it through an insurance company. If a worker becomes injured due to the job, LHWCA benefits cover medical bills and lost wages.
The worker can also receive disability benefits through LHWCA. If the injury either temporarily or permanently disables the worker, LHWCA can cover up to two-thirds of the worker’s expected wage.
If a worker dies as a result of a workplace injury, the family of the worker can also claim survivor benefits through LHWCA.
LHWCA can cover you after a workplace injury
As a maritime worker, you face a lot of danger at work. If you do become injured, LHWCA can make sure that you don’t lose out on wages when you can’t work.