If you're not familiar with the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA), you should know that it is a federal law that makes sure that employees hurt on the navigable waters of the U.S. are able to obtain medical care, compensation and vocational rehabilitation. This law also covers those who are working in areas used for the unloading, loading, building or repairing of a vessel.
For dockworkers, one of the most dangerous scenarios is when a ship comes into port in a slightly out-of-control fashion and strikes the dock itself. Depending on the size of the vessel, the damage could be catastrophic. Workers on the dock and the ship could suffer injuries.
If you get injured on or near a waterway, you need to know exactly what rights you have. To some degree, these are covered by the Longshore & Harbor Workers' Compensation Act, or the LHWCA. Are you covered by this act?
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.
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.
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.
Workers struggled in Louisiana and other parts of the United States for the right protections to help them do their best work and contribute to the economy. Now, workers' compensation laws are as secure as the ground under work boots. But what if there is no ground under those boots?
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.
If you work in a shipyard or a harbor or you're a longshore worker, then you were likely taught about the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Act (LHWCA) when you were first trained for your job. They might not have gone into great detail about what it is and who's eligible for protection under it though.
Underwater welders earn top salaries due in large part to the enormous risks they face carrying out their tasks. Whether they work from oil rigs, ships or on pipelines, their work can take them out to sea for weeks or even months at a time.