ADMIRALTY / MARITIME LAW

Exclusions of the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act

| Aug 27, 2020 | Maritime Law |

Given Louisiana’s proximity to the Gulf of Mexico, the Mississippi river and many other bodies of water, there is a lot of work revolving around ships and the shipping industry. There are many different jobs within this industry as well. Some people work exclusively on the ships and travel on them, but there are many others involved in the building and maintenance of ships or work in the harbor loading and unloading ships. There are also others involved in the administration of the companies involved in these businesses.

This industry is somewhat unique though in that much of it involves the oceans and is governed by maritime law. There are many laws governing this industry and some of them are there to protect the workers in the industry who may not be covered by traditional state workers’ compensation benefits. One of these laws is the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, which provides compensation for workers injured while on the job and are unable to work as a result.

While many workers in this industry are covered by this Act, there are people who are not covered. Seaman, who are crew on the actual ships, are not covered. People who are employed by a federal governmental agency are not covered. Also, if the injuries were self-inflicted on purpose or the worker was intoxicated at the time, they may not be entitled to compensation.

In addition to those people, anyone covered by state workers’ compensation benefits are also excluded. These could be those who exclusively work in the offices of the company; people working on smaller ships, those employed by vendors, transporters or suppliers who do not normally work in the harbors; those working in restaurants or other stores in the harbor area; and others as well.

There are many people in Louisiana who earn their money working in the harbors and in the shipping industry. Like anyone it is important that these people are safe and healthy so they can continue to earn an income. It can be very detrimental when they are injured, but these injured workers may be able to receive compensation depending on the circumstances. Experienced attorneys understand the importance of this compensation and may be able to guide one through the process.