Longshore Harbor Workers Compensation Act

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Who is Covered?

The Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act covers workers employed in maritime occupations, including longshore workers or other persons in longshore operations, and any harbor workers, including ship repairers, shipbuilders, and shipbreakers. The Act covers injuries that occur during maritime employment on navigable waters of the United States.

Maritime employment includes the loading/unloading vessels, repairing vessels and building a vessel. Navigable waters includes places beyond where a boat could float-Navigable water can include places on land that adjoin water. Areas near a pier or wharf can also be included in navigable waters such as areas for loading, unloading, repairing, or building vessels.

The Act excludes the following individuals if they are covered by a state workers' compensation law: office employees, certain retail and service employees, small vessel workers and individuals engaged in repairing certain recreational vessels, and masters or members of a crew of any vessel.

In addition to longshore and other maritime workers, the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act covers a variety of other employees through several extensions to the Act.

In addition to the persons who actually load and unload cargos, support persons are also necessary and they are traditionally covered as a part of the loading and unloading business. It is not necessary that the employment activities take place on or near a pier at the water's edge.

Persons who work in shipyards building, repairing or tearing down vessels are also covered under the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act as well as persons involved in building docks or other structures over the water.

Other employees who are covered include truck drivers, forklift operators, crane operators, and employees on fixed oil production platforms on the continental shelf of the Gulf of Mexico and on fixed platforms elsewhere. A worker who is injured on a pier, wharf, dry dock, terminal, can be compensated under the Act.

Longshore & Harbor Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA)

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