Louisiana residents who work in the shipping industry on the country's navigable waters are more than likely familiar with "bunker" fuel. Many freighters use this heavy fuel oil to power the engines. Unfortunately, this fuel can cause work-related illnesses such as asthma and other respiratory ailments that could cut a career short.
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) helps provide compensation for those who suffer injuries “on the navigable waters of the United States.” For some, it’s easy to understand if they are eligible for this compensation. Those hurt while performing construction on a pier or dock can file a claim quickly.
Sailors here in Louisiana and elsewhere face numerous dangers aboard ship regardless of whether they work for the U.S. military or a private company. One of those hazards comes from chemicals and other materials that could be toxic. Sailors have a right to know what could potentially cause them harm as they perform their onboard duties, and the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in a case involving maritime law affirms that right.