Maritime work is extremely physical and can put employees in hazardous situations. Because of this, the government has created laws that require workers’ compensation for these workers, a protection in case anything harmful may occur.

The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) is a federal law that cares for the compensation of injuries and related expenses for longshore and harbor workers. As a maritime worker, it can be helpful to understand these regulations and how they may protect you should an injury occur. It covers the following damages.

LHWCA covers injuries that occur when:

  • Working as a maritime employee, including longshore workers, harbor construction, shipbuilders and ship repairers.
  • Working as a non-maritime employee on navigable water
  • On the United States navigable waters.
  • On water-adjacent areas for vessel work, including piers, wharves, docks and terminals.
  • Loading, unloading, repairing and building watercrafts.

LHWCA covers incidents, including:

  • Occupational diseases, including pulmonary disease, mesothelioma, asbestosis, skin diseases and asthma.
  • Hearing loss.
  • Illnesses from employment.
  • Injuries from work activities.
  • Work-related injuries that lead to employee death.

LHWCA does not cover:

  • Government employees
  • Injuries caused by intoxication
  • Intentional injuries

If you sustain an injury while working in the longshore and harbor industry, you should report your injury to your supervisor and seek medical attention as soon as possible. Then, you may file a claim with the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs. It may be helpful to talk with an attorney when filing this type of claim because worker’s compensation can get tricky.