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Who is covered by the Longshore Act?

Ships come and go from the shores of Louisiana every day. There are major ports that are very busy and important to international commerce. There are also many people needed to work on the ships and in the industry even if they are not actually working on boats. This type of work can be very strenuous as well and utilizes heavy machinery to do much of the necessary work. There are inherent dangers and many workers are injured at work each year in boating accidents.

In order to protect these workers there are a couple of different federal laws protecting them if they are hurt. One major one is the Jones Act, but workers may also be protected by the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act, also known as the Longshore Act.

An injured worker may be entitled to compensation under the Longshore Act if they were injured while on the navigable waters of the United States. This includes docks, wharfs, piers and other areas which are commonly used for loading, unloading, building and repairing ships.

However, it does not cover an employee who was injured at a facility of an employer who only works on small vessels. There are exceptions to that rule though. If the injury happened on the navigable waters of the U.S., if the facility received federal maritime subsidies or if the worker is not covered by the state's workers' compensation, they may still be covered by the Longshore Act.

There are many people in Louisiana that work in the maritime industry. While no one expects to get injured at work, accidents happen and injuries occur. The injured workers may be entitled to compensation under the Longshore Act. This compensation can be very valuable for the employee while they receive the necessary medical treatment and are unable to work. It is important to understand one's options and experienced attorneys may be a useful resource.

Source: United States Department of Labor, "Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act," accessed on August 7, 2017

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