Abbott Clay & Reed

Do Dockworkers Have Special Laws That Protect Them In the Event Of an Injury?

In Jones Act Law, Legal Representation, LHWCA on July 13, 2009 at 3:55 PM

Dockworkers and Longshoreman do, in fact, have a specific law which is targeted at protecting them financially in the event that they are injured while on the job. There are a number of laws like this that are profession specific. These laws usually relate to those jobs that are more dangerous or more likely to result in the injury of a worker in order to ensure that people still feel protected enough to fulfill those essential services. In the case of dockworkers and longshoremen, it is the Longshoreman and Harbor Workers Compensation Act. Usually you will just see this listed as the LHWCA.

This act provides medical benefits as well as covering the cost of rehabilitation for any injury sustained by these workers by on the job. In fact, this act also provides benefits for diseases that they may contract from their work, or that may be made worse by the conditions in which they work. They also will receive compensation for lost wages so that they can continue to support themselves in a proper lifestyle; meeting a basic standard of living. When this law was originally created, it only covered workers who weren’t already covered by a workers’ compensation law in their state. However, it has now been changed to cover all workers who specifically fall under its guidelines.

It is important to understand who is covered under the LHWCA in order to realize who can receive these types of benefits and who would be required to file a more traditional workers’ compensation claim in the event of an injury while at work. Longshoreman, dock workers, harbor workers, anyone directly working on building or repairing ships, and ship breakers are all considered covered under this law. However, those who might work for a harbor in an office situation as an example, are not covered, and would have to file a different type of claim if injured on the job.

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