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Coverage of Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act

The LHWCA was first enacted in 1927 to cover dockside workers on navigable waters. Today, it covers most maritime workers not protected under the Jones Act and other workers’ compensation laws.

This federal law provides disability payments, medical benefits, and survivor benefits to injured employees. It also allows family members of workers killed on the job to pursue compensation for wrongful death.

Who Is Covered?

The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) benefits longshoremen, dock workers, ship repairers, and harbor construction workers who sustain on-the-job injuries while working on navigable waters or in an adjoining area. These areas may include docks, piers, bridges, and wharves.

The LHWCA also benefits civilian employees on U.S. military bases as part of the Defense Base Act extension.

Unlike state laws, the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act provides extremely generous stipulations regarding workplace injury compensation. It includes not only payment for medical treatment but also mileage and reasonable transportation expenses (parking, tolls) and vocational rehabilitation benefits if it is likely that the injured employee will not be able to return to work in their original field.

What Is the Status Test?

Under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, employees must satisfy a status test to receive workers’ compensation benefits. This test focuses on the nature of the employee’s work for their employer and where it occurred.

The status test is one of several tests that an employee must pass to be eligible for LHWCA benefits. Another is the situs test, which identifies whether an employee’s job duties occur near or adjacent to navigable water.

While this test has been adopted in many states to combat employer misclassification, many companies are still fighting it.

What Is the Situs Test?

The Situs Test is one of the basic tests for a Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) claim. The employee’s injury must occur on, near, or adjacent to navigable water.

It includes working on piers, wharves, dry docks, terminals, building ways, or any adjoining area customarily used by an employer in loading, unloading, repairing, dismantling, or making a vessel.

But it’s also important to note that a person working in an entirely different location, such as a garage, will likely not meet this test.

Despite these limitations, the situs test is essential because it identifies a specific type of work that qualifies as maritime. If you’ve been injured in a maritime workplace, an experienced Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act attorney can help you determine whether your case qualifies under the law. Using an experienced LHWCA lawyer can significantly benefit your case and help you receive the benefits you deserve.

What Is Occupational Disease?

Occupational disease refers to diseases and conditions directly connected to work. It can include injuries or conditions from exposure to a hazardous substance, such as asbestos inhalation, or repetitive physical actions and tasks performed during employment.

In many countries, workers are entitled to compensation for such diseases. These can range from musculoskeletal disorders to respiratory and skin diseases.

One of the most common of these is contact dermatitis, which is caused by direct exposure to an irritant or allergen. It accounts for 15% to 20% of all reported occupational diseases.

Other common occupational diseases directly connected to work include asthma, bronchitis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). These conditions are often due to repeated exposure to airborne substances in the workplace.

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