Chances are that if you operate any type of business then you are familiar with workers’ compensation policies and the need to protect your company if claims arise. However, if your business – or even just a single project – operates near a waterway then you may be required to have coverage under the USL&H act. The United States Longshore & Harbor Act provides coverage to employees that are working in certain maritime conditions.
Scenarios covered by USL&H are typically excluded in a standard workers’ compensation policy. USL&H also does not cover seamen on a flagged vessel, as this falls under regulations of the Jones Act. It applies to other employees that are working on or over navigable waters. Below are just a few examples of areas where this will apply:
- Ship repairing
- Marine manufacturing
- Marine construction
- Boat dealers
It is important to note that certain facilities are excluded even though they may be on navigable waters. This includes recreational operations such as country clubs or resorts.
If your company is doing work on or near a waterway, it is essential to understand the laws that protect your workers. It can be costly to ignore these regulations and not have insurance to properly protect your business.
Maritime work can be difficult, and many tasks require skill and training. Injuries that occur may not be covered by standard insurance programs because of their nature or where the work is performed. To understand how you can protect both your business and workers, you should conduct research into the United States Long shore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act (USL&H).
What Is the USL&H?
The USL&H is a federal law that is designed to cover gaps in protections for employees performing work on open water. Basically, it serves to protect maritime workers who perform tasks on the navigable waters of the United States. It also covers work performed in adjoining areas like docks or terminals. Companies with marine employees must carry coverage to comply with the United States Long shore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act. Failure to do so can result in a penalty of up to $10,000 or possibly imprisonment.
What Benefits Does It Provide?
When an injury to a worker happens on navigable waters, they are covered by the USL&H. Costs associated with medical care, rehabilitation services and lost wages can be compensated. It also has provisions for survivor benefits to be paid if an injury results in the death of a worker.
Having appropriate insurance coverage can help you avoid costs associated with medical care and fines. At the same time, it can ensure that your workers receive the care and wage replacement they are entitled to in the event of an injury.