For maritime employers, understanding who is covered and who is excluded under the Longshore Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA) is crucial for correctly accounting for the legal status of workers. The official Department of Labor website lists some of the practices this law makes necessary when injuries prevent a worker from performing their duties.

Insurance brokers who are familiar with the ways these standards apply to your business can make them more immediately relatable. Here are a few elements of the Act to be aware of when evaluating individual cases:

  • Accurate records are a necessity: Insurance providers and employers must keep accurate injury records that go back at least three years. Insurance companies may be required to make reports about outstanding claims.
  • Employees are protected from unlawful discharge: Among other protections granted to maritime workers, this legislation prevents employers from taking action against workers solely because the latter have tried to claim compensation according to the Act's mandates. While this provision can be challenged in certain cases, it forces employers to take employee rights seriously when claims are issued.
  • Stay mindful of the Defense Base Act (DBA): According to an article in the National Law Review, this other act also concerns the impacts of injuries and death upon workers while including some of the LHWCA. At the same time, the DBA can also "displace claims brought under other federal laws and statutes, including allegations of misrepresentation, fraud or wrongful nonpayment made pursuant to the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) statute," the source said.

Purchase marine insurance policies that satisfy the law and are appropriate to the dive work your company will oversee.

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