Dockworkers do an essential job for the country’s economic development, but it is also difficult and dangerous work. In this sense, if they are victims of a work injury, illness or fatality, federal law gives them the right to request compensation from their employer to protect their health and protect their family.
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. LHWCA.
Maritime and dockworkers in the navigable waters of the United States are protected by The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, LHWCA.
This legal tool is also applicable in work areas on land, such as piers, terminals, loading and unloading areas, and other nearby facilities related to trade or shipbuilding. The LHWCA can also cover non-maritime workers who are injured in these locations.
How does the LHWCA protect you?
The benefits established in the LHWCA provide compensation for the worker’s medical care, disability, or death due to a work injury. It can include the following aspects:
- Medical benefits, such as medical, surgical, and hospital care and treatment for occupational injuries or illnesses related to maritime work.
- Financial compensation for disability and time away from work.
- Professional rehabilitation or vocational retraining service.
- Financial compensation for the fatality, for the surviving family members of workers who die in a work accident.
What to do in case of injury?
The possibility of being the victim of a work-related accident is a situation that every dockworker must always bear in mind; if it occurs, it is best to notify the employer within a period of no more than 30 days after the event.
In the same vein, injured workers who wish to have access to the benefits provided by the LHWCA must file a formal claim to obtain them within one year of the occurrence of the accident or work injury.