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What are employers' responsibilities under the Port and Dock Workers' Compensation Act?

Port and Dock Workers Compensation Act

The Harbor and Dock Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA) is a federal law that provides compensation benefits to employees who are injured or become ill while working in the navigable waters of the United States or adjacent areas when their work is related to maritime activities.

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What are employers' responsibilities under the Port and Dock Workers' Compensation Act?

Purpose of the Port and Dock Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA)

The LHWCA was enacted in 1927 to address the unique risks faced by maritime workers, who are often exposed to dangerous conditions and have limited access to medical care. The law provides a no-fault compensation system, meaning injured workers are entitled to benefits regardless of who caused their injury.

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Scope of LHWCA

The LHWCA covers a wide range of maritime activities, including:

  • Loading and unloading ships
  • Ship construction and repair
  • Stowage
  • Port construction
  • Dredging
  • Dive
  • Maritime rescue

Employers Subject to the LHWCA

The LHWCA applies to employers who are involved in maritime activities, including:

  • Shipping companies
  • Shipyards
  • stevedoring companies
  • Port construction companies
  • Dredging companies
  • Diving companies
  • Maritime salvage companies

Employer Responsibilities Under the LHWCA

Commercial Maritime Liabilities Under Compensation

Employers subject to the LHWCA have a range of responsibilities, including:

Provide a Safe Workplace

  • Comply with OSHA standards
  • Provide adequate safety equipment
  • Train employees on safety procedures

Ensure Compensation Coverage

  • Get Workers Compensation Insurance
  • Post coverage notices
  • Report accidents to the insurance company

Paying Benefits to Injured Employees

  • Temporary Total Disability Benefits
  • Permanent Total Disability Benefits
  • Death benefits
  • Medical benefits

Keep Records

  • Accident reports
  • Medical Records
  • Payroll Records

Meet Reporting Requirements

  • Report accidents to the US Department of Labor
  • Submit annual reports

Employer Defenses to LHWCA Claims

Employers may have a number of defenses to LHWCA claims, including:

  • Employee negligence
  • Employee poisoning
  • Intentional employee misconduct
  • Third party liability

Importance of Compliance with the LHWCA

Compliance with the LHWCA is essential for employers in the maritime industry. Failure to comply can result in significant financial penalties and legal liability.

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Benefits of Compliance for Employers

  • Reduced Workers Compensation Costs
  • Improved employee morale
  • Reduced risk of lawsuits
  • Improved reputation

Penalties for Non-Compliance

  • Fines
  • Prison
  • Civil responsability

Employers should consult an attorney to ensure they are in compliance with the LHWCA.

What are employers' responsibilities under the Port and Dock Workers' Compensation Act?

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