Longshore Workers' Compensation

Background

As stated in the Operational Safety Issue, safety is job one in our industry. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) along with applicable laws and regulations provide guidance to the marine cargo handling industries. Safety is also given prominence in collective bargaining agreements and by employers' National Maritime Safety Association (NMSA). The Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA) provides a framework for compensation to injured employees while minimizing costs such as excessive litigation expenses.

Nevertheless, the LHWCA has been termed as the most expensive workers compensation system in the country. It has not been updated recently. As an example, while fair compensation is a priority there are states where workers can seek dual and overlapping compensation from both the state and federal programs. In an effort to ensure no-fault coverage, typical time limitations for making claims are not in place such as hearing loss claims made against the last employer by older former employees who had not worked recently.

NAWE Position

NAWE supports the work done by safety organizations such as NMSA and OSHA to ensure safety is job one. NAWE also advocates that the Act should to be subjected to comprehensive reform.