The federal government has established several regulations that deal with maritime issues of employee safety and compensation. In addition to the Jones Act, which states that employees are allowed to sue their employers in the event of a work-related injury while on open water, the United States Longshore & Harbor (USL&H) Act acts a form of workers’ comp coverage for boating or activities are done on or near navigable waters.
According to this act, employees who become ill or injured while working near or on boating waterways are eligible for workers’ compensation coverage provided by the employer. This included dock builders, marine contractors, repair services, or other businesses operating in qualifying locations. The information found at Merrimac Marine Insurance identifies the following areas as qualifying locations:
- Dry Dock
- Marine railway
Employees that are injured due to loading, unloading, building, or repairing meet eligibility criteria. The benefits are assessed through wage loss and post-injury earning abilities.
Not carrying the right insurance is more than just a financial headache arising from a lawsuit or settlement. Employers that fail to have coverage in place in the event of an accident and claim can be subject to heavy fines imposed by the government. However, it could also lead to imprisonment for up to a year for the offender.