LONGSHORE AND HARBOR WORKERS’ COMPENSATION ACT
ISSUE: Summary of Key Provisions – Part Two
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (33 U.S.C. 901 et seq.) is a federal workers’ compensation law that covers maritime employees working over the navigable waters of the United States or on certain enumerated sites, or on other adjoining areas customarily used for maritime activity. It covers workers in a wide range of industries and occupations.
Status – Sec. 902(3) – the term “employee” means “any person engaged in maritime employment, including any longshoreman or other person engaged in longshoring operations and any harbor worker, including a ship repairman, shipbuilder or shipbreaker.”
Situs – Sec. 903(a) – compensation is payable only if the disability or death results from an injury occurring upon the navigable waters of the United States, including any adjoining pier, wharf, dry dock, terminal, building way, marine railway, or other adjoining area customarily used in loading, unloading, repairing, or building a vessel.
What To Do In the Event of an Injury
- Provide first-aid treatment to the employee; or if emergency treatment is necessary, provide transportation to an emergency room.
- If non-emergency treatment at a medical facility is required, provide a Form LS-1, Request for Examination and/or Treatment. This form authorizes a physician of the employee’s choice to examine and/or treat the employee.
- Complete the Form LS-202, Employer’s First Report of Injury or Occupational Illness. Then immediately or as soon as possible file the form in duplicate with U.S. Department of Labor’s District Office in New York at: U.S. Department of Labor Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs 201 Varick Street, Room 740 P.O. Box 249 New York, NY 10014-0249
- Provide the injured employee with the Form LS-201, Notice of Employee’s Injury or Death, as soon as they report the injury to you. The employee should file the form as soon as possible or within 30 days after the date of the injury. The original should be given to the employer and a copy sent to the District Director.
- Provide the injured employee with a copy of the List of District Offices for the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs.
The U.S. Department of Labor has announced its intention to “scrutinize more closely” the “timeliness in filing first reports of injury” (Form LS-202).
The employer must send Form LS-202 to the DOL’s New York district office within 10 days of a lost time injury, or 10 days from the date that it has knowledge of the injury. The term “lost time injury” means time lost beyond the work day or shift of the injury. If there is no time lost but it is anticipated that the incident will result in a permanent impairment rating then the Form LS-202 should be filed.
Note: The Form LS-202 is not evidence of any fact stated, but facts must be accurate. The employer can describe reported events as “alleged” if it wishes, but it’s not necessary. Don’t wait to verify every last detail.
Note: The time limit for filing a claim does not begin to run against the injured worker until the employer files the Form LS-202. If the employer never files the Form LS-202, the claim filing time requirement never begins to run.
It is the employer’s obligation to file the Form LS-202, not the insurance carrier’s.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
John A. (Jack) Martone served for 27 years in the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs, as the Chief, Branch of Insurance, Financial Management, and Assessments and Acting Director, Division of Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation. Jack joined The American Equity Underwriters, Inc. (AEU) in 2006, where he serves as Senior Vice President, AEU Advisory Services and is the moderator of AEU's Longshore Insider.