USL&H and Jones Act Coverage
Paul Lynch and Associates, Inc. has done extensive work in relation of how USL&H and Jones Act affect their clients bottom line. These two acts while mutually exclusive, frequently inner twine themselves. This innertwining can have significant effects on insurance cost.
These issues have a direct affect on costs of doing business. We sell insurance to cover these risks and also offer consulting services designed to help you and your local insurance agent understand these issues or bid a specific job.
Both State Workers' Compensation and the Longshore Harbor Worker's Compensation Act are nontort and are not subject to the laws of negligence. The employer is simply responsible for accidents that occur during normal operations.
USL&H is a federal act (sometimes referred to as the Longshore Harbor Workers' Compensation Act - LHWCA) designed to provide compensation to an employee if an injury or death occurs upon navigable waters of the US - including any adjoining pier, wharf, dry dock, terminal, building-way, marine railway or other adjoining area customarily used by an employer in loading, unloading, repairing, dismantling or building a vessel.
This law was originally enacted to protect workers engaged in stevedoring and ship building operations, but, through suits and case law, has been expanded to encompass nearly any employee or company whose work takes them on "navigable waters" - marine contractors, diving contractors, service companies supplying equipment "on the water" and ship repair operations.
This law has extreme ramifications for companies who have "incidental USL&H" exposure - marine, dock and seawall contractors whose work is on canals and waters leading into "navigable water" - such as the Intracoastal waterway - and on to the Atlantic.
Unlike State Workers' compensation, which is regulated, Longshore claims fall under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Labor. Longshore claims can have a higher benefits schedule, more severe penalties and legal ramifications for noncompliance.
State Act Workers' Compensation plans DO NOT cover these type employees whether State comp plans have been excluded from your operation or not.
If you use a leasing company or PEO for State compensation purposes in your operations, you should check with us NOW to make sure you're covered.
Click here for the complete USL&H Act
Click here for: USL&H Web Site - Dept of labor
Click here for: USL&H Compliance Assistance
The Jones Act is a federal act, which provides employee benefits - similar to Workers' Compensation - to masters and members of a US-flagged vessel. (A "flagged vessel" can be a pontoon boat taking a crew to a job site, a small 17' center console used to push a barge for seawall construction or an ocean liner). State Act Workers' Compensation plans DO NOT cover vessel crew and employees can bring action against their employer for negligence.
The complete text of the Jones Act is available here.
Check out the FAQ section of our web site for a definition of a "seaman" under the Jones Act.
If there may be USL&H or Jones Act exposures on your job, you or your insurance agent should contact us and examine how these exposures can impact your business, insurance coverage and profitability.
USL&H (LHWCA) InformationUS Code-Title 33 - Chapter 18 - Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation - USL&H
U.S. Coast Guard Definition of Navigable Waters
Do you need USL&H Coverage? - Excerpt from District 6 Department of Labor Newsletter - February, 2000
Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (361k file)
United States Department of Labor Office of Administrative Law Judges SEEKING SOLOMON'S WISDOM: State Act, Longshore Act or Jones Act. Which to Choose ? A Coast to Coast Discussion.
Paul Lynch article on USL&H/Jones Act Compensation-Underwater Magazine - Winter, 1994
1984 Amendments to USL&H
Jones Act InformationFull Text of the Jones Act (1920 and revisions)
McDermott International, Inc. v Wilander - Jones Act
Supreme Court Definition of a "seaman" under the Jones Act
The American Association of State Compensation Insurance Funds (AASCIF)
Last updated: August 2, 2006