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New York Legal Blog

What is the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act?

If you work in the maritime industry in New York, you may have heard of the Longshore and Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act. If you are covered or think you may be covered under this Act, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with its details. The United States Department of Labor outlines what Longshore Act covers.

Employers may be held responsible for paying for medical care and any ongoing medical expenses under the Act. In addition, you, your spouse and your children are all entitled to compensation that is a percentage of your average weekly wages. The Act does impose maximum rate limits. However, in general, in the event of your death, your children can get 16 2/3 percent and your spouse would get 50 percent. If you are injured, you are awarded compensation of 66 2/3 percent. There is also a provision for timely payment. Depending on the situation, you could get an additional 10 to 20 percent if the payment is 10-14 days late.

What are the OSHA requirements to prevent drowning accidents?

Drowning in the maritime industry is a very real danger. You have to be vigilant and adhere to all safety rules and regulations to ensure your safety and the safety of those you work with in New York. To make certain that companies and workers are aware of what safety precautions to take, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration sets specific guidelines that must be followed.

OSHA entitles these guidelines Person in Water procedures. PIW procedures include recovery tools and devices that must be present and made available to you. These are things like fixed and portable ladders, devices that include attached lines and can be thrown into the water, life rings, basket stretchers and life jackets.

What are OSHA's guidelines for portable ladders?

There are four different types of portable ladders that may be used by New York employees in work situations. As explained by the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration, these include extension ladders, straight ladders, step ladders and straight-step combination ladders. Employers are responsible for making sure that employees know how to safely use all types of ladders.

OSHA's safety guidelines for ladder use indicates that each ladder has a maximum allowable weight that it is designed to support. This includes not only the weight of any person on the ladder but also equipment or materials that may be used. This weight should not be exceeded. Some ladders have top steps that are designed to be used as steps but for all other ladders, the top step should never be used as such. When on a ladder, workers should only face the ladder, never have their backs to the ladder rungs.

Construction workers one in five workplace deaths

Do you or does someone you know work in the construction industry in New York? If so, you will want to stay on top of the latest in jobsite safety and accidents. Construction companies are required to follow many regulations designed to keep their workers safe yet sadly, many construction workers are injured or killed in work-related accidents every year.

Records from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for 2015 indicate that 937 construction workers were killed in accidents that occured on the job in 2015 alone. That number represents more than 21 percent of all workplace fatalities in private industry businesses. A total of 4,379 individuals lost their lives in job accidents in the private sector. Among all businesses, the total number of fatalities in 2015 was 4,836.

How can a hard hat protect on the job?

If you are a construction worker in New York City, you are most likely aware of the importance of essential safety equipment. This includes hard hats, which are a staple of safety equipment for construction workers everywhere. Hard hats can save your life, and as a result should be worn at all times when on the job site.

The National Safety Council lists some statistics regarding head injuries and construction workers. In 2015, up to 1,020 of workers employed on construction sites succumbed to serious head injuries. To this end, hard hats can greatly mitigate the risk of head injuries thanks to their shock absorption capabilities. Hard hats can also prevent burns from occurring, and work well against penetrative injuries. In this case, when choosing an appropriate hard hat, it helps to know the difference between industrial classes.

Commercial fishing entails high risk of falls overboard

Workers in the commercial fishing industry face a myriad of risks on a daily basis. This includes the risk of falling overboard, which can quickly lead to serious injury or even death in some cases. Here at Hofmann & Schweitzer, we know that protecting workers from the dangers associated with the maritime industry is of the utmost importance. Our experience assisting injured maritime workers allows us to provide the following important information, which can help keep fishermen safe when faced with common dangers.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that there are certain measures that can be taken to prevent fatalities when workers fall overboard. The location where the injured fisherman has fallen should be marked appropriately until rescue efforts can get underway. This entails using a combination of technology, such as lights, GPS devices, life rings and any other safety apparatus that's available. It’s also important to notify nearby vessels to enlist their help on the rescue effort.

Construction Accidents: The Tall and Short of It

Crane accidents and falls from heights get all the attention and make the news, but there are dangers all over construction sites, both high and low. In fact, shorter construction accidents are frequently more dangerous than the taller ones. Much of the reason for that is due to the lack of requirements for a safety site coordinator, safety site plans, or worker safety training when the building is shorter. A licensed superintendent is still required, but they must do much more than just regulate safety, and they often end up struggling with conflicts of interest in an effort to get the job done on time and on budget.

What is a maritime lien for seafarers’ wages?

Just as any New York employer is in charge of paying the wages for his or her employees, the owners of a ship hold the responsibility to ensure that workers get paid. If you are a seafarer and do not receive the payments you are due, a maritime lien can be placed until your wages are paid.


What are the most dangerous areas of a construction site?

For construction workers in New York, a hard hat does not always cut it when it comes to safety. If you are employed on a construction site, you are part of one of the top industries for worker deaths in the United States. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has stated that, in the year 2015 alone, 937 workers were killed on building sites, a number that totals over 20 percent of all deaths in any private industry.


Beyond Deadliest Catch


If you ask a man or woman on the street what the most dangerous profession is, "crab fisherman" "crabber" or "commercial fisherman" is likely to come out of their mouth. This is largely due to the runaway success over the year's of the show Deadliest Catch, which chronicles the daily grind of fishing for crab in Alaska's Bering Sea. 

What people may not realize is that you don't have to venture out within eyeshot of Russia to have a dangerous maritime job. Read on to learn more about risky maritime jobs you may not be as familiar with. 

Fighting To Protect What Matters Most

You are not the only one who suffers after a serious accident. Crushing medical bills and lost wages can be devastating to your family for years.

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