Longshoreman Injury Attorneys

Helping Injured Longshoremen & Harbor Workers

Longshoremen and harbor workers, each tasked with critical responsibilities within maritime operations, face environments brimming with potential hazards. Longshoremen handle the heavy-duty task of loading and unloading cargo from ships and other vessels, while harbor workers engage in a variety of roles including ship repair, construction, and maintenance. Both sets of maritime workers operate in challenging working conditions that necessitate strict adherence to safety protocols to mitigate the risks inherent in their duties.  

Despite stringent federal safety regulations, the risk of severe injury remains a daily reality. 

If you are a longshoreman or harbor worker who sustained injuries in a work-related incident, it is crucial to understand your legal rights. If you have been injured in the course of employment, especially if resulting from employer negligence or failure to maintain safety standards, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Medical expenses resulting from work-related injuries should not be your burden. Compensation may also cover lost wages and, in severe cases, provide for long-term financial security if returning to work becomes unfeasible. 

At Arnold & Itkin, we are committed to advocating vigorously on behalf of longshoremen and harbor workers. Our legal experience extends to supporting those who have suffered significant injuries. In tragic cases of fatalities during shipyard operations, we also assist families in pursuing rightful claims. Our approach is fearless, even against formidable corporate opposition, as we strive to secure the justice and financial compensation you deserve.

The Role of Longshoremen in Cargo Handling

A longshoreman is a specialized maritime worker primarily responsible for the loading and unloading of cargo from ships. This role is central to the functioning of marine terminals, which are the nerve centers of maritime trade. 

However, the scope of a longshoreman's duties goes beyond this essential service. They are often required to perform a range of tasks as dictated by the terminal operator's needs, including:

  • Operating heavy machinery
  • Rigging cargo
  • Carrying substantial loads

The dynamic work environment of marine terminals, filled with cranes, tractors, forklifts, and heavy cargo containers, demands constant vigilance and adaptability. Despite strict safety regulations, the complexity and busy nature of these terminals pose significant risks. Therefore, a longshoreman's role is not just defined by their physical labor but also by their alertness and flexibility in such active and potentially hazardous settings.

The Role of Harbor Workers in Maritime Operations

Harbor workers are responsible for critical tasks necessary for the overall functionality of the maritime industry. These workers engage in a wide range of activities, including ship repair, maintenance, construction, and more.

The harbor environment is a bustling area where these workers navigate around ships and boats in various stages of repair or construction, use specialized machinery and tools, and operate equipment for cargo handling.  Due to the continuous flow of vehicles and personnel, harbor workers must maintain a proactive safety approach. They must be proficient in their trade and have the skills to manage the unique challenges of a busy harbor. This includes adhering to safety protocols while efficiently carrying out their duties to ensure the smooth operation of maritime activities.

The Rights of Harbor Workers & Longshoreman

Longshoremen and harbor workers often work with heavy machinery and large equipment. These workers have a fundamental right to refuse engagement in any practices they believe to be unsafe or in contravention of the standards, regulations, and requirements set by OSHA. This right is pivotal in promoting workplace safety, empowering employees to avoid hazardous situations without fear of adverse employment actions. It is unlawful for employers to retaliate against workers for exercising this right by discharging, suspending, or subjecting them to discriminatory treatment. This provision plays a vital role in upholding a safe, healthy, and compliant working environment in the maritime industry.

About the Longshore & Harbor Workers' Compensation Act 

Enacted in 1927, the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA), also referred to as the "Longshore Act," is pivotal legislation designed to protect the rights of maritime workers. In addition to those responsible for loading and unloading on docks, the LHWCA also covers workers building or repairing vessels. 

The LHWCA offers comprehensive employment injury and occupational disease protection. Under this Act, compensation for injuries or illnesses sustained in the work environment is the responsibility of the employer, an authorized insurance carrier, or the Division of Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation fund. 

The Act encompasses a wide range of maritime professionals, including, but not limited to:

  • Longshoremen
  • Dock workers and stevedores
  • Cargo inspectors
  • Crane and forklift operators
  • Freight handlers
  • Marine cargo surveyors
  • Ship repairers
  • Shipbuilders and shipbreakers

Additionally, the Act extends to cover work-related hazards encountered in shipyards and boat yards located on navigable waters, as well as other maritime facilities located on or near navigable waters, which include wharves, dry docks, graving docks, terminals, building ways, marine railways, and more.

The Role of National Maritime Safety Administration

In response to the distinct and complex hazards inherent in the maritime industry, the National Maritime Safety Administration was established. This organization is dedicated to representing the interests of the marine cargo handling industry with a strong emphasis on safety. Its mission is to "aid, advance, assist, encourage, promote, and support safety in marine cargo handling operations." Collaborating closely with the OSHA, these organizations jointly strive to equip those in the marine cargo handling industry with essential tools for safety management. This includes providing comprehensive information, expert guidance, and access to valuable training resources. These efforts are geared towards enhancing the protection of employees' health and safety in this challenging and dynamic field.

Nationwide Representation. Call Today: (888) 346-5024

At Arnold & Itkin, we offer experienced legal guidance to injured longshoremen and harbor workers, dedicating our extensive expertise to uphold their legal rights. Our firm provides nationwide representation, advocating for longshoremen's rights under maritime law. Whether you're in TexasLouisianaMississippi, Alabama, or elsewhere, our goal is to ensure you receive the full benefits you're entitled to. We approach each case with the determination to maximize our clients' recoveries, equipped with the confidence and skill to succeed in both trials and negotiations.

To learn more about how Arnold & Itkin can support your claim as a longshore or harbor worker, contact one of our injury attorneys today at (888) 346-5024. We take pride in representing clients nationwide, including offshore workers from various states, ensuring they receive the representation and recovery they deserve.

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