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Workers Compensation Newsletters

Claims under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act

According to the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP), an employee who may be covered by the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act should take certain actions if he is injured.

Horseplay

Horseplay is not altogether uncommon in the workplace and basically consists of boisterous and playful roughhousing. When an injury arises in the workplace as a result of horseplay, the question of compensability comes into play. It is a relatively uniform principle throughout the states that if the injured party was not a participant in the horseplay, but only injured by the horseplay, compensation will not be denied. However, only some states will permit the recovery of workers’ compensation benefits if the injured party instigated the horseplay or participated therein. Many jurisdictions outright deny compensation to instigating employees based on the principle of the employee as the “aggressor.”

Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act

The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act is a federal law that provides medical, disability, and death benefits for longshoremen, harbor workers, and other marine employees who are injured or killed in the course of their employment. The Act is administered by the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs of the Employment Standards Administration of the United States Department of Labor.

Loss of Hearing as an Occupational Disease

Occupational hearing loss is a prevalent condition in workers employed in noisy environments such as factories and repair shops. Several states recognize the gradual loss of hearing as a compensable condition and such recognition has also taken place under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. Generally, a six-month waiting period is required prior to the filing of a hearing loss claim and the employee must be removed from the noisy environment for that time frame. The degree of impairment is generally based on speech frequencies with points ranging between total deafness and no compensable deafness. The improvement in hearing with the use of a hearing aid is not accounted for.

Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ compensation is an employer-provided benefit that exists to aid an employee or his dependents in the event that the employee is injured or killed on the job. Workers’ compensation is governed by each state’s laws, but the general consensus is that eligibility for such benefits turns on whether the employee suffered an accidental injury that arose out of and in the course of his employment or an occupational disease.