What is a harbor worker?
A harbor worker is an employee who works in or around a harbor and who engages in specific maritime activities. Under the definition of “employee” in the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA), harbor workers include ship repairmen, shipbuilders (design and construction), and ship-breakers (tearing apart ships for scrap). People who are employed as clerical help or work in harbor side restaurants or shops are specifically mentioned as not being harbor workers. Harbor workers and longshoremen have different definitions but are covered for workplace injuries under the same statute. The LHWCA provides payment for damages, lost wages, medical expenses, and vocational rehabilitation services to harbor workers injured while working on navigable waters in the United States and areas adjoining the water (piers, docks, wharves, terminals). The LHWCA also pays survivor benefits to dependents if the work-related injury contributes to or causes a harbor worker’s death.