Worker Protective Labor Laws in Hawaiʻi, Part 1
Safety & Health and Workers' Compensation

Center for Labor Education & Research
University of Hawai‘i - West O‘ahu

91-1001 Farrington Highway, Kapolei, HI 96707
(808) 689-2760 - FAX (808) 689-2761

E-Mail: clear@hawaii.edu;
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Click here for access to a helpful Glossary of Labor and Legal Terminology

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OSHA & Hawai'i Occupational Safety 2 nd Health Law, HRS 396, [PDF version]

[and Title 12, Chapters 50 through 2250, Administrative Rules
Guidelines
Reports

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, a branch of the U.S. Department of Labor, was created by the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (Chapter 15 of 29 U.S.C. 651-678; P.L. 91-596), to provide for adoption and enforcement of work safety and health standards throughout the United States. The Act allowed for state-run programs which were at least as effective as the federal program.

Since1984, federal OSHA formally relinquished its standards and enforcement authority in areas covered by the Hawai`i program except for federal workers. Administration and enforcement of the Law are the responsibility of the Occupational Safety and Health Division of the State Department of Labor, formerly known as DOSH but now referred to as HIOSH.

GENERAL DUTIES Every employer is responsible for providing safe employment and a safe working place for his or her employees. He or she must furnish and use safety devices and must adopt and use safe practices. Further, an employer may not discharge, suspend or otherwise discriminate against an employee who fails or refuses to operate or handle unsafe equipment or who fails or refuses to engage in unsafe practices in violation of the standards, regulations, citations or orders issued under the authority of the law (HRS §396-8).

An accident prevention program tailored to meet the needs of the organization must be established. In addition, employers must keep records and post information as provided by the Department. The HIOSH poster 'Safety and Health Protection on the Job' must be up throughout the year, while the Annual Summary of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses must be posted during the month of February.

The Hawai'i Occupational Safety and Health Law sets forth in general terms the scope and purpose of the program, the areas to be regulated, the duties, powers and organization of the enforcing agency, and the rights and responsibilities of employers and employees. The lengthy Administrative Rules are the detailed provisions under which the Law is enforced. They encompass the specific measures that employers and employees must take to avoid accidents and illnesses and to comply with the Law.

COVERAGE Coverage under Hawai'i's Occupational Safety and Health Law is extended to all public and private employees, except those hired for domestic service in a private home and those employed by a federal agency. Included in the latter category are employees in maritime activities, who are covered by the federal Act, and employees in atomic energy activities, who are covered by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

In general, civilian employees of the federal government are covered by the federal OSHA. Flight attendants and pilots, when they are in the aircraft, are not covered by OSHA or HOSHL since the FAA preempts both of these statutes.

ENFORCEMENT Employees have the right to file complaints with the Department regarding unsafe conditions and to participate in inspections. In addition, these employees cannot be discharged, suspended, or otherwise discriminated against for filing complaints or for refusing to engage in unsafe practices. (HRS §396-8)

State of Hawai'i Division of Occupational Safety & Health (HIOSH):
On O`ahu call 586-9090 for Health or 586-9110 for Safety
State Dept. of Labor District Offices:
On Maui call 243-5322
On Hawai'i call 933-4391
For West Hawai'i call 322-2775
On Kaua'i call 241-3339

Hot Links to the Federal OSHA Web-sites:

Occupational Safety & Health Administration
http://www.osha.gov/
OSHA Violation Records:
http://www.oshadata.com/
Compliance officers have the right to enter without delay any work place during regular working hours and at other reasonable times. Places of employment are selected for routine inspection on a worse first basis, as determined by workers' compensation injury and illness statistics. Complaints by employees can also initiate an investigation. Advance notice of inspection may not be given unless expressly authorized by the Director under extraordinary circumstances. (The compliance officer must, however, identify himself and present his credentials to the person in charge of the establishment as soon as he arrives at the company.)

The Department also may investigate the cause of industrial injuries resulting in disability or death and, subsequently, issue recommendations or orders. Any employer, owner, operator, agent or employee may be questioned privately during investigations, inspections and enforcement activities.(HRS §396-4 & Administrative Rules)

If an employer refuses to allow a compliance officer to enter or inspect the place of employment, the Administrator may obtain a court warrant compelling the employer to cooperate.

When the Department finds an unsafe condition it may issue a citation, order or notice directing the manner, abatement period, and changes required to correct the hazard. The employer must obey and observe all such directives and post them in prominent places at applicable work sites within one business day of receipt.

If the Department finds conditions which constitute an imminent hazard to the life or safety of any person, it may apply to the circuit court for an injunction restraining the use of the operation until such operation is made safe.

Where a condition or practice could reasonably be expected to cause death or serious physical harm, the Department has the right to immediately inform the employees and employers of the hazard and to take steps to obtain immediate abatement of the hazard by the employer.

The maximum fine for violating the state HIOSHL is $7,000; and an employer charged with a willful or repeated violation could be fined as much as $70,000.

HIOSHL distinguishes between four different categories of violation: serious, willful, repeat, and general.

MATERIAL SAFETY DATA SHEETS Chapter 203 in Part 8 of the regulations (§12-203-7) requires chemical manufacturers and importers to obtain or develop Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS -OSHA form 174) for each hazardous chemical they produce or import and employers to have a MSDS for each chemical they use.

The MSDS must be in English and reveal all the ingredient(s), the chemical(s), the common name(s); the physical and chemical characteristics and health hazards including signs and symptoms of exposure, and any medical conditions which are generally recognized as being aggravated by exposure to the chemical; precautions for safe handling; emergency and first aid procedures.

Copies of the MSDS must be readily accessible during each work shift to employees when they are in their work areas and must be readily available, upon request, to designated union representatives.

Where to Find MSDS on the Internet

STANDARDS Like the federal OSHA, over the years HIOSH has developed detailed sets of standards that must be adhered to. Compliance with existing HIOSH standards is required, but HIOSH may also enact temporary standards to address hazards not otherwise covered. Temporary standards remain in effect until superseded by standards promulgated under Chapter 91 or for a maximum of six months.(HRS §396-4)

HIOSH standards are organized into several major parts:

Part 1 General Legal, and Administrative

Part 2 General Industry Standards

Part 3 Construction Standards

Part 4 Consultation Agreements

Part 5 Shipyard

Part 6 Marine Terminals

Part 7 Longshoring

Part 8 Health Standards

Part 10 Boiler & Pressure Vessel

Part 11 Elevators & Related Systems

Each of the Parts is subdivided into chapters. For example:
Part VIII, Health Standards, include the following chapters:
Chapter 200.1 - Occupational Noise Exposure
Chapter 201.1 - Radiation Hazards
Chapter 202 - Toxic Materials and Harmful Physical Agents
Chapter 202B, Table 2
Chapter 202C, Appendix F to 1910.1027 Nonmandatory Protocol for Biological Monitoing
Chapter 203.1 - Hazard Communication
Chapter 204 - Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories
Chapter 205.1 - Bloodborne Pathogens
Chapter 206 Asbestos
Chapter 207 Retention of DOT Markings, Placards and Labels


Substance Abuse Testing, HRS 329B
In 1990, the State enacted this law to require certain minimum standards be followed by employers who have chosen to subject their workers to drug or substance abuse testing. Testing must be done by licensed laboratories in the State of Hawai'i or, if out of state, by labs licensed under comparable standards. The director of DOH sets the licensing standards which govern procedures, methods, Chain of Custody, etc. (for information contact: Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division on O'ahu 692-7506) The law also provides that persons, prior to being tested, must be provided with a written statement of the substances being tested for and a warning that some over-the-counter medications and prescription drugs may cause a false positive test result and a medication disclosure form. Failure of the lab or the employer to comply with the provisions of the act invalidate the tests results. Willful violators may be fined between $1,000 and $10,000, payable to the aggrieved person. [See alo the federal Drug Free Workplace Act ]


Hawai'i's Workers' Compensation Act, HRS 386
Hawai`i's original Workers' Comp. law dates back to 1915, though it was extensively revised in 1963. Its primary objective was and is to provide medical, wage replacement and indemnity benefits to those sufferingwork-connected injury, illness, or death.

This law is dministered by the Disability Compensation Division of the state's Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.

State of Hawai'i Disability Compensation Division:
On O'ahu call 586-9174
State Dept. of Labor District Offices:
On Maui call 243-5322
In Hilo call 974-6464
For West Hawai'i call 322-4808
On Kaua'i call 274-3351
Disability Compensation Division Forms

State Brochure: Highlights of Hawaii's WC Law

The law requires all employers in the state to insure themselves either by purchasing a WC policy from a private insurance company or by qualifying for self-insurance as determined by the Department.

The law covers all employers employing one or more persons for any part of a day. It includes public employers and their agencies, with the exception of federal employees who are covered by the Federal Employees Compensation Act (FECA).

The reach of Hawaiʻi's law is substantial. An employee hired in the state while performing his/her duties, is covered. All contracts of hire are deemed to include an agreement to this effect. An employee hired out of state and injured in the performance of duties out of state and who is covered for workers' compensation under the law of the state where he/she was hired, may enforce a claim with the Director of Labor.

Workers' compensation is an exclusive remedy (HRS §386-5). Except for injuries or emotional distress inflicted by sexual harassment, the injured employee cannot sue the employer who provides compensation even if the employer's negligence caused the worker's injuries. However, the injured employee retains his rights to sue a third party who caused his/her injuries.

The primary advantage of the Hawai'i WC law is that an employee is protected by certain presumptions (HRS §386-85). In the absence of substantial evidence to the contrary it is presumed: 1) that the claim is for a covered work injury; 2) that sufficient notice of such injury has been given; 3) that the injury was not caused by the intoxication of the injured employee; and 4) that the injury was not caused by the willful intention of the injured to injure himself or another.

In 1998, however, the law was amended to bar claims for mental stress resulting solely from disciplinary action taken in good faith by the employer.

Atty. Lowell Chun-Hoon's essay on
Workers's Comp. Stress Claims

BENEFITS:

  • All medical care, services, and supplies as the nature of the injury requires, for as long as required.
  • All necessary aids, appliances, apparatus, and supplies to cure or relieve the effects of the injury including repairs thereto or replacement thereof due to ordinary wear and tear, or damage due to subsequent compensable injury or accident.
  • Service of an attendant as need is determined by the Director of Labor.
  • Weekly income payments (wage replacement) from fourth day of disability at a rate representing two-thirds of injured's average weekly wage but not more than the maximum weekly benefit amount annually set by the Department of Labor. This benefit is commonly know as TTD-- temporary total disability.
  • Weekly income payments at same rate as for TTD for permanent total disability (PTD)
  • Additional payment for permanent partial disability (PPD) at 2/3 of the average weekly wage of the injured for the number of weeks set forth in the schedule.
  • Additional one time, lump sum payment for disfigurement caused by or resulting from the injury, not to exceed $30,000.
  • Payment of death benefits and compensation for dependents.
The weekly compensation for either a permanent or temporary total disability is set and fixed according to your wages or the maximum amount existing the year you were first injured.

Maximum Weekly Benefit Amounts:
2017 = $846
-
-
2014 = $777
2015 = $786
2016 = $812
2011 = $731
2012 = $747
2013 = $762
2008 = $696
2009 = $725
2010 = $745
2005 = $622
2006 = $654
2007 = $678
2002 = $564
2003 = $580
2004 = $596
1999 = $519
2000 = $529
2001 - $547
1996 = $496
1997 = $501
1998 - $508
1993 = $460
1994 = $481
1995 - $491
1990 = $383
1991 = $412
1992 - $437
1987 = $318
1988 = $334
1989 - $358

In other words, if you are injured in 2017 your weekly disability payments will either be two thirds of your average weekly wages or $846 which ever is less.

$846 is the equivalent of $21.15 an hour and this is what you would get weekly if your average weekly income had been $1,269.00 (that is $31.73 an hour) or more.

But, if you were injured in 2016 your weekly disability payments will either be two thirds of your average weekly wages or $812 which ever is less.

$812 is the equivalent of $20.30 an hour and this is what you would get weekly if your average weekly income had been $1,218.00 (that is $30.45 an hour) or more.

And, if you were injured in 2015 your weekly disability payments will either be two thirds of your average weekly wages or $786 which ever is less.

$786 is the equivalent of $19.65 an hour and this is what you would get weekly if your average weekly income had been $1,179.00 (that is $29.48 an hour) or more.

Likewise, if you were injured in 2012 and are still disabled, your weekly disability payments will either be two thirds of your average weekly wages or $745 which ever is less.

$747 is the equivalent of $18.68 an hour and this is what you would get weekly if your average weekly income had been $1,120.50 (that is $28.01 an hour) or more.

COMPENSABILITY PRINCIPLES

  • The disability is compensable if the claimant has suffered personal injury by accident arising out of and in the course of employment, or by disease proximately caused by or resulting from the nature of the employment.
  • It is not compensable if the injury was caused by or resulted from employee's intoxication or wilful intent to injure oneself or another.
  • Sequela and/or consequences are also compensable.
  • Aggravation (or 2nd injury), if it too is job related, will be compensated at the later (usually higher) disability rate than for just a Recurrence.

BASIC CLAIM FILING REQUIREMENTS:
If you are injured you should first report the injury or disability to your employer or immediate supervisor. It is then your employer's responsibility under the law to file a WC-1 form report with the State DLIR Disibility Compensation Divivision accepting or denying liability. The employer must do this within seven days of your notice if there was lost time or the injury required medical care beyond ordinary first aid.


If you have an Adobe Acrobat Reader, you can download
the State of Hawaii's [
FORM WC-1], "Employer's Report of Industrial Injury."

Additionally the employee needs to tell his or her doctor of the claim so that the doctor will file a report on Form WC-2 with the Department of Labor.

Notice of injury should be given as soon as possible, but the employee's claim must be filed with the Department of Labor within two years from the date at which the effects of the injury or disability first became manifest and five years from the accident (longer in the case of certain toxic or carcinogenic exposures).

If the employer or the insurance carrier denies liability or refuses to pay the required benefits, the employee must file a WC-5 form with the Disability Compensation Division of Department of Labor who will render a decision as to the compensability of the claim.
Important Note: Denial of a claim by the employer or the insurance carrier should not be confused with a denial by the Department of Labor.


If you have an Adobe Acrobat Reader, you can download
the State of Hawaii's [FORM WC-5], "Employee's Claim for Workers' Compensation Benefits."

The WC-5 form:

Once the Department of Labor receives your completed WC-5 claim form they will hold it until the employer's WC-1 and the doctor's WC-2 come in and then they will schedule a hearing before a department hearings officer.


If you have an Adobe Acrobat Reader, you can download
The State Administative Rules, General Provisions for Workers' Comp.
[
Title 12, Chapter 10].
; and
The State Administative Rules, Medical Fee Schedule
[Title 12, Chapter 15].


     Medical Fee Schedule website
and
The State Administative Rules, on Rehabilitation
[Title 12, Chapter 14].


APPEALS:
Any party disagreeing with the decision of the Department of Labor & Industrial Relations, may file an appeal within twenty days with the LABOR AND INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS APPEALS BOARD, a three member, full-time Board appointed by the Governor of the State.

If the Director of Labor, the Appellate Board or any Court finds that proceedings under the workers compensation law have been brought, prosecuted, or defended without reasonable ground the whole costs of the proceedings may be assessed against the party who has brought, prosecuted, or defended the proceedings.

The SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF HAWAI`I is the final judicial review panel. Appeals from decisions of the Appeals Board are heard by the Court on the record compiled at the Appeals Board.

PHYSICIANS:
Physician, as defined by the statute, includes: doctors of medicine, dentists, chiropractors, osteopaths, naturopaths, psychologists, optometrists, and podiatrists.

Workers' Compensation pays for all medical care, services and supplies as the nature of the injury reasonably requires, including physical rehabilitation services; all necessary aids, appliances, apparatus, and supplies to cure or relieve the effects of the injury, including repairs thereto or replacement thereof due to ordinary wear and tear, or damaged due to subsequent compensable injury or accident; services of an attendant as need for same is determined by the Director of Labor; and vocational rehabilitation services, including tuition, books, travel, and maintenance expenses while enrolled in the vocational rehabilitation program.

The injured worker has the right of free choice of physician. Switching doctors or 'doctor hopping', however, is discouraged. If the claimant changes a doctor more than once, such change is subject to the approval of the department (DLIR-DCD). On the other hand, Workers' Comp does cover the cost of specialists, therapists, etc. to whom the injured worker is referred by his or her treating physician.

As provided in HRS §386-79, after an injury and during the period of disability, the employee, whenever ordered by the director of the State Department of Labor & Industrial Relations, must submit to examination at reasonable times and places by the employer's physician. The employer's physician can only examine the worker and not treat or prescribe medicine or any other treatment. On the other hand, if the employee in anyway obstructs such an examination, the employer may suspend payment of benefits with the approval of the director of the Deprtment of Labor.


Federal Employees Compensation Act (FECA).

This workers' compensation law provides compensation benefits to civilian employees of the United States for disability due to personal injury or disease sustained while in the performance of duty. The FECA also provides for the payment of benefits to dependents if a work-related injury or disease causes an employee's death. Injury compensation benefits available to employees whose duties involve vessel operations are set forth in 42 U.S.C. 249 and benefits paid to United States Park Police are covered under the Policemen and Firemen's Relief Fund, District of Columbia Code, Title 4.

FECA is administered by the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP), U.S. Department of Labor, through district ofices located across the country. Hawai'i's federal workers must file claimes through OWCP's San Francisco office:

Office of Workers' Comp. Programs
U.S. Department of Labor
District No. 13
71 Stevenson Street, Box 3769
San Francisco, CA 94119-3769
.......phone: (415) 744-6610

U.S. Dept. of Agriculture's Q&A page about FECA

An injured worker is expected to give notice to the employer within 30 days, though a claim may be filed within three (3) years of the original date of injury.

Form CA-1 "Federal Employee's Notice of Traumatic Injury and Claim for Continuation of Pay/Compensation" is the official claim form to use when reporting an injury.

Form CA-2 "Federal Employee's Notice of Occupational Disease and Claim for Compensation" is the official claim form to use for claiming job-related disease(s).

All injuries, including disease proximately caused by employment, sustained while in the performance of duty by civilian employees of the Department including volunteers and emergency hires are covered as well as other types of employees such as job corps. It is the responsibility of the employee to provide medical and factual evidence to establish the essential elements of the claim, i.e., that the claim was filed within the statutory time requirements of the FECA, the injured or deceased person was an employee within the meaning of the FECA, the employee sustained an injury or disease, the employee was in the performance of duty when the injury occurred, and the condition found resulted from the injury. Benefits cannot be paid if injury or death is caused by willful misconduct of the injured employee, by intent to bring about the injury or death of oneself or another, or by intoxication of the injured employee. Benefits provided under the FECA constitute the sole remedy against the Department for work related injury or death. An employee or surviving dependent is not entitled to sue the Department or recover damages for such injury or death under any other statute.

A "traumatic injury" is defined as a wound or other condition of the body caused by external force, including stress or strain. The injury must be identifiable as to time and place of occurrence and member or function of the body affected. It must be caused by a specific event or incident or series of events or incidents within a single day or work shift.

An "occupational disease" is defined as a condition produced in the work environment over a period longer than one workday or shift. It may result from systemic infection, repeated stress or strain, exposure to toxins, poisons, fumes or other continuing conditions of the work environment.

Time limit for filing notice of injury and claim for compensation: A claim for compensation must be filed within three years of the date of injury. There is an exception to this rule and you should talk with your servicing personnel office.

There is no maximum period of time during which an employee can receive compensation payments for wage loss. An employee can receive compensation payments for as long as the medical evidence shows that total or partial disability is related to the accepted injury or condition. The employee may be required to undergo medical examinations.

An injured employee must report for medical examinations when directed by OWCP Failure to do so without adequate reason may result in suspension of compensation or denial of the claim.

Benefits: Compensation is paid at two-thirds of the employee's pay rate if he or she has no dependents, or augmented to three-fourths of the pay rate if he or she is married or has one or more dependents.

Generally, hospital, physician and medication costs are covered as well as transportation costs to the doctor's office for medical treatment. Also you may be entitled disability benefits such as compensation, as well as a scheduled award. Other benefits may include an attendant's allowance, vocational rehabilitation, and death benefits if cause of death is related to the accepted job injury.

A pre-existing condition that is aggravated by factors of employment is also covered by the FECA. The employee must submit medical and factual evidence that establishes that the employment aggravated, accelerated, or precipitated the condition.

A recurrence of an employment-related disability is covered by FECA if an injured employee is again disabled as a result of the original injury or occupational disease.

An injured employee is entitled to initial selection of a physician or facility for treatment of an injury. The provider must meet the definition of "physician" under the FECA. An agency may examine the employee at its own facility in accordance with OPM regulations, but the employee's choice of physician must be honored, and treatment by the employee's physician must not be delayed.

OWCP uses a schedule of maximum allowable medical charges. The employee is not responsible for amounts charged in excess of the maximum allowable medical charges. The schedule is not applicable to hospital, pharmacy, or nursing home charges.

An employee change physicians, but the employee must contact OWCP and request authorization to change to another physician.

Continuation of Pay or COP is continuation of an employee's regular salary for up to 45 calendar days of wage loss due to disability and/or medical treatment following a traumatic injury. The intent of this provision is to eliminate interruption of the employee's income while OWCP is processing the claim. COP is subject to deductions for income tax, retirement, etc.

If it appears that the disability will continue beyond 45 days, the employee and the bureau should complete Form CA-7,"Claim for Compensation on Account of Traumatic Injury or Occupational Disease," and submit it on the 40th day of COP to the appropriate OWCP district office.

If an employee's medical report indicates that the employee is capable of returning to duty, the employee must do so in order for pay to continue. If the physician's report indicates light duty, the employee is required to accept any reasonable offer of suitable light or limited duty. If the employee refuses to accept the work offered or fails to respond to the job offer within five working days, the bureau should terminate COP. OWCP will then resolve the dispute on the basis of the evidence submitted.

Only OWCP has the authority to adjudicate a claim for compensation. While the Department/bureau has a role in paying or withholding COP, this action is reviewed in every case by OWCP.

If found guilty of filing a false claim a claimant can be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned not more than five years or both. Conspiracy to commit fraud $10,000 and 10 years imprisonment.


The Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (33 USC 901 et. seq.)

This Act, administered by the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP) Employment Standards Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, offers compensation and medical care to employees disabled from injuries that occur on the navigable waters of the United States, or in adjoining areas customarily used in loading, unloading, repairing, or building a vessel. The Act also offers benefits to dependents if the injury causes the employee's death. These benefits are paid by an insurance company or by an employer who is authorized by the OWCP to be self-insured. The term "injury" includes occupational disease arising out of employment.

The Act Covers

  • EMPLOYERS who employ workers in a maritime occupation, either full or part-time, on the navigable waters of the United States or in an adjoining area customarily used by an employer in loading, unloading, repairing, or building a vessel.
  • EMPLOYEES in a maritime occupation-including a longshoreman or other person in longshoring operations, and any harbor worker, including a ship repairman, shipbuilder, and shipbreaker.
  • OTHER EMPLOYEES are covered similarly through the following Acts:
    DEFENSE BASE ACT, applying to employment by Federal contractors outside the continental U.S., Alaska or Hawai'i.
    OUTER CONTINENTAL SHELF LANDS ACT, applying to employees of private industry, conducting certain operations on the Outer Continental Shelf of the United States.
    NONAPPROPRIATED FUND INSTRUMENTALITIES ACT, applying to civilian employees of nonappropriated fund instrumentalities (post exchanges, etc.) of the Armed Forces.
EXCLUDED by the Longshore Act are the following individuals if covered by a state workers' compensation law:
  • Individuals employed exclusively to perform office clerical, secretarial, security, or data processing work;
  • Individuals employed by a club, camp, recreational operation, restaurant, museum, or retail outlet;
  • Individuals employed by a marina and who are not engaged in construction, replacement, or expansion of such marina (except for routine maintenance);
  • Individuals who (A) are employed by suppliers, transporters, or vendors, (B) are temporarily doing business on the premises of a maritime employer, and (C) are not engaged in work normally performed by employees of that employer covered under this Act;
  • Aquaculture workers;
  • Individuals employed to build, repair, or dismantle any recreational vessel under sixty-five feet in length;
  • Small vessel workers if exempt by certification of the Secretary under certain conditions.
EXCLUDED also are:
  • A master or member of a crew of any vessel; or
  • Any person engaged by a master to load or unload or repair any small vessel under eighteen tons net.

Injury Benefits
MEDICAL CARE--Includes all medical, surgical, and hospital treatment and other medical supplies and services required by the employment related injury.
The employee may obtain medical treatment from a physician of his or her choice, as designated by the OWCP. The term "physician" includes doctors of medicine (MD), surgeons, podiatrists, dentists, clinical psychologists, optometrists, and osteopathic practitioners within the scope of their practice as defined by State law. Chiropractors are also included to the extent that their treatment consists of manual manipulation of the spine to correct subluxation (dislocation).
An employee may not choose a physician who is currently not authorized by the Department of Labor to render medical care under the Act. The list of physicians not authorized is available from the local OWCP district office.

DISABILITY COMPENSATION-- Compensation is paid every two weeks during an employee's total disability because of a work-related injury.
Compensation is paid at a lesser rate if the employee is only partially disabled for his regular work.
Disability means inability to earn the same wages earned at the time of injury. Compensation is payable tor disabilities that are permanent total, temporary total, permanent partial, or temporary partial.

PERMANENT TOTAL AND TEMPORARY TOTAL DISABILITY--Compensation is two-thirds of the employee's average weekly wage, subject to a maximum amount. The maximum rate payable for temporary total disability changes each October 1, based on the current national average weekly wage for the affected period. Compensation for permanent total disability is adjusted each October 1, based on the percentage change in the national average weekly wage from the previous year, subject to a maximum adjustment of 5%.

PERMANENT PARTIAL DISABILITY-- Compensation is payable for the permanent loss or loss of use of certain members or functions of the body, such as the toss of arm, hand, fingers, leg, foot, toes, hearing and vision. Compensation is payable for a certain number of weeks for each type of disability as specified in the Act. For example, total loss of use of a foot entitles the employee to 205 weeks of compensation.

TEMPORARY PARTIAL AND NONSCHEDULED PERMANENT PARTIAL DISABILITY--Compensation is two-thirds of the employee's weekly wage loss or loss of wage-earning capacity.

REHABILITATION SERVICES--Medical rehabilitation may include exercise and muscle conditioning to help restore the employee to full usefulness.

Vocational rehabilitation may include evaluation, testing, counseling, selective placement and retraining, if the employee is injured and cannot return to the former job. Rehabilitation services may include the cost of tuition, books and supplies, and provide a maintenance allowance during retraining.

Death Benefits
DEATH BENEFITS are paid to a widow or widower or other eligible survivors if the injury causes the employee's death. Reasonable funeral expenses are paid, up to a maximum of $3,000.

The widow or widower receives 50% of the average weekly wage of the deceased employee for life or until remarriage. Additional compensation is payable--16 2/3% of the employee's average weekly wage--for one or more children.

If children are the sole survivors, 50% of the employee's average weekly wage is paid on behalf of the first child. Where more than one child is entitled to benefits, a maximum of 66 2/3% applies, shared equally. OTHER ELIGIBLE SURVIVORS--parents, brothers, sisters, grandparents and grand-children who were dependent on the employee.

Upon remarriage, a widow or widower receives a lump sum payment of compensation covering two years. Benefit payments to children, brothers, sisters, and grandchildren terminate when they reach 18, but may be extended to age 23 if the child or beneficiary is a student. Payments may continue indefinitely if a child remains incapable of self support due to mental or physical disabilities.

The total amount of compensation may not exceed two-thirds of the employee's wage. In computing death benefits, the average weekly wage of the deceased shall be considered to have been not less than the national average weekly wage effective at the time of the employee's death. The total weekly benefits, however, may not exceed the average weekly wage of the deceased or 200% of the national average weekly wage, whichever is lesser.

Maximum and Minimum Payment
DISABILITY--compensation payable under the Act may not exceed 200% of the national average weekly wage, applicable at the time of injury, or the employee's full average weekly wage, whichever is less.

Waiting Period and Beginning of Compensation
NO COMPENSATION--is allowed for the first three days of disability unless disability lasts longer than fourteen days. In such cases compensation is paid from the first day of wage loss. The first installment of compensation is due 14 days after the employee stops work, or as directed by the OWCP.

Claimant Assistance
The OWCP will help claimants prepare claims, explain benefits and proceedings under the Act, and will advise about medical, manpower and vocational rehabilitation services.

District Offices in the OWCP are located in Boston. New York, Philadelphia. Baltimore, Norfolk, Jacksonville, New Orleans, Houston, Chicago, San Francisco, Long Beach, Seattle, and Honolulu. Office addresses can be supplied by the employer or the compensation insurance carrier.


What To Do If You Are Injured:
  1. NOTIFY your employer immediately and ask tor a Form LS-1, which authorizes treatment by a doctor of your choice.

  2. OBTAIN medical treatment as soon as possible.

  3. GIVE written notice of your injury within 30 days to your employer on Form LS-201. Notice of death must also be given within 30 days. Additional time is provided for certain hearing loss and occupational disease claims. Contact your nearest OWCP district office for additional information regarding these types of claims.

  4. FILE a written claim for compensation within one year after injury if full compensation and medical care have not been provided. A claim must also be filed within one year after death. The time for filing claims in certain occupational disease cases has been extended to two years.
DLHWC (LONGSHORE) Forms


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