The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Act requires federal workers’ compensation coverage for any non-public Ohio employer with employees engaged in maritime-related work, such as ship building or repair, and other maritime operations, unless the U.S. Department of Labor has specifically authorized the employer to self-insure.
BWC offers this coverage to Ohio employers through the Marine Industry Fund. The Marine Industry Fund was created to assist Ohio employers whose private insurance carriers no longer offer USL&H coverage or who could no longer afford the coverage because of high premium rates.
The offering of USL&H coverage through the Marine Industry Fund has no effect on an employer’s state workers’ compensation coverage. Ohio workers’ compensation coverage and USL&H coverage are two distinct types of coverage. An employer with one type of liability coverage is not exempt from the other type of liability, if the operations involved in the business show a need for that type of coverage. It is possible that some Ohio employers will need both types of coverage to comply with their legal obligations.
Although USL&H coverage is required for certain maritime employers, obtaining this coverage from BWC is optional. You can obtain it through private insurance carriers or you can apply to the U.S. Department of Labor for self-insurance.
To obtain USL&H coverage from BWC’s Marine Industry Fund, the employer must submit an application for coverage available from BWC’s Employer Services Division. Once approved you report payroll and pay premiums semiannually.
Marine industry employers
Marine Industry employers are those whose employees work, in whole or in part, upon the navigable waters of the United States. This includes pier, wharf, dry dock, terminal, building way, marine railway and other adjoining areas customarily used by an employer in loading, unloading, repairing or building a vessel.
In Ohio, navigable waterways include but are not limited to:
- Lake Erie;
- Ohio River;
- Muskingum River;
- Lower Maumee River;
- Cuyahoga River.
View the Marine Industry Fund fact sheet for additional information.
If you have additional questions or need further information, contact: Claim questions: 614-466-6919Coverage and premiums: 614-728-0535 or by email to BWCotherstatescoverage@bwc.state.oh.us