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Port Centric Logistics And Impacts For Maryland Warehouse Employee Injuries


Global trade has expanded exponentially in recent years, forcing ports and terminals like the Port of Baltimore to rethink operations and become more efficient with the supply chain. Instead of acting as just a hub for transporting goods, more companies are moving toward port centric logistics and a collaborative approach to shipping. Warehousing plays an important rule with this approach, because it enables businesses to store their goods at the port until ready for shipment. Port centric logistics reduce the carbon footprint by eliminating extra trips to a separate distribution and fulfillment center, thereby cutting costs.

As port centric logistics enhance supply chain efficiency, companies will rely on warehouse employees to perform crucial job tasks at the point of shipment. This puts many workers in a tricky position if they are hurt on the job: The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) may apply, but Maryland workers’ compensation laws might as well. Your Maryland warehouse employee injury attorney will pursue all appropriate options, and an overview is helpful.

How Warehouse Workers May Be Covered by LHWCA: The statute creates a federal workers’ compensation system, with its own set of eligibility rules and requirements. Under LHWCA, you may qualify for benefits if you are an employee involved in maritime and longshoreman employment – which generally means working at a port to load and unload ships. Specific on-the-job activities and tasks include:

  • Ship repair;
  • Ship building and renovations;
  • Ship breakers;
  • Harbor construction;
  • Crane operation;
  • Forklift operation; and,
  • Many others.

LHWCA kicks in when a person suffers injuries while performing these tasks on navigable waters or adjoining areas, such as docks, piers, marinas, terminals, and wharves. Warehouses are an important component for enhancing port centric logistics, and their proximity means they are also considered adjoining areas. A warehouse employee who is injured could qualify for LHWCA.

Comparing LHWCA to Maryland Workers’ Comp: In a situation where you might be eligible for benefits under both programs, you are prohibited from what amounts to “double dipping.” You will have to choose one over the other, but keep in mind that some benefits are similar when comparing the two. With LHWCA and Maryland workers’ compensation, qualifying warehouse employees receive amounts for all medical care that is reasonable and necessary as treatment for the injuries.

However, there are some additional considerations that may help you decide whether one or the other program is suitable.

  • Under LHWCA, you can receive up to 66.67 percent of your average weekly wage (AWW). In Maryland, your benefits may be a lower percentage or be based upon the state AWW instead of your own.
  • In some cases, LHWCA benefits are paid for a longer period of time than state workers’ comp.

Learn More by Consulting with a Maryland Warehouse Employee Injury Lawyer

For more information about how the LHWCA or workers’ comp laws cover employees at ports, please contact the Law Offices of Steinhardt, Siskind and Lieberman, LLC. We can set up a no-cost case review to learn about your situation and determine how to proceed.


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