In 1953, the United States government enacted the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) to extend the protections of the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act to workers on offshore platforms on the Outer Continental Shelf.
These protections include compensation for medical costs, disability payments and rehabilitation costs for workers injured on the OCS, as well as death benefits for families of workers who have been killed. Eligible workers can claim these benefits even they were at fault for the accident that cause the injuries.
The New Orleans offshore injury attorneys at The Lambert Firm note that there are specific criteria that must be met in order for the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to apply.
What Does the OSCLA Cover?
For a non-seaman injured on the Outer Continental Shelf to qualify for LHWCA benefits, some requirements must be met regarding the type and area of employment.
The legislation applies to the following:
- The subsoil and seabed of the OCS
- Artificial islands, installations or other devices that are temporarily or permanently attached to the seabed, erected on the seabed, or on the OCS to explore or develop resources
- Structures that are present on the OCS to transport resources.
When these conditions are met, the next step is to determine whether state or federal law will govern the claim being filed.
While oil platforms that lie on the Outer Continental Shelf are beyond state boundaries, the OCSLA dictates that accidents that occur there fall under the nearest state’s jurisdiction. In the Gulf of Mexico, that majority of oil platforms fall under Louisana jurisdiction.
Maritime workers who can qualify for Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act benefits include, but are not limited to:
- Workers on oil rigs and platforms
- Harbor workers
- Ship builders/repairers
Crewmembers on a vessel and government employees do not qualify for benefits under this law.
Get Help With An Outer Continental Shelf Claim
Since the 1970s, Louisiana offshore injury attorneys at The Lambert Firm have helped workers injured in serious maritime accidents throughout the Gulf Coast region. If you’ve been injured in an accident on the Outer Continental Shelf, contact them for help or to get answers to questions about your case.