Jones act and Maritime employees

The employer needs to take responsibility by ensuring the protection of everyone aboard the vessel. One of the US maritime laws that have been developed to make certain that every water vessel member of a crew is safeguarded and whose interest is also protected. This applies to grave injuries that an employee may get because of an employer’s negligence. If an employer cannot supply the correct equipment or imply the right safety measures, it may expose the people who work on board any type of water vessel to even higher risks of personal injury; worse, DEATH.

The Jones Act

Signed into law on March 2, 1917, the Jones-Shafroth Act or famously known as the Jones Act which is a scope for people who work on a water vessel. This law makes sure that employees every employee, from crewmen to the captain, will have complete coverage of the compensation if by any chance he faces injury or death because of the negligence of the employer. Take note that not all employees are covered so below is a list of those who are generally considered as workers:

  • Seamen
  • Sailors
  • Fishermen
  • cruise ship workers
  • ferry boat workers
  • tug boat workers
  • barge workers
  • oil platform workers
  • construction workers of vessels and barges
  • commercial divers

The Jones Act does not distinguish any small cases or employee just because of your ranking. This law applies to everyone even if you are part of the deckhand, or even a janitor. Even if you work on board barges, tour boats, commercial vessels or cruise ships, you are still protected by this certain law. This law even protects those who work in lake-traveling water vessels.

Coverage of the Jones Act

Some of the damages that are going to be covered by this law are vocational and occupational reinstruction, medical costs, wages, and even physical and psychological pain. The Jones law may also specifically cover the past and future costs and wage losses, including but not limited to the following:

  1. Compensation for wages lost due to an accident.
  2. Compensation for usual and customary charges related to medical care.
  3. Coverage on costs for food and lodging.

Serious injuries or illnesses can hinder a person’s capability to work, so it is worth noting the future outcome of the damage rather than the damage itself. If it reaches to that level, the employee is entitled to compensation for loss of earning capacity or employment. But it has to be justified that the injury was caused by the employer’s negligence.

Any employer of a person who works on board a sea vessel must make certain that the ships working conditions are safe and any member of the ship’s crew is not exposed to any future fatality. The Jones Act states that any employer has to take much protective measures. Ample safety gears must be provided if accidents and injuries are to be prevented.

And yet, under this law, it is also stated that when a person is injured due to their fellow crew member’s negligence, that employee shall be also protected by the law.

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