Marine Link
Friday, January 19, 2018

Workers Compensation Insurance News

Great Lakes Shipyard Receives Safety Award

Great Lakes Shipyard, Cleveland, Ohio, has received the 2009 – 2010 Industry Leader Safety Award from the Signal Mutual Indemnity Association. This is the second time in recent years that the Great Lakes Shipyard was chosen to receive this award because of their outstanding safety performance with no “lost time” accidents. The shipyard’s commitment to safety is not new. The previous outstanding safety award was presented in 2004 - 2005. The company attributes its successful performance over the years to its extensive internal safety policies and training programs. Signal is the largest provider of Longshore and Harbor workers compensation insurance benefits in the United States.

China Oil Spill Compensation Claims Face Iran Payment Snags

(Photo: China's Ministry of Transport)

The reluctance of foreign banks to deal with Iran could complicate any compensation payments resulting from the collision last week of an Iranian oil tanker and a Chinese cargo ship, sources say. The tanker Sanchi, carrying 136,000 tonnes of highly flammable condensate oil, collided with the Chinese dry cargo vessel CF Crystal on Saturday in the East China Sea, causing an oil spill and a blaze that is still raging four days later. Liability has yet to be established but lawyers…

The Complicated Business of Marine Construction Worker Claims

© Goodluz / Adobe Stock

The right insurance policy could help you stay above water after a workplace incident. The day-to-day job of marine construction workers has many potential hazards. While restoring shorelines, dredging harbors, repairing bridges and building docks, they often operate heavy machinery. Manning cranes, forklifts and excavators day or night, it is not uncommon to work in sweltering heat, freezing cold temperatures and an array of other challenging weather conditions. With all of this in mind…

Risk Management

The old expression about getting one’s sea legs speaks to how different life can be in the ocean marine environment. Those who spend most of their time on land often need to adjust to the rhythms that are second nature to old sea hands. Similarly, any company that operates both on land and water needs to adjust its risk management strategies to account for exposures in both arenas. That can range from something as simple as making sure land-based workers have the right protective equipment when they move to the waterfront, to something as complex as coordinating insurance coverage to minimize the possibility of gaps or unexpected liabilities.

Amerisafe 1Q 2009 Results

Amerisafe, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMSF), a provider of high hazard workers' compensation insurance, announced results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2009. Net income in the first quarter of 2009 was $11.1 million compared to $11.9 million in the first quarter of 2008, a decrease of 7.2%. Pre-tax income for the first quarter of 2009 included $1.2 million of favorable prior year loss development. Pre-tax income for the first quarter of 2008 included $1.7 million of favorable prior year development. Return on average equity for the first quarter of 2009 was 15.7% compared to 20% for the first quarter of 2008. Gross premiums written in the first quarter of 2009 were $79.4 million, a decrease of 1.9%, compared to $81 million in the first quarter of 2008.

Key Elements of Yacht Insurance, Q&A

Joe McNulty

Accidents happen. That comes as no surprise to those in the insurance industry, but what may be a surprise is the fact that the majority of maritime accidents occur in good weather with perfect visibility. In the following Q&A, Joseph McNulty, founding member of Carroll McNulty & Kull, joins Richard Furman and John Orzel, members of the same law firm, in a discussion on the key elements of marine insurance and what underwriters and claims professionals need to know about federal laws governing the maritime industry. Q. Let's start at the beginning. What is marine insurance?

Marine Construction:

Protecting Contractors As They Enter New Waters. As the economic recovery continues to sputter along, construction companies eager to land any available projects have found themselves bidding outside their normal scope of work. Maritime construction is one such industry that has seen an increase in contractors who may not typically work on marine-related projects, thereby increasing the likelihood that individual projects may fall outside their skill set. While contracts in marine construction present opportunities for income…

How to Indentify a Jones Act Seaman

By Jeffrey S. The maritime law community is awaiting the next pronouncement by the U.S. Supreme Court pertaining to the definition of a Jones Act seaman. In February, the high court announced that it would review the decision of the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Stewart v. Dutra Construction Co., Inc. The definition of seaman has proven to be a nagging problem; this will be the fifth time since 1991 that the Justices have tackled some aspect of the question. Most injured maritime workers would prefer to pursue recovery as a "seaman". There are several reasons for this. First and foremost, the damages recoverable under the Jones Act are not limited to lost wages and benefits, but also include an important component for "pain and suffering".

Original 1971 Oil Pollution Compensation Fund Closes

Photo: Danish Maritime Authority

Several years ago, the 1971 Fund was replaced by the two subsequent Funds that pay higher compensations to the victims of oil pollution. It was an international innovation when a global, solidary scheme on compensation for the victims of oil pollution caused by tankers was established with the 1971 Fund. It has proven to be such a great success that the system has been improved twice, and the model has been copied for other types of pollution from ships. The 1971 Fund has been replaced by the 1992 Fund and the Supplementary Fund…

Insurance Advice for Marinas & Shipyards

Third party service providers can pose serious risk and liabilities for marina and shipyard owners. Without the proper due diligence these marine companies could find themselves footing large bills should a dispute occur. As a California insurance agency that specializes in ocean marine insurance for boat yards, marinas, yacht clubs, and commercial boating vessels/fleets, McDermott Costa Insurance Brokers also educates clients about best practices for reducing risk. A third party service provider is any vendor that provides services either to the marina or customers that use the marina. Third parties include repair services, vessel cleaning services, yacht brokers, surveyors, etc.

Michels Joins Port of Tacoma

Andrew Michels has joined the Port of Tacoma as Risk Manager. In this position, he is responsible for safety and accident prevention programs, insurance and workers compensation claims, and compliance with Washington State Department of Labor and Industries regulations. "With 15 years experience in risk management and nearly three decades in the public sector, Andy is a valued addition to our team," said Janet Quimby, the Port's Director of Contracts and Risk Management. Before joining the Port, Michels spent 28 years with the City of Tacoma,most recently as Risk Manager. developed expertise in labor relations, retirement programs, human resources and employee benefits.

Marine Construction Policy Builds Expertise, Service into Coverage

Ken Baldwin, Chief Underwriting Officer, Travelers Ocean Marine

Construction is a complex business. Equipment can break down; employees can be injured; a project can go awry in unexpected ways. Add a marine element to the work underway, and the pitfalls that a contractor must navigate to manage risk become even more challenging. Marine contractors have long understood that they need specialized coverage and have sought out ocean marine insurance carriers with the expertise to help them. Each project they bid on, however, can come with a variety of special requirements.

Legal Limbo: Risk Management in a Modern Marine Economy

© Currahee Shutter / Adobe Stock

Technology helps maritime companies do more with less. But today, technological advances are outstripping legal developments. As a result, many marine-based businesses operate in a legal limbo with many lawyers and insurance professionals confused about what laws will apply to what claims. While sometimes philosophical, the problem of what law will apply becomes stark and very real when a worker is injured. We live in a golden age of maritime technological development as we learn to use our oceans, lakes, rivers and coastlines in new and unique ways.

Avondale Workers Approve Agreement

Avondale Shipbuilding employees voted to approve the terms of their first union contract with Litton Industries. The company's 1,500 Metal Trades -represented workers approved the agreement by a four-to-one margin. The 45-month agreement, negotiated by the New Orleans Metal Trades Council, provides an immediate three percent wage hike in January as part of an overall nine percent wage hike paid in three increments. Also in the area of wages, the contract sets up a formal skill progression system that will move the majority of employees into higher-paid categories after working 500 hours in any lower classification. Wages under the agreement range from $8.25/hour for semi-skilled new hires to $16/hour at the top of the highest skill level.

Royal Dutch/Shell Workers Held Hostage In Nigeria

It was reported that militant youths in Nigeria's Niger Delta are holding 12 Royal Dutch/Shell workers hostage, to press for compensation for an oil spill in their area. Shell officials in Lagos said they were not aware of the kidnapping, which the youths said was to forced the oil company pay $1.5 million compensation for a 1989 oil spillage. Sources said the oil workers, mainly Nigerians, were seized by youths from Arhavwarien community in Ugheli South Local Council in southern Delta State, on their way to effect repairs of a leaking pipeline in a neighboring village. Residents demanding a greater share of Niger Delta region's oil wealth frequently sabotage or kidnap oil workers to try to win payments from oil firms.

Seaman or Longshoreman: The Zone of Uncertainty

ILWU container crane operator at Port of Los Angeles. Photo courtesy the Port of Los Angeles

Historically in our industry, there has been a clear dichotomy between companies whose employees are seamen that are covered by the Jones Act and those that are longshoremen and covered by the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA). The difference was very simple, Jones Act employers and their seamen were responsible for vessel-based duties and operations. Longshore employers hired longshoremen that were land-based although they performed a portion of their duties aboard vessels.

IUMI Position Paper on the Offshore Safety Directive

Photo: European Space Agency (ESA)

Neil Roberts, Manager, Marine and Aviation, Lloyd’s Market Association (LMA), United Kingdom, and International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI) Ocean Hull Committee Secretary and Political Forum Liaison discuses  about the position paper published by IUMI. The paper is published in response to the recent Commission report on liability, compensation and financial security for offshore oil and gas operations, which raised some questions in relation to the implementation of the Offshore Safety Directive.

Excavator May be LHWCA Harbor Worker

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that an excavator was a harbor worker under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) when he was killed while excavating a utility line trench as part of a project to renovate three submarine berths at Pearl Harbor. The work was being done ashore, but directly adjacent to, the berths. The court held that the term “harbor worker” includes workers directly involved in the construction of a maritime facility, even though their specific job duties are not maritime in nature. Source: HK Law

LHWCA late payment award triggers attorneys’ fees

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled that, under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA), an employee who successfully prosecutes a claim for late payment of compensation is entitled to receipt of attorneys’ fees. In the instant case, the claimant and the employer settled the initial compensation claim. The employer was unable to deliver, within 10 days, to the claimant a payment of 20% of the total amount due, despite its alleged good faith effort. The claimant then sought and obtained a late payment award. The claimant then sought attorneys’ fees related to obtaining the late payment award. The employer argued that the late payment award was a penalty…

Ingalls Reports Third Quarter Results

Mike Petters, HII president and chief executive officer

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII), a company that designs, builds and maintains nuclear and non-nuclear ships for the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard and provides after-market services for military ships around the globe, reported third quarter 2013 revenues of $1.64 billion, up 2.6% from the same period last year. Third quarter diluted earnings per share was $1.36, compared to $0.26 in the same period of 2012. Segment operating income in the third quarter was $142 million, compared to $89 million in the same period last year.

Protocol Adopted to Athens Conventions

The IMO stated that the diplomatic conference that met in London adopted a protocol to the Athens Convention Relating to the Carriage of Passengers and their Luggage by Sea, 1974. The Protocol would, if ratified by at least 10 States, impose a compulsory insurance requirement on passenger ship operators and raise liability limits to 250,000 Special Drawing Rights about $325,000. The amendments to the Convention are contained in a Protocol to the Athens Convention. IMO Secretary General William A. O'Neil said that the 2002 Protocol, when it comes into force, would provide a much-needed update to the 1974 Convention and he urged Governments to ratify the Protocol as soon as possible.

Todd Shipyards Announce Quarterly Results

Todd Shipyards Corporation announced financial results for the second quarter ended Sept. 28, 2003. For the quarter, the Company reported net income of $2.0 million or $0.35 per diluted share on revenue of $44.4 million. For the six month period then ended, the Company reported a net loss of $0.2 million or $0.05 per diluted share on revenue of $65.6 million. In the prior year second quarter ended Sept. 28, 2002, the Company reported net income of $2.0 million or $0.36 per diluted share on revenue of $40.6 million. For the six month period then ended, the Company reported net income of $4.3 million or $0.77 per diluted share on revenue of $89.8 million. The Company's second quarter revenue of $44.4 million reflects an increase of $3.9 million (9%) from the same period last fiscal year.

Manage and Mitigate Risk on the Water

Tracy Markowski

Early in the morning on August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina struck the Golf Coast of the United States. Hurricane Katrina was the worst insured loss event in the history of insurance anywhere in the world. It was bigger than 9/11. It was bigger than the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Hundreds of thousands of people in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama were displaced from their homes. Barges were picked up by the waves and slammed onto shore, while some were moved so far inland that they ended up on top of freeways.

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Dec 2017 - The Great Ships of 2017

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