Board: warehouseman on fixed platform covered

by Matthew H. Ammerman on July 1st, 2015

Luigi Malta worked for Wood Group as an offshore warehouseman at the Black Bay Central Facility, a fixed platform located in Louisiana state territorial waters. Supplies and equipment kept at the Central Facility platform were loaded onto vessels and shipped to the satellite platforms. A substantial part of Malta’s work duties involved loading and unloading vessels from the platform, and he was injured in the process of unloading a vessel at the platform. Malta v. Wood Group Production Svs., BRB No. 14-0312 (May 29, 2015)(published).

Work on fixed platforms in territorial waters is not LHWCA-covered because fixed platforms are considered artificial islands. Herb’s Welding, Inc. v. Gray, 470 U.S. 414 (1985). However, Malta’s case presented a unique set of facts because he did not work on a fixed oil production platform. The Central Facility platform functioned as an offshore dock and staging area. The platform was equipped with 3 cranes, and vessel loading and unloading of cargo – equipment and supplies -- was a regular activity at the platform.

Work on traditional fixed oil production platforms should not be covered. An adjoining area must be “customarily used” for loading or unloading a vessel to be a LHWCA situs. According to the Fifth Circuit, for example, routine activity of assisting in tying the vessel or loading or unloading one’s tools and personal gear at a platform are not meaningful job responsibilities for application of the LHWCA. Bienvenu v. Texaco, Inc., 164 F.3d 901, 908 (5th Cir. 1999).



Posted in Situs    Tagged with Longshore situs

Search

Subscribe

follow on