Despite Closures, Maritime Employees Considered Part of the “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce”

 

COVID-19 continues to spread throughout the State of Texas, the country, and the world. The pandemic has caused both local and state governments to issue “Stay-at-Home” orders for people involved in non-essential businesses. In an effort to follow guidance from the United States Department of Homeland Security on which workers are considered a part of the “essential critical infrastructure,” Harris County has deemed Houston Maritime Workers essential.

As an essential worker, you deserve a worksite free from hazards with proper safety training provided for every job. Failure to provide these things can result in catastrophic injury or even death. If you have been injured as a maritime worker, contact the Law Office of Roy A. Boujaoude today for a free consultation.

Essential Maritime Workers

According to the memorandum supplied by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), maritime transportation and navigation workers employed in the petroleum and natural gas industries are considered essential as well as maritime transportation workers, including port workers, mariners, and equipment operators and maritime-specific medical providers.

The United States Coast Guard issued a separate bulletin clarifying the maritime employees that would be necessary to ensure an uninterrupted flow of commerce. The following personnel was listed:

  • “Merchant marines;
  • Federal and state pilots;
  • Stevedores, longshoremen, and line handlers;
  • Representatives of seafarers’ welfare and labor organizations;
  • Marine consultants, naval architects, marine exchanges, surveyors and shipyard workers;
  • Classification society and recognized organization surveyors and auditors;
  • Vessel owners, operators, shipping agents, and marine dispatchers;
  • Technical representatives and contractors;
  • Bridge operators and bridge repair personnel;
  • Lock and dam operators and workers;
  • Lighthouse servicing and repair personnel;
  • Commercial barge fleeting facility personnel;
  • Equipment, cargo, crane and dredging operators;
  • Truck drivers, launch/tug/towing operators and other intermodal transportation workers;
  • Vendors and ship chandlers providing ship services, husbandry, and provisions;
  • Federal and state agency personnel (e.g., Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Army Corps of Engineers, local health and safety organizations)”

Considering the guidance of the CISA and the Marine Safety Informational Bulletin issued by the U.S. Coast Guard, the majority of maritime workers servicing the Port of Houston are considered essential workers and thus exempt from any Stay-at-Home order.

Staying Safe During these Extraordinary Times

During this crisis, it is the sacrifice of the front-line workers helping to keep an uninterrupted flow of commerce throughout the country that is awe-inspiring. Now more than ever, maritime workers are on the job for longer hours expected to shoulder an unimaginable burden. It is important to remember that despite these extraordinary times, you still have rights. If you are injured in a maritime accident, you deserve compensation.

If you are injured in a maritime accident, you need to contact an experienced Houston Maritime-Jones Act Attorney. Contact the Law Office of Roy A. Boujaoude today at (713) 804-6560 for a free consultation.