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Feds spotlight maritime industry’s broad band of essential workers

Anyone even remotely linked with the vast and varied maritime industry in Louisiana or elsewhere in the United States knows intimately well how important it is to the nation’s economy and security.

That realization unquestionably extends to federal regulators tasked with broad oversight of things like energy transportation, port activities, storage of vital materials, raw resources exploration and myriad other matters centrally linked with the country’s waterways.

The work that maritime workers do across a broad spectrum is vitally important.

In fact, it is essential.

That “essential” tag is one that was recently applied most broadly to employees in the maritime realm by the federal Department of Homeland Security. The designation means that workers deemed essential should report to work as usual even during the unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic.

Employees in myriad other work spheres not considered essential are currently subject to a widespread national mandate to stay relatively confined during specified shelter-at-home periods.

The classification of maritime workers categorized as essential runs an impressively wide gamut. A recently authored DHS list cites “port workers, mariners, equipment operators, employees who maintain marine vessels and the equipment and infrastructure that enables [key] operations.”

A bottom line central to the maritime industry and legions of its employees underscores the comparative challenges and risks that many workers routinely assume while earning their livelihoods. We spotlight those on our website at the long-established Louisiana maritime law firm of Simien & Simien.

In doing so, we note that strong federal and state laws exist to safeguard the best interests of maritime workers. We welcome contacts to the firm and the opportunity to provide candid guidance and diligent representation to clients having any questions or concerns relevant to maritime accidents and linked on-the-job injuries.