Skip to main content
Updated:
Original:

NMMA: Workers’ comp changes could affect boatbuilders

The U.S. Department of Labor is proposing new regulations that implement amendments to the Longshore & Harbor Workers' Compensation Act and will have a direct impact on recreational boatbuilders and repairers, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association.

Since 1984, the law has excluded from coverage people employed to build, repair or dismantle any recreational vessel under 65 feet in length. In 2009, Congress removed the 65-foot limitation for repair work only.

The proposal will implement that change by revising the definition of recreational vessel in the law's program regulations. The definition change, as drafted, would affect boatbuilders and boat repairers.

The new definition of recreational vessel attempts to exclude non-recreational uses (e.g., passenger, commercial). As crafted, this new definition could create problems for manufacturers who are producing boats intended for the recreational market, but have no way of knowing the retail purchaser's ultimate use, the NMMA said.

In addition, the Department of Labor has included a clarification that workers who perform qualifying maritime employment and excluded work are covered under the law.

In a letter to the NMMA, the department explained that "undefinedecause an employer may use a common work force to perform both excluded and non-excluded work, the proposed rule codifies existing case law holding that the LHWCA covers a worker so long as he or she engages in at least some maritime employment within the meaning of the statute and even if injured while performing excluded work."

Because of the potential impact of this proposal on boatbuilders, the NMMA has requested a 60-day extension of the comment period, which is now slated to end Oct. 18.

For information or to provide feedback for NMMA's comments, contact Cindy Squires at (202) 737-9766; csquires@nmma.org.

Related

Year-End Tax Planning Guidance

These tips can help employers maximize cash savings, minimize tax exposure and more

Mercury Marine to Open Ind. Distribution Center

The new 512,000-square-foot facility will help the manufacturer meet record consumer demand for parts and accessories. The company is also expanding production at its main campus in Wisconsin.

GM Invests $150 Million in Pure Watercraft

An interview with Pure founder and CEO Andy Rebele.

Sea Tow, Southport Boats Form “Peace of Mind” Partnership

Sea Tow’s Gold Card, which includes two years of coverage, will now come standard with new Southport models.

Yamaha Rightwaters Goes International

The conservation initiative becomes an international effort as Yamaha Motor Australia joins a cleaner-ocean campaign.

Perfect Timing

With all the new boats sold recently, it’s inevitable that a good percentage will wind up on the used market. MRAA has launched a Certified Pre-Owned Boat Program to help dealers strengthen this profit center.

A Boatbuilder in Congress?

Robert Healey Jr., of Viking Yacht Co., is running for a U.S. House of Representatives seat in New Jersey.

Monterey and Blackfin to Expand Operations

The company will add 50,000 square feet of manufacturing space to meet increased demand, creating 150 job opportunities.