Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act

The United States government established the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) in 1953 to enlarge the safeguards and the protections afforded by the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) for workers on offshore platforms and rigs situated on the Outer Continental Shelf of the United States.

The protections afforded to workers on offshore platforms on the Outer Continental Shelf of the United States involve the right to money for medical costs, treatment costs, rehabilitation costs, disability payments, as well as death benefits for the families of workers who were killed while offshore. Eligible workers can demand these compensations benefits even if they were at fault for the accident that causes the injuries.

The offshore injury lawyers at the Testa Law Group note that there are specific criteria that must be met for the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to apply.

What Does the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act Include?

For a non-seaman who is hurt on the Outer Continental Shelf to qualify for LHWCA benefits, there are some requirements that must be met regarding the type and area of employment.

The legislation applies to:

  • The subsoil of the Outer Continental Shelf
  • The seabed of the Outer Continental Shelf
  • Artificial islands that are permanently or temporarily attached to the seabed, erected on the seabed or subsoil, or on the Outer Continental Shelf to explore or develop resources
  • Installations or other devices that are permanently or temporarily attached to the seabed, erected on the seabed or subsoil, or on the Outer Continental Shelf to explore or develop resources
  • Structures on the Outer Continental Shelf to transport resources and supplies

When these conditions are satisfied, then the next step in the process is to decide whether state or federal law will oversee the claim that is being filed.

Although oil platforms placed on the Outer Continental Shelf are beyond state boundaries, the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) commands that injury-causing-accidents that are occurring on the Outer Continental Shelf fall under the nearest state’s jurisdiction. In the Gulf of Mexico, the majority of oil platforms fall under Louisana jurisdiction, Texas jurisdiction, Mississippi jurisdiction, and Florida jurisdiction.

Maritime workers qualifying under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act include, but are not restricted to:

  • Longshoremen
  • Harbor workers
  • Workers on oil rigs
  • Workers on oil platforms
  • Shipbuilders
  • Ship repairers

The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act does not apply to crewmembers on a vessel nor does it apply to government employees.

Talk with an Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act Lawyer

The Texas and Louisiana offshore injury lawyers at the Testa Law Group protect and defend the legal rights of those who are affected in severe maritime injury-causing-accidents throughout the Gulf Coast region. If you or a loved one were hurt in an accident on the Outer Continental Shelf, then you should contact the Testa Law Group to speak with an Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act lawyer for a free no-strings-attached consultation by calling (877) 780-9052.