There are two (2) bodies of law in general that govern commercial or business related injuries that occur on water, on rigs, ships, barges and boats, “The Jones Act” and the “Longshoreman and Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act.”
One of the main laws that governs commercial activities is the Jones’ Act of the United States. The Jones’ Act is intended to protect the seamen or crew members of a vessel in navigation. Unfortunately, in the last thirty (30) years the protective effect of the Jones Act has been steadily diminished by conservative Supreme Court opinions that have restricted and limited protection of crew members under the Jones’ Act.
The other major law applicable to injuries occurring on water is the Longshoreman and Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act. This Act applies to individuals building, repairing and/or loading or unloading vessels in commercial use. It’s basically a Worker’s Compensation type law.