Get the Financial Benefit You Deserve in the Event of Construction Accidents

Mar 29

The need to keep up with the demands of progress requires workers, especially those in construction sites, to accomplish more in much lesser time. The faster the work and the taller the buildings, however, the more dangerous it is for construction workers.

Hard work, often times for longer periods, the heavy machineries, tools and equipment, the presence of hazardous materials, and working from great heights, are what continuously threatens the health and safety of construction workers.

In 2013, the US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics recorded 796 fatal accidents in construction sites, with the top four causes (also known in the construction industry as the “Fatal Four”) of these accidents being slips, trips, and falls, getting struck by a heavy or moving object, electrocution, and being caught between objects.

Falls, specifically, account for 40 % of all construction site injuries and deaths. Falls are usually results of poorly maintained or assembled scaffolding and work platforms, weak ladders, improper use of ladders, elevated surfaces, uneven floors, lack or absence of signs to warn about ramps and/or excavations, overhanging steel bars, unprotected sides and edges, lack of training on observance, lax implementation of safety measures, lack of protective gear and/or equipment for workers, and so forth.

Due to the so many risks construction workers are exposed to every day, the Occupational Safety and Health Act (or OSH Act) was passed into law by the US Congress in 1970. The Act aims to:

  • Ensure all working men and women of safe and healthful working conditions
  • Assist and encourage the States in their efforts in ensuring safe and healthful working conditions
  • Provide for information, education, research and training in the area of occupational safety and health
  • Authorize enforcement of the standards developed under the Act. Enforcement of these standards has been delegated by OSH Act to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which was created in 1971.

OSHA maintains that a large number of fall accidents in construction sites are preventable if only employers and workers would observe proper safety standards, such as the use of personal fall arrest systems (PFAS). However, because of the negligence of so many people in the construction business, cases of accidents resulting to injuries and deaths only increase every year.

‘Falls from any height,” as explained by the law firm Clawson & Staubes, LLC: Injury Group, “can result in serious injuries including broken bones, internal injury, and head trauma. Injuries from falls are not always obvious and often require extensive testing and medical expertise to understand and treat. Sometimes, the full extent of an injury from a fall is not immediately apparent. Falls can result in serious and permanent injuries and disabilities with life-changing consequences.”

Workers should understand that, in the event of injurious accidents, they can file a claim with their state’s Worker’s Compensation Insurance office. Worker’s Compensation is a state-mandated insurance program which provides financial benefits to workers who sustain job-related injuries or who develop an illness due to poor working conditions. This program is designed to cover cost of medical treatment, lost wages, rehabilitation, disability and death.

Many times, however, despite the obvious injury or illness, workers’ claims are disapproved, if not by the injured workers’ employers, then by the insurance providers. While insurance firms would, as much as possible, try to avoid making compensation payments (the lesser the claims, the higher profit these firms will have), many employers behave just the same way since more claims means higher premiums that they will have to pay. Yet, despite trying to avoid so much the filing of claims by injured workers, these employers continue to fail in their duty of ensuring their workers a safe and healthy environment.

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