While any job site can hold the potential for on-the-job injuries, none are as dangerous as an active construction site. Each day, workers put their health and wellbeing on the line working with hazardous materials and performing any number of potentially-risky tasks. When work accidents do occur, they can be severe and disabling, leaving these workers unable to care for themselves or provide for their loved ones. Fortunately, workers’ compensation benefits are available to help in these situations. If you or someone you care about works in this field, it is important to be aware of the specific dangers, as well as what to do if an injury occurs.
Common Types of Construction Worker Injuries
According to fact sheets from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the construction field has the highest percentage of on the job accidents and worker fatalities than any other field. Of the close to 5,000 fatal work accidents that occurred during 2015, more than 20 percent involved construction workers.
OSHA states that the leading causes of life-threatening construction accidents are known as the “Fatal Four.” They include:
- Falls, which account for roughly one third of all construction related fatalities
- Getting struck by heavy objects, equipment, or by falling debris
- Electrocutions when dealing with live wiring or in excavations
- Getting caught between objects, such as motor vehicles or machinery
OSHA reports that these accidents often occur either as the result of poorly maintained workplaces or a lack of proper safety procedures. Among the most frequent citations issued by OSHA include improper scaffolding for fall protection, lack of machine safety guards to prevent workers being caught, poor hazard communications between workers and construction site managers, and failure to control hazardous substances by owners and suppliers.
Getting the Workers’ Compensation Benefits You Are Entitled To
When on-the-job construction site accidents and injuries do occur, workers’ compensation laws can provide the benefits employees and their families need to recover. These benefits include:
- Medical care, which includes necessary diagnostic testing, treatment, medications, and physical therapy
- Temporary disability benefits, which can provide support for you and your family while you recover
- Permanent disability benefits if your injuries result in lasting impairments
- Job displacement benefits, if disabilities prevent you from returning to your prior position
- Death benefits, which can provide for surviving family members in the event an injury proves fatal
In order to receive these benefits, it is crucial that you report your injury to your supervisor immediately when it occurs, get medical attention as soon as possible, and follow all of your doctor’s instructions. Fill out all forms provided by your employer promptly when you receive them, and make sure all documents are submitted within the appropriate time frames.
In the event your benefits are disputed or denied, contact a workers’ compensation attorney, like a workers’ compensation attorney in Long Island, right away. A dedicated workers’ compensation attorney will act as a strong legal advocate on your behalf to help ensure you get the total amount to which you are entitled.
Thanks to Polsky, Shouldice, & Rosen, P.C. for their insight into some of the benefits you could be entitled to after a construction accident.