Working in the construction industry can be fraught with risk, but you shouldn’t worry if all precautionary measures are being taken. However, you never know when an accident can strike and unforeseeable injuries can occur. In order to safeguard your health, prevent monetary loss, and permanent disability, you should know your rights as a worker in the workers’ compensation context. Of course, if you need any help with filing the claim, you can hire a trained work comp lawyer.
Secondly, you should know what types of accidents to expect in your workplace. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has determined that the following factors are the main causes for work-related injuries in construction sites:
Falling from a height
This can involve falling from skyscrapers, bridges, scaffolding, high machinery, to the ground below or levels in between. Holes and ditches on construction sites pose another risk to workers.
This is an especially dangerous accident. If a trench collapses, access to fresh air can be cut off. This can put the life of the worker at stake, and urgent measures need to take place.
When it comes to scaffolding, strict safety guidelines need to be followed by all companies and employees. Unfortunately, if the stability of the scaffolding is compromised, the worker can fall which can lead to worst outcomes, permanent disability or death.
Electrocution and arc flashes/blasts
If you work with generators, your construction job can put you at risk of suffering electric shocks. Other risk factors involve working with electrical machinery, tools, and live wiring.
Inappropriate protective gear
If your employer is not taking your safety seriously, they will probably try to cut corners with protective gear. Fortunately, there are strict guidelines for personal protective equipment. You should always wear a protective helmet, vest, and have access to gloves, goggles, and other gear that can help you perform all tasks safely.
Repetitive motion injury
As in other industries, any job that involves repetitive motions will gradually start to take it’s toll. Straining muscles without breaks for stretching and relaxation can lead to chronic pain and discomfort and cause a chain reaction. To prevent losing your productivity and livelihood, it’s best to seek compensation for your pain in case you’d already sustained the injury.
Other common injuries reported by construction workers include:
- Strains and sprains – the most commonly reported among all claims.
- Cuts and punctures
- Contusions or bruises
If you were injured on the construction site while working, you can count on experienced lawyers to be your attorney in court. You can also count on legal assistance if you need to:
- Decide if you’d pursue the workers’ compensation claim or a third party claim
- Negotiate with the insurance carrier in case of unpaid benefits
- Resolve a disagreement about medical coverage
- Gather the necessary evidence that shows you’re eligible for monetary compensation
- Track the progress of your claim
- Appeal to the court if the claim is denied
- Negotiate a settlement agreement, and more.
Remember that the workers’ compensation system is inseparable from your employer’s liability coverage. This is true for all employers. Also, keep in mind that precaution measures can help to minimize chances of accidents on your construction site, unfortunate events cannot always be predicted and controlled. It’s important for both the worker and the employer to have a safety net in the event that an unexpected injury disrupts business operation, to recover for the losses, whether physical or financial. The key is to be prepared, have coverage, and know your rights. When in any doubt, consult a legal professional specializing in work comp law.