Work-related Accidents In and Around Construction Sites
Work-related accident is one of the top causes of severe and disabling injuries in the United States and, according to the US Department of Labor, the most common site where these accidents happen is construction sites.
The number of accidents in and around construction sites was most alarming during the turn of the 20th century and one of the major concerns connected with every injury was the financial suffering the injured victim was subjected to. Missing days of work for the injured meant lost wages, yet, despite the lack of earning capability, costly medical treatment had to be undergone and medication, purchased, to hasten recovery and resume work.
If only to merit the compensation that workers legally deserved, they had to sue their employers, which often destroyed employer-employee relationship. Thus, the passing into law (in 1908) of the Workers’ Compensation Insurance benefit played a very important role in the wellbeing of workers. This benefit was intended to provide sure and fast financial assistance to injured workers, covering lost wages, cost of medical treatment, rehabilitation and even death. This insurance benefit was also intended to aid workers who developed occupation diseases, due to exposure hazardous chemicals during work.
In 1970, another law was passed, which was aimed at ensuring safety and health in the working environment – the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, which gave birth to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration or OSHA.
Some of the safety standards mandated by OSHA on all construction industries, included protections against falls, ground fault-circuit interrupters (GFCIs), confined-space standard, safe stairways and ladders, proper illumination of working area and passage ways, personal protective equipment (PPE), clearly visible and readable accident-prevention signs and tags, eye wash and body-flushing areas located not more than 25 feet from battery-changing places, and fire extinguishers with a 2A-rating every 3000 square feet.
Between 2008 and 2012, a downtrend in construction site injuries was recorded by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the US Department of Labor. Though the law now provides compensation to injured workers, filing of claims will have to be done correctly and within the specified time limit, known as statute of limitation. Seeking a qualified construction site accident lawyer to assist you in your claim may be beneficial for your situation.
An article on the website of Hach & Rose, LLP, a legal team based in New York, states that injured workers and their families need to understand the law that covers workplace injuries, as well as know the procedure in filing for, and submitting, a claim within the allowed period. All these things are complicated and, definitely, having a legal professional to help you is necessary. This is because many claims have been denied, while the amount of some of those that have been awarded were far lower than what the injured was legally entitled to receive.