Construction work is inherently dangerous and puts lives at risk of serious injury on the job. Even when safety protocols and regulations are strictly enforced, there are many hazards that come with the occupation.
Some of the risks include electrocution, being struck by falling objects, exposure to toxic chemicals, falls and unsafe equipment. Although workers are covered by worker’s compensation, there are monetary caps on the benefits that an injured worker can receive.
The fatal four risks
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), one in five job site fatalities in the private industry in 2018 were construction worker deaths. The leading cause of death, accounting for a full third of all cases, was due to falls that were caused by poorly secured scaffolding, hidden gaps, or unmarked of concealed holes.
After falls, the other main causes of death in the construction industry are electrocution, being struck by an object and being caught in machinery or crushed by a collapsed structure or equipment. Called the fatal four, these four causes contribute to more than half of all construction worker deaths.
While the overall occupational death rates have been steadily climbing across the country, states where there is heavy urban sprawl or heavy natural resources extraction have a greater number of fatal occupational injuries. While the fatality rates across New York State decreased from 2017 to 2018, 86% of workers who died on private worksites were non-union, and funding cuts for OSHA resulted in lower inspection numbers.
Filing a claim for a construction injury
OSHA regulations protect workers by requiring contractors and managers to adhere to a standard of safety and hazard prevention that provides safe conditions at the workplace. If the employer is not implementing these measures, however, and you are injured on the job as a direct result of unsafe working conditions, there may be cause for filing a claim.
Although worker’s compensation is an insurance that covers claims for any reason up to a certain limit, it also shields employers from being sued by their employees. If the injury was caused by negligence on the part of the employer or on-site project manager, the plaintiff would need to prove:
- that there was a breach in the duty the manager or employer owed to the employee (for example, the employer’s failure to implement OSHA safety standards)
- that they did not use reasonable care in the exercise of this duty,
- that this caused the accident and injury
Finding an attorney serving the Albany community who specializes in construction injury claims can help determine whether worker’s compensation or a personal injury claim is the best option.