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The Role of Protective Gear in Preventing Construction Accidents and Injuries

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Construction accident injuries and fatalities are skyrocketing once again in New York City with the increase in building activity. According to city data, construction accident deaths have increased 33 percent compared to five years ago. Worksite injuries are up a staggering 221 percent within that same time period.

Contractors and construction companies are looking to underbid jobs and cut corners by hiring cheap labor and ignoring safety standards set forth by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). While construction has always been a dangerous profession, deadlines and pressures for finishing jobs within a certain timeline combined with a disregard for safety measures such as the requirement to provide workers with proper safety gear and safety training, has led to a significant increase in construction site fatalities, particularly among immigrant workers.

Equipping Workers with Safety Gear

Most construction accidents involving injuries may be avoided with proper use of safety equipment and training. There are several pieces of personal protective equipment that can help save workers’ lives. Here is some of the crucial safety gear that is a must for every construction site in New York City.

Fall protection: Falls are the number one cause of construction accident fatalities in New York City. Workers such as ironworkers, steelworkers, etc. tend to suffer fatal falls from heights when they are working on scaffolds, ladders or other structures. Workers must be provided with fall safety protection such as harnesses, safety belts, safety nets, guardrails, etc. Open areas such as roof edges and unfinished floors should have safeguard such as nets and barriers to prevent falls.

Head injury protection: Hard hats are a must for not just workers, but also visitors and supervisors at a worksite. Since there is a danger of falling or flying objects such as tools and debris at a construction site, it is critical that workers protect their heads. Like any other equipment, hard hats should be routinely inspected to ensure that they are in good condition and must be immediately replaced whenever they take a heavy blow, even if there is no visible damage.

Eye and face protection: This might include goggles or safety glasses to keep dust and debris from entering a worker’s eyes. Ironworkers and steelworkers may need better eye protection such as a face shield that protects them from sparks generated by welding activity. Face protection might also include masks and ventilators to keep harmful particulate matter from entering the lungs and causing breathing issues.

Hearing protection: Construction sites are often loud. Workers need proper ear protection. When they don’t have ear protection, workers may suffer from long-term hearing damage or even permanent hearing loss.

Protecting hands and feet: Construction workers need to wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts. Sometimes, gloves are necessary. Those working with or around electricity might need specialized gloves to prevent electrical injuries. Proper shoes or boots are essential because construction workers are on their feet for many hours in a row. Workers may need steel-toed boots that are slip-resistant and to make sure their toes or feet are not crushed if something is dropped on their feet.

Compensation for Injured Workers

Construction companies, building owners and managers and contractors have a responsibility to provide workers with proper safety equipment and safety training in a language that workers can comprehend. Those who are injured in construction accidents may be able to seek workers’ compensation benefits, which typically cover medical and drug expenses and a portion of lost wages. Families that have lost loved ones in a construction accident may be able to seek death benefits. In addition, workers and their families may be able to file a third-party lawsuit for substantial money damages against a number of parties, and therefore have two sources of compensation.

Third-party claims are filed against parties other than the employer or co-employees and may include general contractors, sub-contractors, building owners, managing agents, construction companies, etc. Injured victims can seek compensation for damages including, but not limited to, medical expenses, lost income and benefits, hospitalization, cost of rehabilitative treatment, permanent injuries, disabilities, past and future pain and suffering, etc.

Contacting an Experienced Construction Accident Lawyer

If you have suffered injuries in a construction accident, the experienced New York personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options, and also fight hard to recover just compensation for you. Our law firm recovered $3,375,576 for a construction worker (an undocumented immigrant) who was injured on the job – one of the highest construction case settlements in New York that year. Also, one of our clients obtained a verdict for $43,940,000 and another of our clients got a verdict for $23,500,000, both in medical malpractice cases.

Please contact us TOLL FREE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). WE CAN EVEN COME TO YOU. There is no attorneys’ fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury and medical malpractice cases in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.

Other TOLL FREE phone numbers for us are:

1-800-RADIO-LAW, 1-888-WYPADEK, OR 1-800-LAS-LEYES

Please visit us at: www.WORK4YOULAW.com

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