Workers – specialized or not – are an integral part of every construction project. In fact, even with advances in technology, it would be impossible to build a building without the participation of workers, who pour hard, physical work into these types of projects. The work carried out by the workers can vary from carrying out specialized work, such as carpentry and masonry to tasks that might not necessarily require training or the granting of licenses as a carrier object, drilling, work yard, etc.
According to the US office of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment of construction workers and assistants is projected to grow by 25 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. Workers and helpers work in almost every aspect of construction activity and the demand for these workers usually reflect the level of overall growth of an economy’s construction.
The reality on construction sites in New York City is that all workers are exposed to a significant risk of injury. Workers who work on construction sites in New York can suffer injuries as a result of falls, falling objects or debris , crane accidents, accidents of heavy machinery, hit by incidents, electrocutions, burns and explosions etc.
Any worker who was injured in a construction accident in New York City must remember that he or she has legal rights. An experienced New York personal injury lawyer can help injured workers and their families, protect their rights and interest in the consequences of a work-related injury accident.
There are a number of different types of accidents that can seriously injure or even be fatal to workers. These are just some examples:
Falls of height: Many workers, especially those who work in the construction sector, are forced to work from above. According to the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), in the year 2013, there were 294 deaths related to falls of every 796 total deaths from construction accidents. Workers, such as painters, carpenters, blacksmiths and masons often have to work from the heights as in ladders, scaffolding and roofs, employers and owners and general contractors, etc. They must plan the projects to ensure that the work is done safely.
Falls of objects and vehicles: According to OSHABeing hit by falling objects, debris and vehicles at construction sites is another major cause of construction-related deaths. About 75 percent of deaths involve heavy equipment such as trucks or cranes. Falling objects can be any number of things, including equipment or tools that fall from the belt of the worker’s tool and hit another person below. Workers are also at risk of being hit by masonry walls, roofs, ditches, or other structures set incorrectly that can collapse in the workplace. The presence of vehicles and heavy equipment and machinery, such as forklifts and cranes on sites presents a constant danger to workers that can be hit or run over by them.
Electrocution: The most common electrical shock injury is a burn. Electrical burns cause tissue damage that results from heat generated by the flow of electrical current through the body. Electrocutions or electrical accidents often occur when workers come into contact with high-voltage cables. Employers, owners, general contractors and supervisors, etc., must carefully examine a site before work begins to ensure that no such risks exist.
Amputations: Workers who work on construction sites often use machines and power tools to cut materials such as wood to shape it. When these machines do not have security guards in them or when the workers do not have adequate protective equipment, an accident could occur in the fingers or amputations of the extremities. These are catastrophic injuries that can result in a life of pain and disability for workers.
Toxic exposure:A number of workplaces use toxic and hazardous chemicals such as asbestos, benzene, lead, silica, etc., which can cause serious injury and illness. Workers exposed to toxins can suffer acute injuries such as burns or intoxications that is symptomatic and should be treated immediately. They can also suffer from latent injuries, which are those that are not immediately apparent. These injuries include diseases such as cancer that can take years or, sometimes, even decades to surface. Workers in such cases may be able to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the toxic substance or manufacturers of the safety equipment that proved ineffective in handling the toxic substance, and / or owners, general contractors and / or others.
The injuries suffered in workers accidents
With the number of hidden hazards in construction and workplaces , workers are at risk of suffering serious life-changing or even fatal injuries. Here are some examples of the types of worker and assistant injuries that can occur as a result of work accidents:
- Head injuries: These are some of the most common injuries suffered by workers. Head injuries can occur in a workplace when a worker falls from a ladder or scaffold or receives a blow to the head from a falling or flying object. These types of accidents can result in traumatic brain injuries , which can be catastrophic and leave victims with permanent debilitating injuries and disabilities.
- Spinal cord trauma: Spinal injuries can also occur when workers take a fall. When the spinal cord is injured, depending on the nature, extent and location of the injury, workers may become quadriplegic or paraplegic paralyzed or loaned. Those who suffer neck or back injuries can also stop coping with chronic pain for the rest of their lives. Those who suffer this type of serious injury are often not able to return to work or live their life normally.
- Broken bones: : Although bone fractures are not life threatening, the injured victims takelong time to recover if some of these injuries. Multiple bone fractures have the potential to leave an individual with a permanent disability. Those who have suffered bone fractures should often go through prolonged rehabilitation to try to regain lost strength, flexibility and mobility. Even after rehabilitation, many of the victims are not able to return to their pre-accident condition.
- Internal injuries: When workers are crushed by equipment or fall tall, they can suffer internal trauma. Injuries to organs such as the lungs, spleen or kidneys can be fatal to workers.
- Amputations: Extremities and amputations of fingers can leave workers who can not continue to earn a livelihood. Injured victims often need expensive prostheses and other equipment to maintain their quality of life.
- Burn injuries : Electrocution or fires in construction sites and work sites can cause serious burn injuries to victims, which can be painful and costly to treat. Severe burn victims usually require extensive skin grafting and rehabilitation procedures.
What causes injuries in workplaces?
There are a number of reasons why workers are injured in the workplace. The most common reason why this occurs is due to safety violations in the workplace . The Occupational Safety Administration in the US It requires all employers, owners and general contractors, etc., to provide safety conditions for their employees. This includes providing:
- A safe work environment: This means that employers and others have to inspect the workplace for any potential hazards. They must detect the risks of falls, high voltage cables, holes that are not closed, etc. Work should not begin until the location has been thoroughly investigated for possible hazards.
- Work and safety training: All workers who are on the site must have good work and safety training. This means that workers who are obligated to perform certain jobs really know how to do those jobs. Employers and others must also provide them with detailed safety training so that workers know how to do their job safely.
- Special protective equipment: Workers must be provided with protective equipment such as helmets, safety glasses, boots, gloves, etc. Protection against safety falls like harnesses, handrails and safety nets is a must for construction workers. When workers do not have enough safety equipment, they are at risk of serious or even fatal injuries.
- Safety conditions: Employers must ensure that the work is carried out safely. For example, before starting digging ditches or digging operations, employers must ensure that ditches are adequately protected to prevent deadly collapse accidents. Workers should not be allowed to operate in extreme weather conditions such as intense cold, heat or wind, which can be treacherous.
Can your employer be held responsible?
Victims of injured work accidents can apply for workers’ compensation benefits from their employers. Compensation of workers helps pay medical expenses and a portion of lost wages. However, workers’ compensation is usually never always enough to pay for all the damages and losses suffered by injured workers and their families. This is often the case when a worker suffers permanent injuries or disabilities, or is killed in an accident. Families struggle to cope with these losses emotionally and economically because they have lost a main or sole wage earner.
Sometimes, the contractor of your general employer and / or owner of the property, etc. Actions (or lack of it) allow you to file a lawsuit. If your employer’s conduct is intentional, you may be able to file a personal injury claim against your employer. Employees may also be able to sue their employers outside the workers’ compensation system under certain conditions.
Work accidents can be investigated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). . Construction companies, owners, contractors or manufacturing plants that do not follow federal safety standards are fined by OSHA investigators.
The compensation of third parties for work accidents
If you are a worker who has been injured at work, workers’ compensation can not be the only source of compensation. In our experience, we have seen numerous cases in New York, where workers’ compensation benefits were not enough to cover the losses of catastrophically injured workers.
In such cases, workers may be able to file a third-party claim for significant or huge monetary damages. A third party claim was usually filed against a party other than the employer, whose negligence caused or contributed to injury, damage and loss of the worker and is usually worth much more than workers’ compensation claims. Such a statement helps workers with serious injuries and their families request and obtain monetary support during their most difficult times. Here are some examples of third-party claims:
- The manufacturer of the defective product can be held responsible for injuries caused by products or devices that malfunction.
- The general contractors or subcontractors that are part of the project.
- Building or property owners / managers.
- A project manager, engineer or architect supervising the project.
- A scaffolding company that can not be installed correctly.
- The suppliers or contractors that are part of the project.
- A company that is responsible for the maintenance of equipment, etc.
Contacting an experienced lawyer
Injured workers can seek compensation for damages, including, but not limited to, medical expenses, lost wages and benefits, hospitalization, rehabilitation, permanent injuries, disability, past pain and suffering and the future, etc. If you have been injured, it is important that you keep a record of all your losses including medical expenses and lost wages. Do not sign a settlement agreement until you have discussed your case with an experienced lawyer who has successfully handled cases similar to yours.
If you or a loved one has suffered an on-the-job injury or if you have lost a loved one in an accident at work, the New York personal injury lawyersExperienced in the law office of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options. 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. We do not have to pay lawyers unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury cases in New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 states of the United States, please call us and we will try to help you with your case. We have recovered many millions of dollars for clients and workers who were injured in the workplace.
Other telephone numbers at no cost to us are:
1-800-RADIO-LAW, 1-888-WYPADEK, or 1-800-LAS-LEYES
Please visit us at: www.WORK4YOULAW.com