Construction site work can be very dangerous and oftentimes involves heavy lifting; interaction with motorized vehicles; working at significant heights; injury from falling objects, and hazards associated with the use of electricity, chemicals and heavy equipment. The work environment at a construction site leaves even the most alert construction worker exposed to the potential of suffering serious injury.
Like most American workers, construction industry employees are legally entitled to a workplace free of hazards and foreseeable construction accidents under the Occupational Safety and Health Act. Unfortunately, workplace injury in construction still runs higher than the national average. The Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that in 2004, construction work had the second highest number of workplace fatalities in the country and accounted for an above-average number of days lost to illness or injury. Employers are barred from covering up workplace hazards or retaliating against an employee who reports such a hazard but this often is not enforced.
Recovering Workers’ Compensation
You can only recover workers’ compensation benefits from your employer for medical bills and partial wage loss and sometimes for disfigurement. You cannot recover for pain and suffering, loss of your quality of life or consortium for your spouse. However, you may have a claim against other people or companies who are working at the site as independent contractors if they cause or contribute to your injury.
Peter Hart and Steve Karp are experienced at handling construction accident claims and workers’ compensation benefits. These include construction accident injuries caused by the following:
A heavy object falling from a construction site can cause irreparable injury. There are numerous risks for falling objects on a construction site. Materials being raised by forklifts or cranes can injure or kill workers.
If you are a construction worker, you are well aware of the many different types of heavy equipment utilized at construction sites. Equipment of all types and sizes from forklifts, front end loaders to dump trucks and cranes are commonly used on construction sites. Unfortunately, these types of equipment, especially when operating in the relatively small confines of a construction site, can pose a hazard to the workers on the ground as well as to the equipment operators. Oftentimes they are operated by independent contractors who are not immune from suit.
Falls and Chemicals
Because many projects involve the construction of high buildings, falls are common and can result in injury or death. Even a fall from a second-story, scaffolding, or roof can be catastrophic. An injury from a fall can result in life-long disabilities that require constant medical care and can prevent the victim from ever being able to live independently again. We have undertaken several cases involving falls at construction sites here in Chester County, Pennsylvania.
At many construction sites, there are potentially dangerous materials and chemicals that if not handled properly can result in serious injury or death. A welding accident or electrical accident can cause explosions or fires capable of inflicting severe burns on workers.
Many of the chemicals found at work sites, such as acids, can cause burns if there is contact with the skin. Burns often require intensive, long-term medical care. Again, if you were injured by another worker who is not employed by your company, then you may have a personal injury claim.
Maintaining a Safe Work Environment
The inherent risks of construction sites require individuals to exercise extremely high levels of vigilance and caution when they are working. It is the responsibility of the contractors and construction company owners to maintain a safe work environment for their workers and other individuals on or near the job site. They must also employ only workers who have received appropriate and adequate training in the fields they are working. This also is not always done.
If you have been injured in a construction accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other hardships. We can help, please contact us.