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Construction workers face inordinate risks when on the job

On Behalf of | Jun 14, 2021 | Workers' Compensation |

Many New Jersey residents work construction in one form or another. It can range from being an individual who does local contracting, maintenance crews and those who work on major building projects. With these types of physically and mentally demanding jobs, there are common denominators that should be understood. Heavy tools, large pieces of machinery, navigating vehicles, cranes, working at significant heights, performing tasks involving electricity and trusting colleagues and employers to adhere to basic safety standards are just some of the factors that can result in injuries, death and the need for workers’ compensation benefits. Being fully up-to-date and aware of the risks that construction workers must deal with every day is important. While safety is the goal, knowing how to pursue compensation should be understood from the start.

Construction worker vulnerability has been increasing

The National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries says that construction is one of the most dangerous jobs a person can do. In 2019, there was a 5% increase in construction worker deaths with a total of 1,061. These were the highest since 2011. For construction workers, the most common ways in which they lose their lives are from falling and having an object hit them from high above. There are, however, many ways in which construction workers can be injured and lose their lives. Being exposed to harmful substances is inordinately dangerous. There can be explosions, fires and electrocutions.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is responsible for tracking workplace dangers and ensuring employers adhere to the proper safety protocols. Still, they might miss certain potentially risky issues before it is too late. It is left up to employers to make sure their workers are safe. Some may lapse in that responsibility. Workers who are stationed at heights should be encouraged to wear protective gear like a harness. There should be steps workers are expected to take when storing tools, using machinery and operating vehicles. If employers do not strictly enforce these requirements and it might cause injuries and fatalities.

Employers are encouraged to take certain actions to make sure their workplaces are safe. Having a culture that emphasizes safety is frequently mentioned by safety experts. This is a top-down strategy and must be a company culture rather than an intermittent decision only enforced if there is a near accident or people are injured and lose their lives. Proper training is also crucial. If employees are unaware of safety hazards, they are less likely to know how to avoid them. Companies that are seeking to complete projects quickly and maximize profits could potentially flout certain basics. Being proactive with employees, having detailed manuals and exercising leadership can be beneficial.

Workers’ compensation is essential for construction workers

Unfortunately, construction accidents are a fact of life in the industry. For those who have been hurt, workers’ compensation benefits might be a lifesaver to help them get through the troubling time and support themselves and their families. Families who have lost a loved one will likely need the death benefit to make ends meet. Workers’ compensation benefits can cover for medical expenses, lost income and more. Whether it is a head injury, a back injury, muscle strains, lost limbs, broken bones, internal injuries, a heart attack, post-traumatic stress or any other issue, having advice is imperative.

A fundamental part of the case is being approved and for some, this can be a challenge. In certain instances, there is a dispute between the worker and the state or the insurer as to how severe the injuries are. That could mean the difference between getting temporary disability benefits and permanent disability benefits. From the start, it is useful to have professional representation to ensure the case is taken seriously, all the evidence is accrued and there is a good possibility of being approved and maximizing benefits.

 

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