According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the construction industry is the third most dangerous industry in the United States, with close to 1,000 fatalities and three million non-fatal injuries and illnesses reported each year. Construction workers injured on the job are likely to experience high medical bills and lost wages.
The New Jersey construction accident lawyers at the Law Office of Mark S. Nathan are staunch advocates for worker safety, particularly for those in the construction industry. We work diligently to ensure that our clients receive the maximum amount of compensation available to them for their construction work injuries.
Primary Construction Worker Hazards
In construction, four of the main causes of worker deaths, not involving collisions on a highway, are falls, being struck-by objects, electrocutions, and getting caught-in/between objects. OSHA has named these the Fatal Four, and has created a program called Focus Four training to work on combatting them.
A closer examination of the Fatal Four follows:
Falls Are the Leading Cause of Construction Injuries
Falls from elevated surfaces can result in brain and spinal cord injuries, broken bones, cuts and lacerations, and internal organ damage. The most common cause of fall accidents are due to slippery, wet, or uneven surfaces; debris or tools left on scaffolding; openings in walls or floors; and unsecured ladders.
Even workers that wear fall protection equipment can become seriously injured if they are not using their protective equipment properly. Supervisors should ensure workers have this equipment properly fitted and installed.
Safety training should also include how to create a safe work environment by keeping workspaces clean, removing debris, and putting equipment in its proper place when not in use.
Electricians face dangers everyday in their line of work, but they are also schooled in how electricity works, the dangers involved, and how to avoid electrical accidents. Not all workers on a construction site are properly trained in electrical safety, and therefore face the danger of electrocution from exposed wires, faulty connections, and electrical equipment.
A fatal surge of electricity can occur from contact with as little as 20 milliamps. Cardiac arrest and internal organ damage can occur from a surge of two amps or more. Surface burns and second or third degree burns to the skin are common, as well as soft tissue and muscle damage.
Overhead power lines pose a significant risk to construction workers. Cranes and scaffolding positioned at high heights can come into contact with a live wire, which is almost always deadly. Special precautions need to take place whenever construction workers are working close to power lines. Serious injury and death could also occur when workers are jolted backwards from high surfaces after they come into contact with a power line.
Cranes, heavy equipment like backhoes and forklifts, construction vehicles, and various construction tools are in constant motion on a typical construction site. Construction workers are prone to serious and sometimes fatal injuries when they are struck-by any of these objects.
A seemingly harmless tool such as a hammer can become deadly when dropped from a high place. Heavy construction materials such as steel beams and bricks that are being moved from place to place can also strike a worker, leaving them severely injured.
Construction vehicles account for the majority of struck-by accidents, so it is imperative that operators and drivers follow safety protocols to avoid contact with workers.
Trench collapses, rotating machinery, unguarded parts on mechanical equipment, rollovers of construction machines and vehicles, and poor maintenance of equipment and machinery are the main causes of caught-in/between accidents. Workers can suffer catastrophic injuries when they are caught between moving parts or heavy equipment.
Amputations of limbs, suffocation, and internal organ damage are common injuries. Proper training for workers, and regular inspection and maintenance of construction equipment are the best protection from this type of accident.
Compensation is Available for Construction Accident Victims
It is common for construction workers to require time off work to recover from their injuries. Medical bills, hospitalizations, surgeries, cognitive and physical therapy, prescription medications, and lost wages can quickly deplete a victim’s financial resources. Workers’ Compensation benefits are designed to cover these expenses and provide income while injured workers heal.
In some cases, Workers’ Compensation benefits are initially declined, but appeals are possible. A qualified and experienced Workers’ Compensation lawyer can protect your legal rights and claim the maximum amount of compensation available.
If your injuries are the result of negligence by your employer, dangerous or defective equipment, or the carelessness of another, you may be able to claim additional compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.
New Jersey Construction Accident Lawyers at the Law Office of Mark S. Nathan Help Injured Workers Claim Compensation
If you are a construction worker that was injured on the job, the New Jersey construction accident lawyers at the Law Office of Mark S. Nathan can help you claim the compensation you are entitled to receive. Call us at 856-232-5559 or contact us online to schedule a consultation today. Our office is conveniently located in Blackwood, New Jersey and serve clients throughout the state.