In spite of safety precautions, working on a construction site can be very dangerous. In fact, accidents are more common in the construction industry than almost any other industry in the country. If constructions workers are not careful they may find themselves injured and unable to work.
If you have been injured while working on a construction site you may have many questions and not sure who you are supposed to turn to. In addition to your question, you may not be sure how you are supposed to continue paying for your bills and medical expenses.
Construction Accident Causes
Dangerous tools, heavy machinery, loud explosions, and toxic chemicals are not just the things you see in a horror movie, these are common things construction workers handle every day. Unfortunately, construction workers also pay for working in these conditions. In fact, the construction industry is one of the most dangerous industries in the country accounting for nearly 200,000 injuries each year. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has been tasked with regulating the construction industry and the safety measures employed on construction sites. In addition, The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has noted that one of the most common reasons for a construction site injury is a fall which often results in an injury to a workers’ back, spine, or trunk. Some of the most common accidents on a construction site include the following:
- Improperly maintained scaffolding
- Mechanical hazards
- Falling objects
- Defective equipment
- Crane accidents
Among these accident types and something that the construction industry sees all too much of are accidents that are related to cranes, and these massive industrial pieces of equipment account for numerous injuries every year. In fact, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has noted that cranes and crane related accidents account for nearly fifty deaths annually.
Construction Accident Recovery
Construction workers may be engaged in various jobs that do not always include building a new structure. Construction workers repair buildings, roads, and provide crucial maintenance. However, they are also at a very high risk for injury. In 2010, construction industry workers accounted for nearly seventeen percent of all workplace fatalities. Finding a way to pay for medical bills, rehabilitation expenses, all while trying to maintain general household expenses often exacerbates the effects of an injury. However, when you have been injured on a construction site because of another’s negligence you may be able to file a personal injury claim and be able to recover:
- Loss of wages;
- Current and Future medical expenses;
- Costs for counseling;
- Physical therapy;
- Property damage;
- Ongoing living expenses;
- Pain and suffering; and/or
- Loss of consortium for widows or widowers.
While most cases are filed as a workers compensation claim, many other cases are filed as personal injury cases because the workers compensation system is not designed to address all types of injuries that may result from a construction site accident.
The Occupational Safety and Health Act was passed in 1970 and established an organization known as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which is commonly referred to simply as OSHA. The purpose of this administration is to reduce the hazards in the workplace and to implement safety and health programs. Under OSHA there are certain rights and responsibilities that workers have when they are on a worksite. OSHA violations are commonly the source of liability for employers who attempt to avoid the OSHA regulations to cut costs. Some of the notable rights workers have under OSHA include the right to:
- Review copies of appropriate standards, rules, regulations, and requirements that the employer should have available at the workplace.
- Have access to relevant employee exposure and medical records.
- Request the OSHA area director to inspect their workplace if they believe there are hazardous conditions or violations of standards and have an authorized employee representative accompany the OSHA compliance officer during the inspection tour.
- Receive a copy of tests done to find hazards in the workplace.
- Have their names withheld from their employer, upon request to OSHA, if they sign and file a written complaint.
- Be free of any discriminatory or retaliatory action taken by their employer as a result of any OSHA complaint.
- Review records of work-related injuries and illnesses.
If an employer violates any of these rights, they may be sanctioned by OSHA in the form of a monetary penalty. These penalties can range from 0$ to $70,000 depending on the severity of the infraction and the likelihood that they will result in an injury to a worker.
Contact a Bella Vista Construction Accident Attorney Today
If you have suffered a serious injury or if you have lost a loved one due to the recklessness or carelessness of another, Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law can fight for you. For more than 20 years Ken Kieklak has stood up for hard-working people who have been injured through no fault of their own. To schedule your free and confidential personal injury consultation call (479) 316-0438 or contact us online.