Construction Accident - An Overview


The construction industry has seen an expansion in recent years; more construction companies have been established and more people are employed in the industry. In fact, millions of people are employed by the construction industry. They work to build, repair, and maintain the buildings and structures that we inhabit and use each and every day, including homes, workplaces, schools, hospitals, retail establishments, roads and bridges, and everything in between.

Workers in the construction industry may utilize heavy machinery, scaffolding, and a number of dangerous power tools. Working conditions vary, from the construction of skyscrapers, to underground construction; from construction in snow and ice to construction extreme heat, construction workers are exposed to many different situations and elements. These varying factors of the construction industry all pose challenges to the safety and well-being of construction workers while on the job.

While there are government regulations in place to help ensure that construction work environments are safe for employees, accidents happen. No matter how careful people are, unforeseen events occur that end up injuring or killing construction laborers. Falls, electrocution, asphyxiation from carbon monoxide, strikes from steel and wood beams or other objects, overexertion from lifting, exposure to chemicals and asbestos, and incidents with heavy equipment are only some of the possible incidents that may result in injury or death. While the rate of accidental injuries and death have seen a slight decrease in recent years, the construction industry has the highest rate of injury and death of any goods-producing private industry.

What happens when an accident occurs?

If an accident happens while on-the-job, the medical expenses and the lost wages associated with it can be very costly. Many laborers do have employment-based health insurance, but a large percentage do not.

Workers' compensation laws were enacted to help workers injured on the job obtain medical treatment and recover lost wages. Workers' compensation can help people with short-term and long-term injuries and the treatments associated with them.

In addition, the construction industry must comply with federal and state regulations governing the construction industry, in conjunction with the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA). In some cases, injured workers or family members of injured workers may be able to prove that an injury or death was the result of an OSHA violation; if this can be proved, the party responsible for the management of the construction site or job would be held responsible and would be liable for a workers' injuries. This may include having to cover medical costs and compensation.

What can you do if you believe an accident was the result of a safety violation or an employer challenges a workers' compensation claim?

If you or someone you know has been involved in a construction accident that has resulted in injury, or if someone you love was involved in an accident that resulted in death, and you believe that the accident occurred because of an OSHA violation, it is recommended that you contact an attorney. An attorney well-versed in labor law and OSHA regulations will help you navigate through the process of determining who was liable for an accident, as well as how to go about recovering damages. The process may be complicated, but it is important to determine who is responsible for an accident at the workplace.

Likewise, if an employer has challenged a workers' compensation claim, you may want to seek legal advice. A lawyer can aid you with a workers' compensation claim and help to ensure you are compensated appropriately.

There are many safety risks associated with working in the construction industry. There are a variety of conditions that factor into what happens. Even with government regulations in place, there are still incidents that occur that put people at risk of injury or death. In the event that you or someone you know is involved in a construction accident and you think the accident was the result of a safety violation, it is highly recommended that you seek legal assistance. A legal professional will help to ensure you are fairly compensated and that similar accidents can be avoided in the future.


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