Most people associate workplace injury or illness with jobs like firefighting and construction work, even though health risks can be found in a variety of workplaces. This is because construction sites are dangerous places. The work is very physical.
Construction workers are also sometimes required to use powerful machinery and to climb tall buildings or to work near busy roadsides where accidents can happen. Unfortunately, because of the inherent nature of the work, construction workers face a serious risk of injuries on the job.
Workers compensation is intended to assist individuals who have been injured at work. Benefits include death benefits, wages, rehabilitation services, and medical expenses. Compensation claims vary depending on the circumstances, but some types of injuries seem to be more common than others.
WORKER’S COMPENSATION BENEFITS
Workers compensation insurance is normally required for most employers. Work-related injuries are covered by these policies regardless of the reason for the injury. These policies vary based on location. The experts from Work Comp Georgia say that you have one year following your accident to file a claim with your employer regarding your workplace injury in order to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
If you are injured while working, your injury is covered regardless of whether it occurred at your regular workplace or if it occurred somewhere else. This is true even if the employer was not negligent. Even if you have made mistakes that caused you to be injured at work, as long as you did not violate company policy or were not intoxicated, you are still covered.
You will be covered for your medical expenses through workers’ compensation. In addition, it covers the loss of wages as well as disability benefits if you become temporarily or permanently disabled. When you are unable to work at all, you are entitled to total disability benefits.
You may be able to receive partial disability benefits to make up for some of the money you lose as a consequence of having to switch to a lower-paying job due to being put on restricted duty. Additionally, workers’ compensation can provide death benefits to dependents if the employee dies on the job.
The only way to take action against an employer is through workers’ compensation. If you sustain a work injury, you cannot sue your employer.
However, the coverage of Workers' Compensation is broad and you can make a claim for an acute injury caused by an accident, repetitive stress injury, or illness caused by toxic exposure.
MOST COMMON INJURIES ON CONSTRUCTION SITES
Workers in the construction industry may be exposed to a variety of different kinds of risks. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), workplace injuries are most frequently caused by the following factors:
- Falling from a height
Workers can fall from buildings, scaffolding, and machinery into the ground below. Workers may also fall into holes and ditches on construction sites.
- Trench collapse
If a trench collapses, an individual’s air supply can be cut off and they can be crushed to death.
- Collapsed scaffolding
OSHA has established strict safety guidelines to ensure the safety and stability of scaffolding, but unfortunate events do happen, causing a worker to fall and suffer serious injury or even death.
- Electric shocks and arc flashes/blasts
A construction worker is at risk of suffering electrical burns when they work with generators, electrical tools, machinery, and electrical wiring.
- Wearing inappropriate protective gear
Wearing hard hats, safety glasses, and other PPE should always be mandatory on construction sites to avoid injury.
- Repetitive motion injury
When a body is subject to the same strain over and over again, the tissues and muscles can wear out and become damaged, causing limitations in mobility as well as pain.
These and other construction site accidents can cause a variety of serious injuries to workers, including:
- Strains and sprains account for 30 percent of all claims and are the most commonly reported.
- Cuts and punctures make up 19 percent of total claims.
- Contusions or bruises account for 13 percent of patient claims.
- Inflammation a common cause of claim with 5 percent
- Fractures account for approximately 5 percent of claims.
LEGAL HELP FOR INJURED CONSTRUCTION WORKERS
In the event that you or a loved one was injured on the job, a lawyer will act as your advocate in court. They can also help you to:
- Determine whether to continue with the workers' compensation claim or the third-party liability claim (or both).
- Deal with the workers’ comp insurance provider if the bills aren’t being paid, if there is a disagreement over the medical coverage, or if the insurer attempts to force you back to work.
- Gather evidence to prove you are entitled to compensation
- Maintain your claim's progress.
- Appeal a claim denial for workers' compensation
- Negotiate an agreement if there is a dispute concerning benefits
- Negotiate a settlement with a responsible third party or file a lawsuit against the responsible party.
Lastly, workers’ compensation is an integral part of any employer's liability coverage. Although some steps can be taken to prevent construction accidents and injuries, they are not completely avoidable. Even seemingly minor injuries can have a significant impact on the productivity of an employee and may disrupt business operations. Although there is no way to prevent construction injuries, agents can help their clients prepare for them when they take place.