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Construction Workers’ Rights in the Workplace

Several factors contribute to a safe vs. unsafe construction workplace.  Construction sites are bustling places teeming with activity.  Large and small heavy equipment, a multitude of materials and supplies, and active, industrious workers – all working on a deadline – add to numerous potential hazards and safety concerns.  Altogether this commotion can and does contribute to unfavorable conditions for those unlucky enough to fall victim to construction site accidents.  These accidents directly result in thousands of injuries and deaths per year.  Knowing the most common causes for construction site accidents in the Bronx, as well as your rights if you have one, is critical for you and those you love.

Construction Workers Rights

Construction worksite accidents most commonly result from a lack of training, a lack of supervision, an inability to carry out a task safely, or are due to a failure to pay attention to detail and carelessness.  Safety is vitally important at any construction site.  It directly correlates to efficiency, quality, and productivity.  Construction site accidents and injuries can have long-term and sometimes permanent consequences, placing you and your family in financial, emotional, physical, and psychological hardship.  

With all the chaos that comes with a traumatic injury, it is of vital importance to establish the details of your accident, the course of treatment necessary for a full recovery, and the party or parties responsible for the compensation you are due.  In cases such as these, determining liability is of the utmost importance and is generally defined by the following factors:

  • Was the General Contractor responsible?  Did they provide a safe work environment and site? Did they provide appropriate oversight of all aspects of the job?
  • Were there [any] additional subcontractors involved in the accident?  Did their actions [or neglect] in any way contribute to or impact the outcome?
  • Did you [or your loved one affected] conduct yourself in a manner that influenced the incident that occurred?

There may be more than one party responsible for the circumstances that led to your accident.  Our team of attorneys can help sort out whether there is culpability on the part(s) of your employer, design defects caused by the architect(s) and/or engineers, and equipment manufacturer issues.  Perhaps the fault lies with more than one party; together we will sort all these details out completely.

If you were injured while on the job, workers’ compensation benefits are available to financially compensate you for your injuries and lost wages.  You may even be entitled to more compensation than what workers’ compensation will provide.  A thorough examination of the conditions that led to your construction accident will reveal the scope of your case.  We work with construction workers, contractors, and tradesmen within the construction industry to reconstruct and evaluate each facet of your accident in order to get the full compensation you deserve.

Cutting corners and rushing a job compromises safety, the consequences of which create an unsafe environment and lead to worksite accidents.  Often, the injuries resulting from poor choices and negligent practices could have been prevented if the site owner or manager had afforded employees proper safety gear and/or protocols.  It is important to know appropriate procedures, safety measures, and systems to ensure that your wellbeing is guaranteed.  Are you properly trained and prepared for the tasks assigned to you?  Don’t be afraid to ask for the specific training and information needed to do your job to the best of your ability.

We take the time to thoroughly investigate your accident and represent your case.  We have investigated thousands of construction accident cases, and are well-versed in OSHA regulations and workplace rules.  Our team digs deep to find out the specific circumstances surrounding what happened.  Some of our cases include:

  • Trench collapse
  • Electric shock or electrocution
  • Explosions and fires
  • Saw accidents
  • Defective tools
  • Heavy Equipment accidents 
  • Falling objects
  • Slips, trips, and falls
  • Ladder accidents
  • Scaffold accidents
  • Transportation accidents
  • Forklift accidents
  • Machinery malfunctions
  • Ground collapse
  • Vehicular accidents
  • Chemical spills/Hazardous material(s) exposure

Construction sites can easily become chaotic and disorganized.  Heavy rains, liquid spills, leaking water, or certain construction materials can make the ground slippery and unstable.  Likewise, inattention and/or hurriedness can create perilous circumstances, resulting in injury and loss.  As a result, certain areas may easily present slipping, tripping, or falling hazards to construction workers.  Unfortunately, many of these missteps result in injury.

Construction site accident injuries can result in:

  • Head & Brain Injuries
  • Eye Injury & Vision Damage
  • Neck, Back, & Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Broken Bones
  • Severe Contusions
  • Burns
  • Amputations
  • Crush Injuries
  • Chemical/Electrical Exposure or Illness
  • Psychological Harm
  • Death

Each year, The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) publishes its statistics for data pertaining to myriad workplace conditions.  According to their reports, accidents with injuries affect one in ten construction site workers every year. Of these, OSHA further states that the leading cause of these injuries is from falls that occur at construction sites.  This estimate is further supported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).  According to BLS, approximately 150,000 construction site injuries occur each year, with falls accounting for the greatest number of these accidents.  Crushing/contact injuries ranked among the highest causes as well.  As a result, at least 15% of Worker’s Compensations claims and expenses are directly the result of construction site injury claims.

Employees that experience an injury while on the job can file a personal injury claim if they are injured due to inadequate job training, malfunctioning equipment, or unsafe conditions.  Unhealthy or unsafe conditions, negligence, or disregard on the part of an employer should not be to the detriment of their employees.  If you are an employee or contractor at a construction worksite, follow all safety precautions and request that your boss provide complete safety training necessary for you to operate and maintain the equipment you will be using. Report any workplace safety issues you notice immediately.  Keep an eye out for opportunities to improve your work environment and its conditions.  To avoid potential abuse from your employer, you should also know your rights as a worker, both federally and through the state of New York.  Lastly, consult Kerner Law Group, P.C. to learn your worker’s compensation rights.

Despite having all safety precautions in place, injuries still happen.  If you or a loved one are injured or harmed while working at a construction worksite, you must take immediate action.  Keep records of the incident – take photographs of the area where the accident took place as soon as possible and any injuries you have suffered.  Ask for and retain all medical bills, pay stubs, and related documents from your employer or anyone else associated with the accident.  Collect witness statements, when applicable.  It is advisable that you do not speak to any attorney or insurance company that you did not retain, as their goal will be a speedy settlement that will not be in your best interest.  Any settlement you are offered will not cover all of your medical & personal expenses, childcare, transportation costs, or pain & suffering.  The legal team at the Law Offices of Stuart M. Kerner will navigate the best course of action for you and ensure that you receive all the compensation to which you are entitled.  At the Law Offices of Stuart M. Kerner, we can help guide you through the legal process and advise if you are entitled to compensation as a result of a construction workplace injury.  Call us today.

About The Law Offices of Stuart M. Kerner

If you’ve been injured and are looking to obtain the best possible outcome in your situation, the Kerner Law Group, P.C. in The Bronx can help you. Our firm has obtained favorable results for injury victims and their families throughout the state of New York in personal injury cases such as auto accidents, oilfield accidents, traumatic brain injuries, and serious personal injuries.

Our law firm offers a free consultation to discuss your accident and review the legal remedies available to you. We’re available 24/7 to answer any questions you may have about your case. Above all, you shouldn’t feel alone and isolated after an accident. If you’ve been hurt in an accident, we’ll come to you. Our attorney can travel to your home or hospital, at your request.

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