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A construction site is an inherently dangerous place. Heavy machinery and equipment, power tools, working at heights, and unfinished electrical work are just some of the occupational hazards that construction workers are exposed to on a daily basis. However, one safety hazard that is often overlooked is the risk of injury from toxic chemicals. Hazardous chemicals cause more than 190,000 illnesses and 50,000 fatalities every year in the United States, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Unfortunately, construction workers may not even realize they have been exposed to a dangerous chemical until they develop a health condition or injury related to toxic exposure, such as:
Exposure to toxic chemicals can cause both minor conditions, such as skin allergies and long-term serious injuries, including damage to the lungs and other internal organs. In the worst cases, exposure can lead to life-threatening illnesses like cancer.
Chemicals are everywhere in the materials used for construction, and their use is strictly regulated by OSHA. Some of the most dangerous and prevalent types of chemicals found on construction sites include the following:
Chemical exposure on construction sites can happen in different ways. Dangerous chemicals can be present in solid, liquid, or gas form, such as dust, fibers, mists, and fumes. They can travel through the air and be breathed in, swallowed, or absorbed through the skin. Some chemicals release toxins as they break down. Others become even more threatening when they come into contact with heat and fire.
New construction may require the handling, cutting, or welding of materials containing hazardous chemicals. Demolition of older buildings can release high volumes of toxic smoke and gases when they are deconstructed, including substances that have deemed too dangerous for further use.
Workers can be injured by chemicals through exposure to materials that they use every day, such as industrial solvents, primers, and soldering agents. However, construction accidents involving chemicals can also seriously harm workers.
OSHA has mandatory procedures to clearly identify and safely store hazardous chemicals and requires that employers train workers on how to safely handle them. Additionally, employers must provide safety equipment to workers at risk for toxic chemical exposure, including eye protection, air filtration, and gloves.
Proper ventilation is essential for protecting workers from the unseen threat of exposure to and absorption of chemicals being used in construction. Emergency escape routes must be planned and posted so that workers know what to do in the event of a fire or the release of toxic chemicals.
Training must be given in a language that the worker can understand to ensure they fully comprehend the health risks associated with the chemicals in their environment. They should know how to use the personal protective equipment (PPE) associated with each task.
Construction workers who are injured on the job are eligible for Workers’ Compensation benefits, however, those with serious and life-threatening injuries or illnesses may need more than what their benefits provide. Depending on the circumstances, there may be more legal options available for compensation. While the Workers’ Compensation system prevents employers from being sued for workplace chemical injuries, if another party’s negligence contributed to the toxic chemical exposure, they could be held liable. Examples of third-party liability include:
A successful third-party claim can recover compensation for the types of non-economic damages not included under Workers’ Compensation, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and diminished quality of life. Consult with an experienced lawyer to determine if you are eligible to file a claim for benefits.
If you are a construction worker who suffered chemical injuries on the job, our Wilmington construction accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow can help. Our experienced team can answer all of your questions. To schedule a free case evaluation today, call us at 302-427-9500 or contact us online. We have offices in Wilmington, Bear, Milford, and Lewes, Delaware. With offices in all three counties of Delaware, we serve clients throughout the state.
Welding is among the most highly-regulated professions in the United States, yet workers in this industry continue to face serious dangers on the job. The tools and materials welders use in construction make them vulnerable to accidents and injuries. Proper safety training, equipment, and procedures are essential for protecting welders.
Listed below are common injuries seen in welders.
Welders wear extensive equipment to protect their eyes and face from heat, chemicals, and airborne debris. If shields, helmets, safety goggles, and other gear are not provided, or if they are defective, workers may experience painful lacerations, burns, and other trauma to the upper body.
Electrical injuries are skin or internal bodily injuries caused by contact with low-voltage and high-voltage sources. This occurs in several ways. Contact with a live conductor can cause electric shock. Electrical welding injuries also occur when the welder unknowingly creates a bridge between the live welding supply (electrode) and the return (workpiece).
Burns are the most common, nonfatal, electrical injury. Burns happen when an individual makes contact with energized electrical wiring or equipment. Musculoskeletal injuries, broken bones, and amputations are some complications of electrical injuries.
Welder’s flash, or arc eye, is a painful eye injury that occurs when the unprotected eye is exposed to UV rays. Welding flames and arcs produce intense, visible UV and infrared radiation. If the eyes are unprotected, UV radiation damages the outer corneal cells of the eye, damaging the nerves underneath. This painful injury is like a sunburn on the eyes.
Among all of the construction trades, welders experience the highest rates of noise-related hearing impairment. A high noise level is considered to be above 85 decibels as perceived by the human ear. Air carbon arc gouging, flame cutting, and other welding tasks may produce noises levels up to and over 100 decibels.
Because it has no real symptoms, noise-induced hearing loss often goes undiagnosed and untreated until it has progressed and is more resistant to treatment. Unfortunately, in some cases, hearing loss is irreversible.
Welders are also exposed to a range of metals, gasses, and decomposition materials on the construction site. Acute exposure to these substances may result in temporary eye, nose, and throat irritation, dizziness, and nausea. More severe conditions include ulcers, cancers, and organ and nervous system damage.
Every worker should be able to do their job in a safe and hazard-free environment. However, some occupations come with a higher risk of injuries. Welders who are injured in a construction accident may be entitled to Workers’ Compensation to cover their medical costs, lost income, and other expenses.
Workers’ Compensation benefits cannot make injuries go away, but they can provide some peace of mind knowing expenses are covered.
If you are a welder and have a work injury, contact one of our Wilmington construction injury lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow for legal assistance. Call us at 302-427-9500 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. We have offices in Wilmington, Bear, Milford, and Lewes, Delaware. With offices in all three counties of Delaware, we serve clients throughout the state.
Construction work is dangerous. Without proper safety precautions, workers can easily get injured on the job. One of the most devastating and life-changing injuries is amputation. According to a report by the Amputee Coalition, about three in every 20,000 construction workers suffers from an amputation injury.
Whether a worker loses a body part immediately in an accident or at a later point in time, it can mean having to find another way to earn a living or dealing with chronic pain afterwards. Construction workers should be aware of the following safety hazards that can result in amputation:
Many injuries and Workers’ Compensation claims can be prevented by following safety regulations from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and eliminating amputation hazards through methods such as:
If you are a construction worker who has an amputation injury, contact one of our Wilmington construction injury lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow for legal help right away. Call us at 302-427-9500 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. We have offices in Wilmington, Bear, Milford, and Lewes Delaware. With offices in all three counties of Delaware, we represent injured workers throughout the state.
The construction industry has a reputation for being a competitive workplace full of tough, strong men. In this kind of environment mental health issues are rarely discussed or dealt with openly. Studies show that workers who suffer from mental health disorders or psychological distress are more at risk for a workplace accident. Physical symptoms of mental illness include loss of appetite, lower quality of sleep or insomnia, and a decreased ability to focus. On a construction site, this endangers not only the worker suffering from mental illness, but the workers around them and can lead to serious and devastating injuries.
What are the factors in the construction industry that lead to mental health issues? It starts with the fact that construction is a male dominated industry and men are less comfortable talking about their mental health, with “strong and silent” is the prevailing archetype for “manly” men. Add to that the stresses of work being unsteady in that it is often seasonal, the threat of layoffs during economic downturns, long hours, and weeks on site away from family, and the result can be loneliness and isolation, depression, anxiety, or chronic stress.
The link between mental health and accidents is somewhat of a vicious circle. The illness and injury rate in construction is the highest of any industry. Construction workers who are injured in a workplace accident may suffer psychological trauma and chronic pain as a result. Chronic pain conditions can lead to substance abuse, which in turn increases the risk of a workplace accident. Construction workers who distracted by pain or contending with mental health issues may also become careless or forgetful about safety protocols and use of personal protective equipment, leading to more accidents.
Construction requires the use of power tools, heavy machinery, motorized vehicles, scaffolding, and electrical equipment to name just a few of the safety hazards. Common accidents that happen in construction work include:
The above accident types are known as “the fatal four” kinds of accidents that kill construction workers on site. However, more construction workers die by suicide than the combined rates of all “fatal four” deaths.
Employers need to take the lead in creating a work environment in which workers feel it is safe to talk about the mental health issues they may be facing. A healthy work environment involves caring for workers as well as profit or the company’s bottom line. Employers should provide training and education about mental health issues as well as counseling services and resources for workers to get help instead of suffering in silence.
For questions about benefits for construction injuries or help filing a claim, contact the experienced Delaware construction injury lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow. We will fight to get you the maximum benefits available to you. Call 302-427-9500 today or contact us online to schedule a free consultation about your case. With offices in all three counties of Delaware we represent injured workers throughout the state.
The United States has tens of thousands of bridges in need of repairs or replacement. Those that are in reasonably good condition require maintenance to keep them that way. The work of a bridge construction worker is dangerous and has one especially obvious hazard – falling. Whether working 5 feet off the ground or 150 feet or higher, gravity poses a constant danger that has claimed the lives of bridge construction workers since bridge building first began.
Gravity is just one of many constant dangers that affect construction workers. The following shows several of the most common accidents that could injure or kill workers while building, maintaining, or repairing bridges throughout the United States.
You cannot build, repair, or maintain a bridge without enabling workers to reach the superstructure. Scaffolding enables bridge workers and virtually any other construction worker to perform important work on bridges.
Unfortunately, scaffolding accidents are a leading cause of workplace injuries and deaths throughout the construction industry. Workers could slip, trip, and fall to their deaths. They might accidentally drop objects that endanger workers below. Scaffolding also can weaken or become loose at many different points in the structure.
It is important to closely inspect scaffolding prior to the start of any work shift and initiate measures to help prevent falls or objects from falling onto workers below. Using safety harnesses can help to catch workers who might slip and fall off of scaffolding. Safety nets also can help to catch items that might fall onto others down below.
Bridge construction often requires the use of barges with cranes to hoist heavy and large pieces to where workers can install them. Cranes also are placed on land to hoist very heavy items to their intended locations within the structure.
When a construction crane fails, it could cause a devastating loss of life and extensive damage to the bridge’s structure. Bridge workers often have little protection against a crane collapse.
When cranes are in use, it is crucial to ensure they are in good operating condition. They need to be well-anchored and placed to enable their relatively safe use when building, repairing, or maintaining any structure.
Fire is an ever-present danger on just about any construction site, including bridges. Many bridges have wooden elements or other materials that could be highly flammable. When a fire occurs, it could spread quickly and trap workers in vulnerable spots.
The materials used during bridge construction, repair, or maintenance could become especially dangerous when exposed to fire. Gas torches, asphalt, and sealant are just a few of the potentially flammable items that could become very dangerous if they catch fire.
It is important to isolate flammable materials and ensure workers are fully informed of their safe handling. Many fires start by accident, but can quickly become deadly infernos when safety measures are not in place or workers ignore them.
Gravity causes more than workers to fall and small objects to drop. Metal and wooden beams that greatly outweigh workers and are much larger than them could fall when improperly secured.
A falling beam could cause serious injuries or deaths to multiple workers in just a couple of seconds. Beams must be properly secured when lifted to their locations and secured in place to make them safe.
Unfortunately, human error can also cause a beam to become loose and fall onto workers below. Beams may fall even when no work is underway.
Incorrect work done to secure them in place commonly contributes to beams falling. So could improperly anchored cranes that are used to hoist the beams into place.
Architects and engineers generally are very talented, but they are not flawless. When someone designs a bridge but unknowingly includes a flaw in the design, that design flaw might claim many lives and injure many more.
The bridge does not have to be especially large or tall to cause serious injuries or death due to a design flaw. A good example is the infamous pedestrian bridge collapse at Florida International University-Sweetwater in 2018.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said a design error occurred when engineers miscalculated the amount of slide resistance provided by the design. Shortly after the bridge opened, the span across an eight-lane highway collapsed. The engineering disaster claimed six lives and injured 10 others. NTSB investigators said several entities reviewed the design and at least partly were responsible for the bridge collapse.
Many bridges across the United States have fully lived their practical service lives. Replacing them is the only viable solution to improve upon the old design, and that means demolishing what is left of the old bridge.
Like any demolition, the procedure creates a potential danger to workers and anyone else who might be in the vicinity. It is important to cordon off bridge demolition projects and work as safely as possible when demolishing a bridge.
A bridge demolition might occur by removing pieces and sections in a methodical manner. It also might include using explosives to demolish part of the superstructure.
No matter how a bridge goes down, the process creates many potential dangers against which the demolition team must take measures to protect workers and others. When mistakes happen, the demolition could cause injuries and claim lives.
Bridge construction workers should have workers’ compensation protection in place because virtually all employers are required to provide it. If you suffer an injury while working on a bridge or another project, your employer and the insurer underwriting the coverage should pay for your medical costs and any extended time away from work.
You might suffer an injury that causes a permanent disability. Workers’ compensation also should cover those costs up to policy limits.
When you accept workers’ compensation coverage, you give up the right to sue your employer, but not other parties. Many times, third parties are liable for injuries caused by bridge construction projects.
An experienced construction accident lawyer can help you to obtain workers’ compensation if it is wrongfully denied entirely or in part. An attorney also can help to identify possible third parties against whom you could file claims.
If you suffer an injury while working, the experienced Wilmington construction accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow can help to enforce your rights and file claims against liable parties. You can call 302-427-9500 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation at one of our law offices in Wilmington, Bear, Milford, or Lewes, Delaware. With offices in all three counties of Delaware, we service clients throughout the state.
Millions of American workers in the construction industry perform their jobs on scaffolds. Unfortunately, builders and construction companies do not always follow all necessary safety protocol to keep their employees out of harm’s way. Although scaffolding accidents are preventable, they are more common than many people realize. The injuries that can be suffered in scaffolding accidents can be severe and life-altering for workers and their families. In the most devastating cases the outcome of a scaffolding accident can be fatal.
A scaffold is a temporary work platform used by over 2 million workers in about 65 percent of the construction industry. Construction workers use scaffolds to elevate themselves, equipment, and materials. When these complicated systems of metal of aluminum pipes are not used properly, the consequences can be deadly.
Although there are ways to stay reasonably safe when working on scaffolds, there are numerous issues that can lead to scaffolding accidents on construction sites. Some of the most common causes of scaffolding accidents include the following:
As scaffolds are used to access significant heights, many scaffolding accidents result in serious injuries or death. A fall from the height of a scaffold, whether it be due to an incorrectly maintained platform or a lack of proper safety gear, can result in a devastating outcome.
There are numerous injuries that can result from scaffolding accidents, some of which include:
Individuals other than workers can be seriously injured in scaffolding accidents. Pedestrians and visitors to a construction site can be serious harmed or even killed when scaffolding collapses or objects fall from their great heights.
It is highly advisable to seek legal counsel from an experienced construction accident lawyer if you or a loved one has been involved in a scaffolding accident. Following a scaffolding accident on a construction site, it important to discuss your rights with a knowledgeable construction accident lawyer who can help you navigate what can be a complex legal process. Additionally, if you lost a loved one due to a scaffolding accident on a construction site, it is essential to consult with a dedicated construction accident lawyer. You may be eligible for and other benefits to help you manage expenses and loss.
An experienced construction accident lawyer will know how to negotiate with insurance carriers and other representatives, investigate the accident site, consult with experts, and help you understand why the accident happened. It is important that you have a skilled construction lawyer to work with you and pursue the fair compensation you need and deserve. Going through the necessary steps after a devasting scaffolding accident can be overwhelming and complicated. Having a construction lawyer to assist with the necessary details of your case will allow you to recover from your physical injuries and emotional trauma.
If you have been injured because of a construction accident, whether as a worker, bystander, or family member, you will want an experienced Wilmington construction accident lawyer at Rhoades & Morrow to assist with filing all necessary claims so that you can be compensated for the damages and loss you suffered. Call us today at 302-427-9500 or contact us online for a free consultation. With offices in Bear, Milford, and Wilmington, we serve clients throughout Delaware.
The construction industry is one of the most dangerous fields for workers, and one with the highest level of worker fatalities. Construction work is physically and mentally demanding, and without periods of adequate rest, workers can suffer fatigue, which can be especially risky in such a dangerous environment.
For each hour of physical exertion without appropriate periods of rest, the effects of fatigue begin to manifest, causing decreased alertness, slower reaction times, inability to concentrate, loss of dexterity, and impaired motion. On a construction site, this can be a recipe for disaster leading to serious accidents and injuries.
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), 75 percent of construction workers report being tired at work, often due to rotating shift work, long shifts, and sleep loss. Many construction workers report feeling fatigued “to the point they had safety concerns” following three to four consecutive days of 10-hour work shifts.
Fatigue is mental or physical exhaustion that occurs when the body is low on energy due to exertion. Fatigue can result from many other factors as well, including sleep disruption, emotional stress, chronic health conditions, and poor diet.
Fatigue is reported to be a contributing factor in one-third of all occupation injuries as it causes lack of focus and concentration, sluggish memory, slows reaction times, and the ability to make decisions. Multiple studies have demonstrated that the performance effects of fatigue parallel those of alcohol impairment. OSHA reports that 12-hour work shifts pose a 37 percent increase in the risk of injury.
A study by the NSC concluded that a staggering 100 percent of all construction workers experience at least one risk factor due to fatigue while working. The work demands inherent in the construction industry make the field more susceptible to fatigue, including:
Additionally, long commutes, frequently changing schedules, and complications requiring additional extended on-the-job hours to fix before quitting further contribute to worker fatigue.
The study further revealed that perceptions regarding fatigue differ between management and workers. Nearly 98 percent of construction employers consider fatigue a safety issue compared to only 75 percent of workers. The NSC reports the disparity is likely due to the workers’ belief that fatigue is “just part of the job,” due to the physical demands and long hours.
In the construction industry, nearly every aspect of the work can result in workers experiencing fatigue at some point. Some of the more common causes include:
In the construction industry, weather is also a significant contributing factor in worker fatigue. Exertion in hot temperatures causes mental and physical fatigue more rapidly, leading to reduced performance and slower reaction times. Coupled with dehydration, worker fatigue during hot weather can drastically increase the risk of accidents and serious injuries.
Lack of sleep is another significant contributor in worker fatigue. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in three Americans does not regularly receive the recommended seven hours of continuous sleep each night. While we sleep, the body restores energy and repairs damaged muscles and tissue, a critical element in preventing fatigue.
The first step in addressing worker fatigue is education – training the work force to recognize the dangers of fatigue and how to spot when a coworker may need a break to avoid an accident. While fatigue cannot be completely eliminated in the construction industry, there are steps both the employer and the worker can implement to help lessen its effects, such as:
Long hours coupled with physical labor can deplete construction worker’s energy, reaction times, decision making abilities and more, increasing the risk of accident and injuries significantly. If you have been injured in a work site accident, our Wilmington construction accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow have extensive experience representing construction workers. Call us at 302-427-9500 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Wilmington, Delaware, we serve clients in Middletown, Dover, Milford, Lewes, Rehoboth, Elsmere, and Seaford.
Working in the construction industry is not an easy thing to do – with the fast-paced environment of many people doing different things at the same time, it is no wonder that the construction industry ranks near the top in terms of workplace accidents every year. Ladders are commonly found in the construction industry, but they are especially dangerous, particularly when not used properly. The construction industry has the highest rate of injuries related to ladder falls compared to any other industry.
Ladder falls are quite serious as they can lead to debilitating injuries and even death. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that over 40 percent of fatal falls that happen every year involve a ladder, including 15 percent of all work-related deaths. The CDC also found that almost half of all fatal ladder injuries resulted from a head injury; nonfatal injuries were injuries to the lower and upper extremities.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), ladder accidents are not inevitable and are 100 percent preventable. With proper safety training and equipment, ladder falls could be at a minimum, saving billions of dollars in workers’ compensation claims, as well as thousands of injuries and hundreds of lives.
For a worker who has suffered an injury from a ladder fall, the cost could be enormous, both physically and mentally. Medical treatment and rehabilitation, time away from work, and maybe a career change or disability are all possible outcomes for an injured worker’s future. Although a ladder can cost a few hundred dollars each, the average construction industry injury can cost more than $27,000.
About the majority of ladder-related falls result in a trip to the hospital. The average fall distance among construction workers is seven and a half feet. Serious injuries do occur in falls of that height. Falls from ladders make up over 80 percent of hospitalized construction workers, while in other industries ladder falls only account for 20 percent. Of those injured workers who end up in the emergency room, 14 percent are admitted to stay overnight. This is nearly three times the overall hospital admission rate.
The average copay of a worker is $250 with insurance; without insurance, costs of hospital visits can get quite expensive, spanning upwards of thousands of dollars. If an ambulance is needed, it will get even more expensive.
Not only are medical visits and hospital stays expensive, but so are the lost days at work. They not only affect the employee’s pocket, but their employer’s productivity as well. In the span of a year, over 15,000 ladder-related injuries caused workers to miss at least one day of work. Falls that led to serious injuries resulted in more than five days of work, as well as costing the construction industry over $2.5 billion in workers’ compensation costs. Falls are the leading cause of workers’ compensation claims in the construction industry, which is the most across all industries.
Ladder falls lead to a myriad of injuries, but even ladder use can strain a worker’s back and knees. All joints are getting fatigued while using a ladder – knees, back, shoulders and arms. When fatigue sets in, the body becomes tired which increases the risk of a fall. It becomes even worse if the worker is carrying something up and down the ladder or is stretching to reach something. Constant fatigue to the body can lead to improper use of the ladder and will likely lead to a fall.
A good solution to costly ladder-related injuries in the construction industry are the use of push-around lifts. With a low-level lift, workers can work with both hands and have a full range of motion while on an enclosed platform, minimizing the need to stretch, bend or overreach. Push-lift use also helps eliminate muscle fatigue. In a three-year span, there were only 360 injuries from slips or falls stemming from a push-lift, compared to the industry’s average of 93 ladder injuries per day.
The risk of suffering a ladder fall injury in the construction industry is high compared to all other industries. If you have suffered an injury at work, then you must contact the Wilmington construction accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow immediately. Our knowledgeable team has years of experience with these types of injuries and get you the compensation you deserve. Call us today at 302-427-9500 or fill out our online form for a free consultation. With offices in all three counties of Delaware, we service clients throughout the state.
Construction sites can be cluttered, busy, and have lots of potential dangers for workers. Slip and fall accidents are common causes of injuries at construction sites. According to the U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) slip and fall accidents account for about a third of all reported worker injuries at construction sites. They also account for about 40 percent of construction site fatalities.
OSHA says 320 construction workers died from injuries suffered in slip and fall accidents in 2018, or nearly one death every day.
OSHA says construction workers who suffer injuries from slip and fall accidents miss more work than when hurt by other injury accidents. The average slip and fall accident causes a construction worker to miss 50 percent more time from work than other workplace accident injuries.
The nature of construction work creates two general types of slip and fall accidents at construction sites: “same-level falls” and “falling to a lower level.”
Falling on the same level commonly occurs outside of construction worksites as well as within them. If you ever slipped and fell while shopping in a grocery store or while trying to negotiate an icy section of a walkway, that is a same-level fall.
Many construction sites also experience falls from one level to another. Falling to a lower level can be much more dangerous than a same-level fall. It happens often when workers are elevated on scaffolding to accomplish their jobs.
Same-level falls could result in serious injuries, including death. Falling to a lower level increases the chances of suffering catastrophic injuries and death.
The potential exposure to weather, scattered equipment, and debris makes workers at construction sites especially vulnerable to slip and fall accidents. The higher up the slip occurs, the more injurious the fall could become.
Fortunately, it is possible to identify and correct common sources of slip and fall accidents at construction sites. Among conditions that commonly cause the accidents are:
Electrical cords and exposed electrical wiring pose a constant danger of slipping or tripping that leads to falling. Many construction tools require electricity or lighting to use. So electrical cords and wiring are ever-present and readily capable of causing a slip and fall accident.
Workers who use scaffolding might lose their balance when a handrail or a poorly-secured plank becomes unstable. An uneven surface on scaffolding, the ground, or inside the structure that is under construction could cause a slip and fall accident.
The exposure to weather and the potential for liquid spills also could increase the risk of slipping and falling. So could improper use of safety equipment that is designed to protect workers against falls and other mishaps while working. Thorough training and checking on workers will help to ensure they use safety equipment properly.
It is very important to be proactive at addressing possible workplace dangers. Regular inspection of the worksite can help to identify debris, loose handrails, and other common causes of slip and fall accidents at construction sites.
It is important to ensure that workers are wearing work boots that enable better traction. It also is important to provide them with safety equipment and training in proper use to reduce the possibility of injuries due to slip and fall accidents.
Workers should have access to ice melt, sand, or kitty litter that they can scatter onto icy or slippery walkways to improve traction and safety.
Scaffolding should undergo a thorough inspection prior to the start of each work shift. Regular inspection can identify loose handrails or planks that could cause a worker to slip, trip, or fall from the scaffolding or other platforms.
If the worksite has multiple floors, workers might use lifts to get up and down. It is very important to ensure only workers who know how to operate a lift have access to the controls. Workers who do not know how to operate them are more prone to making errors that cause someone to fall.
Whenever workers have to work up high, they should have safety harnesses that they use and prevent them from falling to the ground. Those safety harnesses will not work if the workers do not know how to use them. Training is what makes them effective.
Training and simple observation are the two best tools for reducing slip and fall injuries at construction worksites. Workers should be trained in proper safety procedures and continually reminded to ensure a high rate of compliance.
Workers also can be trained to take a few minutes to investigate their respective work areas. If anything is amiss, it should be addressed right away. That will help to reduce the work hazards that could cause slip and fall accidents and other mishaps while on the job.
If you suffer an injury due to a slip and fall or other accident while working at a construction site, Workers’ Compensation insurance should cover your medical costs and time away from work if you miss more than three days.
With slip and fall accidents so common at construction job sites, filing a claim should be relatively easy, but it always helps to immediately notify your supervisor either before or just after obtaining medical treatment. Your employer or the insurer might try to deny your claim in part or in whole. If so, an experienced construction accident lawyer can help you to build and file a strong claim for benefits. If a lawsuit becomes necessary, your attorney could help you to hold your employer and Workers’ Compensation insurer accountable for your injuries and damages.
If you suffered an injury while working at a construction site but your Workers’ Compensation claim was denied, our Wilmington construction accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow can help. You can call us 302-427-9500 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation at our law office in Wilmington, Delaware. With offices in all three counties of Delaware, we service clients throughout the state.
While any worker can get injured, construction workers face some of the most serious injuries on a daily basis. The use of power tools can cause serious injuries if they malfunction or when they are not used correctly.
Unfortunately, these injuries can leave workers with serious injuries and ongoing medical needs, while also keeping them out of work and unable to earn a living. The good news is that if you have been injured at work, your employer has an insurance policy that will probably apply.
There are many injuries which can occur from the misuse of a power tool or when a power tool malfunctions. Injuries range from painful but quick recovery to life-altering.
Under Delaware law, all employers, with a few exceptions, must carry workers’ compensation insurance coverage. This insurance provides compensation to workers like you who get injured while working. It is no fault insurance, which means that you are entitled to benefits, unless you intentionally injure yourself. Even if you caused the accident, so long as you did not intend to cause yourself any harm, you would still be entitled to benefits.
To collect workers’ compensation benefits, you need to report your injury to a supervisor as soon as possible. Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company will require a full report within a very short period of time. You cannot delay reporting this to them.
Workers’ compensation benefits only cover medical bills and lost income. So non-economic damages like pain and suffering are not included. But, depending on the circumstances of your accident, you may have other legal options to collect compensation for your injuries and your suffering.
If your workplace injuries fall under your employer’s workers’ compensation benefits, you will not be able to sue your employer for additional compensation. However, you can file a third-party claim if another party contributed to your injuries.
One place to look for additional liability is the manufacturer of the power tool. Sometimes, power tools are defective and that can have disastrous consequences, leading to serious injuries for workers.
For example, if you are a construction worker using a nail gun and the nail gun malfunctions and launches debris into your eyes, it is possible that the nail gun was improperly manufactured. This means you could file a claim against the company who manufactured the nail gun and attempt to get additional compensation from that company to compensate you for your injuries and suffering.
If you are working on a construction site and a contractor leaves a power cord out which you trip over, fall, and break your leg, you may be able to file a claim against the contractor and their employer. While filing a personal injury claim may be the last thing on your mind after suffering a workplace injury, it can be a good way for you to try to collect compensation for your injuries, above and beyond the workers’ compensation benefits you may be entitled to receive.
Getting injured at work can cause serious issues not only for your ability to earn a living but also get collect compensation for your injuries. When you are injured at work, your employer’s workers’ compensation policy will apply. But that does not cover everything you may need. To determine your legal options, speak with our Wilmington construction accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow. Call us today at 302-427-9500 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation with our experienced team. With offices in Wilmington, Delaware, we proudly serve our neighbors across Delaware.