Construction workers have one of the most dangerous jobs in the U.S., according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). They face a variety of workplace hazards that can lead to construction accidents. In New Jersey, injured workers may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits that help cover the cost of these work-related injuries. Some examples of construction site hazards include:
- Confined spaces
- Falling from heights
- Falling tools or equipment
- Heavy machinery
- Silica Dust
- Toxic Chemicals
- Trench collapse
OSHA Construction Regulations
In addition to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations, there are also rules governing specific hazards in the construction industry, such as:
- Confined spaces
- Cranes and derricks
- Trenching and excavation
Each fiscal year, OSHA publishes a list of the top 10 most frequently cited standards. With slight variance, the list typically includes violations pertaining to:
- Fall protection and training
- Hazard communication
- Respiratory protection
- Control of hazardous energy
- Powered industrial trucks
- Machinery and machine guarding
- Eye and face protection
Common Construction Worker Injuries
Despite employers’ and employees’ best efforts to promote workplace safety, construction accidents still occur. Some of the most common construction worker injuries include:
- Broken bones
- Electric shocks/electrocutions
- Heat stress injuries
- Overexertion injuries
- Repetitive motion injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Toxic chemical exposure
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
Leading Causes of Construction Worker Fatalities
The fatal injury rate for the construction industry is higher than the national average for all industries, according to OSHA. There are four types of accidents that cause many construction industry fatalities; OSHA estimates that eliminating these fatal four would save over 500 lives annually, which include:
- Falls: OSHA reports that more than 200 workers are killed in falls per year, typically falls from heights. Construction workers without the proper fall protection may suffer severe or fatal injuries if they fall from rooftops, ladders, or scaffolding.
- Struck-By Object Accidents: Workers may become struck by heavy objects, such as construction equipment or vehicles. Falling objects from upper levels, such as tools or supplies, may also fall and strike workers if they are not properly secured.
- Electrocution: Faulty connections, overhead power lines, and failure to follow lockout/tagout procedures are all common causes of construction accidents involving electrocution. Even small voltages of electricity can be fatal.
- Caught In/Between Accidents: Unguarded machinery poses a hazard to workers who may become caught in/between moving parts. Construction workers may also become trapped beneath collapsing structures or pinned beneath heavy equipment.
Workers’ Compensation for Construction Accidents in New Jersey
In New Jersey, all employers must carry workers’ compensation insurance. To be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, injured workers must notify their supervisors within 14 days of the accident. Preferably, the notice should be given in writing with a detailed account of how the accident occurred and what injuries were sustained. Upon receipt of such notice, employers are required to notify their insurance carrier and file a First Report of Injury with 21 days. Qualified workers may then begin receiving payments for medical treatment, lost wages, and other benefits.
South Jersey Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Pietras Saracino Smith & Meeks, LLP Help Injured Workers of Construction Accidents
If you were injured at work, the experienced South Jersey workers’ compensation lawyers at Pietras Saracino Smith & Meeks, LLP can help. We will fight to obtain the compensation you deserve. Located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, we proudly serve clients throughout South Jersey, including the City of Camden. To schedule a free consultation, please complete our online contact form or call us at 856-761-3773.