Construction Accidents

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:

  • Asbestos
  • Confined spaces
  • Electricity
  • Falling from heights
  • Falling tools or equipment
  • Heavy machinery
  • Ladders
  • Scaffolds
  • 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
  • Silica
  • 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
  • Scaffolding
  • Respiratory protection
  • Control of hazardous energy
  • Ladders
  • 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:

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.

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Coronavirus COVID-19 UPDATE:
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Coronavirus COVID-19 UPDATE:

Please be advised that in accordance with Governor Murphy’s Executive Order 107, which imposed strict limitations on the operations of "brick-and-mortar" businesses and required telecommuting to the greatest extent possible, all N.J. workers’ compensation courts will continue to be closed to the public and to non-essential court personnel until April 13, 2020.

In response to overwhelming requests from the Workers’ Compensation Bar to hold non-emergent matters electronically or by teleconference, as of April 6, 2020, the following Workers’ Compensation Judges shall be designated by the N.J. Department of Labor and Workforce Development and the N.J. Division of Workers’ Compensation as essential personnel and shall report to their home vicinages for the purpose of hearing as many Workers’ Compensation matters as possible by telephonic conferencing, including all emergent matters and the following non-emergent matters, pre-trial conferences, general motions for medical and temporary benefits, and settlements by affidavit:

Hon. Audrey Kernan, S.J., Atlantic City WC Courthouse
Hon. Arthur Marchand, A.S.J., Bridgeton WC Courthouse
Hon. Ingrid French, A.S.J., Camden WC Courthouse
Hon. Lionel Simon III, A.S.J., Freehold WC Courthouse
Hon. Diana Ferriero, S.J., Hackensack WC Courthouse
Hon. Jill Fader, S.J., Jersey City WC Courthouse
Hon. Glenn Kaplan, S.J., Lebanon WC Courthouse
Hon. Michael Luther, S.J., Mt. Arlington WC Courthouse
Hon. George Geist, S.J., Mt. Holly WC Courthouse
Hon. Ashley Hutchinson, A.S.J., New Brunswick WC Courthouse
Hon. Philip Tornetta, A.S.J., Newark WC Courthouse
Hon. William Roca, S.J., Paterson WC Courthouse
Hon. Maria Del Valle Koch, S.J., Plainfield WC Courthouse
Hon. Eugene Mulvaney, S.J., Toms River WC Courthouse
Hon. David Puma, S.J., Trenton WC Courthouse

The Division’s plan is to limit physical interactions in our workers’ compensation courts to the greatest extent possible and shift to the use of telephone conferencing, and if possible video conferencing for judges, attorneys, and litigants. There will be no in-person Workers’ Compensation Court proceedings (except for extremely limited emergent matters and certain ongoing motions for medical and temporary benefits and trials in which case social distancing will be enforced). Court offices will remain closed for in-person submissions. Filings will continue to be accepted electronically through COURTS On-line.

The N.J. Division of Workers’ Compensation’s number one goal is to limit the exposure and spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus to court personnel, attorneys and their staff, litigants, witnesses, and members of the public at large.

Pietras Saracino Smith & Meeks, LLP also continues to closely monitor the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and its impact on our local community and the world at large. In accordance with Governor Murphy’s Executive Order 107, our office is closed and the members of the firm continue to work remotely. As such, the members of the firm may have limited access to information during this time. We continue to appreciate your understanding. We encourage our current clients, new clients, and fellow members of the bar to contact us via e-mail as that remains the best form of communication. All attorneys and paralegals have access to e-mail and case information. We have designated essential personnel to report to our office for the purpose of handling emergent matters only and to complete essential administrative tasks. Pietras Saracino Smith & Meeks, LLP remains committed to complying with all health and governmental regulations. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with those most affected by this situation.