WORKERS’ COMPENSATION – CONSTRUCTION and WORKPLACE ACCIDENTS
Worker’s Compensation, also called Workers’ Comp or Workmans’ Comp, refers to accidents and injuries sustained while working for an employer or client. Safety on a jobsite is essential in preventing accidents. Sadly, each year thousands of workers are injured and killed because of carelessness and the failure to follow safety rules and regulations such as the Industrial Code and OSHA. When an accident occurs responsibility may rest with the owners, contractors, sub-contractors, architects and equipment manufacturers. These parties are responsible for providing a reasonably safe jobsite.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE IN AN ACCIDENT
1. Call emergency personnel and wait for them to arrive;
2. Obtain the names, addresses and phone numbers of any witnesses;
3. Consult an attorney such as Michael J. Asta as soon as possible following an accident.
Workers’ Compensation may be available to the injured worker to provide payment for a percentage of the worker’s lost income and medical expenses related to the injury sustained on the job. However, Workers’ Compensation benefits are limited and may be insufficient for a seriously injured worker with a long term injury or disability.
A thorough investigation of a workplace accident is important in order to determine if there are third parties responsible for the accident. For example, the manufacturers of unsafe equipment such as scaffolds, power tools, hoists, lifts, cranes and back hoes can be liable when their products malfunction. Laws may also impose liability on owners and contractors when an accident occurs.
A person does not have to be employed at the jobsite in order to bring a claim against a responsible party. For example, pedestrians injured walking next to a constructions site, those who are lawfully present at a site and those visiting a site may be covered under the law.
There are many laws regarding the workplace and the rights of a person injured in a workplace accident. Often responsible parties may not be obvious and an investigation will be required. If you have been injured in a construction or workplace accident it is best to consult an attorney as soon as possible.
CONSTRUCTION ACCIDENT LINKS
Occupational Safety & Health Administration
OSHA Technical Links Pages
AFL-CIO Safety and Health on the Job
The Center to Protect Workers’ Rights
Construction Safety Council
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health: Construction Topics