Construction Site Hazards and Injuries
Now that spring has arrived, construction season is in full swing. Along with new projects and increased activity at existing sites, the possibilities for experiencing a workplace injury increase as well.
For example, last month local news sources reported that three construction workers were injured when part of a second floor residential construction site collapsed. The accident occurred when some workers were on the second floor and were pouring concrete into a tie beam. The tie beam collapsed, burying the three workers below in approximately 2,000 pounds of steel, concrete and wood. The three workers were injured and hospitalized in the collapse.
According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), on any given day nearly 6.5 million people go to work at a construction site. Although OSHA requires that safety measures be taken at construction sites, it is difficult to control the on-site risks because of the ever-changing nature of a construction site. Some of the potential work site hazards identified by OSHA for workers in construction include:
-Falls from heights;
-Electric shock and arc flash/arc blast;
-Failure to use proper personal protective equipment; and
-Repetitive motion injuries.
These worksite hazards can cause a variety of injuries, many of which can be catastrophic. Construction site injuries may include, but are not limited to:
-Back injury and spinal cord injury;
-Head injury, concussion, and traumatic brain injury;
-Burns and scarring; and
Workers’ Compensation Claims for Construction Injuries
Last year, there were almost 5,000 workers’ compensation claims for construction injuries in Florida. These claims included costs for medical care and hospitalizations, as well as lost wages while the worker was healing. Claims also included settlements for permanent disabilities.
Injuries caused by construction injuries can be very serious and the medical costs associated with them can be significant. In Florida, the average indemnity claim was $5,128 and the average medical claim was $16,606. The average settlement was $13,746. This is because workers who are severely injured in construction accidents may need services such as physical therapy, long term nursing care, adaptive equipment, vehicle adaption, and other medical care.
If you have been injured in a construction related accident while on the job, the injury should be reported to the employer. If you needed emergency treatment immediately, you can still report the injury after seeking treatment. Failing to report an injury or illness within 30 days can result in the workers’ compensation claim being denied.
If your employer refuses to report your claim to its insurance company after you submit your claim, you may contact the insurance carrier and report the claim yourself. If your employer does not have the workers’ compensation information posted in your workplace, you can contact the Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation Employee Assistance and Ombudsman Office.
Florida Workers’ Compensation Attorney
If you have been injured in a construction site accident and are having trouble getting the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve, you need to contact an experienced Florida workplace injury lawyer. At Sternberg / Forsythe, P.A., we have years of experience representing injured workers in the Orlando, Boca Raton and West Palm Beach areas. Please call us today at (561) 687-5660 for a free consultation. If you are unable to come to our offices, we can arrange to meet you to discuss your situation.