If you're injured in a construction accident, it's important to remember that you have rights
Construction is among the most dangerous sectors in the U.S. - especially if safety protocols aren't followed. But the biggest threat to worker safety doesn't come from huge vehicles or powerful machines - it comes from falls.
Falls are the most devastating type of construction accident and often result in severe injury or death. Contractors typically work surrounded by hazards. While working on a roof, for example, fall hazards include things like holes, skylights, and leading edges.
Falls are a leading cause of construction injuries
In 2020, nationwide more than 350 people died in construction accidents involving falls, according to federal data. That means that about 1 out of 3 construction worker deaths were caused by falling that year.
Already in 2022, New Jersey has experienced a handful of worksite falls that were so serious the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) investigated. When they aren't fatal, falls often result in severe injuries such as concussions, brain damage, broken bones, spinal cord injuries, and internal bleeding.
The proper use of safety equipment and best practices can reduce falls on the job site.
Preventing falls on construction sites
OSHA partners with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the National Occupational Research Agenda to raise awareness about common fall hazards and how to prevent falls from ladders, roofs, and scaffolds. They have a three-step campaign to stop preventable falling accidents:
- Step 1 - Plan - Before the job starts, a safety plan should be created for working from heights at the specific worksite. This plan outlines how the job will be done, the tasks involved, and the safety equipment needed.
- Step 2 - Provide - Workers who are six feet or more above the ground are at risk for serious injury or death if they fall. That means that employers must protect workers from falling. The right equipment goes a long way toward this. The right ladders, scaffolds, and safety gear should be tailored to each job. Use personal fall arrest systems (PFAS) and provide harnesses where appropriate.
- Step 3 - Train - If workers don't know how to use the equipment properly, they will not get its full protection. Train every worker on the proper setup, safe use of the equipment, and how to recognize and avoid hazards.
Legal help is available for injured construction workers
If you have been injured on the job in New Jersey, you are eligible to apply for workers' compensation benefits. This program helps pay for accident-related medical expenses and lost wages. Getting the money you need from New Jersey workers' comp isn't simple, however. In other cases involving negligence by a third party (e.g., a subcontractor), the injured worker may be able to file a third-party lawsuit for damages not covered by workers' comp, such as pain and suffering. Regardless, seriously injured workers often have to fight to get the compensation they deserve.
Shebell & Shebell, LLC is a New Jersey personal injury and workers' comp law firm that has helped thousands of injured employees obtain the compensation they're entitled to. Our attorneys have a deep understanding of how the state system works and what it takes to get you the results you deserve.
If you were injured on the job at a construction worksite or other workplace, contact Shebell & Shebell for a free case consultation. At no cost to you, a member of our team can explain how the law applies to your situation and help you weigh your options, which may include a third-party lawsuit. We have offices in Newark and Shrewsbury from which we proudly serve all of New Jersey.
Do not wait to contact us. There is a statute of limitations on filing a claim. We are available to hear from you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Contact our New Jersey personal injury and workers' compensation lawyers to schedule your free consultation right now.