Construction Site Injuries and the Injured Worker’s Right to Workers’ Comp

Among the many different types of working environments, a construction site is among the most dangerous due to the tools, equipment and hazardous substances which are sources of great dangers, and which can very well cause a severe injury (or even a fatal accident), especially when mishandled or not used correctly. In 1971, as an offshoot of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (also called OSH Act) of 1970, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration or OSHA was formed. OSHA’s major task was to strictly implement OSH Act’s mandate in assuring a safe and healthy environment for all workers, regardless of the type of working environment.

In connection to OSHA’s task, the following safety standards have been enforced, specifically, in construction sites: safe stairways and ladders, protections against falls, wearing of proper protective gear, appropriate lighting in working area and passage ways, ground fault-circuit interrupters (GFCIs), areas for eye wash body-flushing that are within 25 feet from battery-changing places, clearly readable and visible accident-prevention signs and tags (and the removal of these signs and tags when danger is no longer present), and fire extinguishers with, at least, a 2A-rating every 3000 square feet. Many times, however, despite compliance with safety standards and the education and training of workers on safety, one or two workers become neglectful of his/her/their duties, causing an accident that results to someone else’s injury. Workers should know that if their injury is work-related, that is, that it was acquired during the performance of their work (regardless of whose fault the accident was), or if they develop a health condition, especially lung disorder, due to exposure to hazardous substances at work, then they are entitled to receive a financial benefits from the Workers’ Compensation.

Workers’ Comp is supposed to cover cost of medical treatment, wages lost, disability, rehabilitation and death. Injured workers do not have to file a claims lawsuit to be able to avail of this benefit; however, the corrects forms will need to be filled out correctly and all proofs of the injury, which is verified by an accredited doctor, will need to be submitted (with the correct forms) within the statute of limitation or specified time, which may be six months to two years, depending on the rules imposed by the state where the accident occurred. Many injured workers, with the help of their family, opt to handle the whole process of applying for the benefits by themselves, resulting often to a denial of their application. However, so many denials are often due to technical issues, such as a missing signature or an empty box which needs to be filled out, or submission of the application beyond the specified time.

One Comment

  1. says:

    Good writing as always

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