pages bg right
Posted by Monica on Aug 31, 2014

Construction Site Accidents: Federal Laws on Safety Standard and Workers’ Compensation

The US Department of Labor recognizes construction site accidents as among the leading causes of work-related injuries, illnesses and deaths in the US with falls, being struck by an object (such as a falling tool), getting caught between objects (like between two heavy equipment) and electrocution, as the top four causes.

Besides the top “Fatal Four,” as called by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of 1971, other causes of harm include: use of weak ladders and hoists, lack of railings to protect workers from edges of roof and building, and weakly assembled scaffoldings, among many others.

Records from the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the US Department of Labor show that, in 2008, construction site accidents reached a total of 1,016. There was a lower number of accidents in 2012, though, with 817, due mainly to the strict enforcement of the safety standard law by OSHA.

OSHA, which was created by the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) of 1970, bears the primary task of assuring the implementation and maintenance of a healthy and safe working environment. It should also lead in: the implementing OSH Act’s workplace safety standards; providing training programs directed at increasing the number, and improving the competency, of occupational safety and health workers; providing analysis, evaluation, development and approval of workplace safety and health programs; and, monitoring of work-related injuries and illnesses.

Before the turn, and during the early part, of the 20th century, construction workers, who figured in accidents or who developed a work-related illness, had no immediate financial recourse that will enable them to undergo the necessary medical treatment. An accident also affected the daily ration of food on the table as they were rendered incapable of performing their work due to the injury or illness. The worst scenario, however, was when the injury took them off from work for weeks or months, or if it caused a long-term disability, for with means of earning wages many were left to suffer the pains caused by untreated injuries plus the crippling financial situation.

The Workers’ Compensation Insurance benefit came as a generous solution to the sad financial plight of workers. Its implementation began in Maryland in 1902, with other states implementing it between 1911 and 1920. This Workers’ Compensation Law mandated certain employers in the US to make sure that workers were provided with this insurance benefit, which was intended to cover wage replacement, medical benefits, rehabilitation and death.

Though a clause in the Workers’ Comp law states that the benefit exempts employers from litigation and further financial obligation to the injured worker, a New York construction accident lawyer would be able to provide valuable assistance (to the harmed worker) in pursuing the employer for further damages, especially if the injury is severe or causes death, or if the employer does not provide the Workers’ Comp benefit.

Post a Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *