Each day, 14 workers are killed on the job nationwide. Of these workers, one in five work in construction. Over the course of a construction worker’s 45-year career, he or she has a 75% chance of experiencing a disabling injury and a 1 in 200 chance of being killed on the job. If you’re a worker who needs legal representation, we suggest you contact our Long Island Construction Site Accident Attorney.
Although we call them “accidents,” most construction site injuries are in fact the result of negligence. Sixty percent of construction accident injuries occur during the employee’s first year of work. With appropriate training, many of these injuries could have been prevented.
Leading Causes of Construction Worker Deaths
As construction is one of the most dangerous occupations in the U.S., it comes as no surprise that construction sites are fraught with potential hazards.
OSHA has identified the four leading causes of fatalities among construction workers, dubbed the “Fatal Four.” In order of frequency, these are:
- Falls – 38.7% of total construction worker deaths
- Struck by an Object – 9.4% of total construction worker deaths
- Electrocution – 8.3% of total construction worker deaths
- Caught between – 7.3% of total construction worker deaths
The sad reality is that most (if not all) of construction fatalities that are attributed to the Fatal Four could be prevented if employers, manufacturers, and workers complied with OSHA standards. Eliminating the Fatal Four would save 631 lives every year.
Construction workers may be at risk of falling from scaffolding and ladders, cranes, roofs, and other heights. Fall protection is the most-violated OSHA standard and falls are the most common type of fatal construction accidents.
Best Practices for Fall Prevention
- Install guard rails on elevated platforms and around equipment
- Use appropriate fall protection, such as harnesses, lines, nets, and railings
- Keep floors clean and dry
Struck by Object
The second most common cause of death in construction accidents is struck-by-object injury. Even if a worker is wearing a hard hat, he or she could suffer traumatic brain injury (TBI) if improperly secured tools or construction materials fall from above.
Best Practices for Struck-by-Object Injury Prevention
- Secure tools and materials used in elevated work sites
- Never work beneath a suspended load
- Use appropriate personal protective equipment, including hard hats, safety glasses, goggles, face shields, and hearing protection
Electrocution can cause an array of injuries, ranging in severity from burns to cardiac arrest. Electrocution accidents most often occur due to unsafe equipment, unsafe environment, or unsafe work practices.
Best Practices for Electrocution Injury Prevention
- Properly label electrocution hazards.
- Power down hazardous electrical equipment when not in use.
- Provide proper training and protective equipment (e.g. insulated gloves).
“Caught between” accidents account for the fourth-highest rate of construction worker fatalities. These can be particularly gruesome, as they occur when a worker is crushed between objects, pulled into machinery, or trapped in a collapse or cave-in.
Best Practices for Caught-Between Injury Prevention
- Reinforce tunnels to prevent collapse
- Secure machinery and loads to prevent them from falling over
- Avoid wearing loose clothing that could be caught in machinery
Toxic Chemical Exposure: Another Type of Construction Injury
Most construction sites are home to an array of toxic chemicals, including lead, formaldehyde, and asbestos. Exposure accounts for 15.7% of all construction injuries, and construction workers account for 15% of all reported lead poisoning incidents in the United States.
Depending on the type and duration of exposure, a construction accident involving toxic chemical exposure may result in:
- Chemical burns
- Respiratory diseases
- Internal organ damage
- Reproductive damage
- Birth defects
OSHA regulations require that employers protect workers from hazardous chemical exposure by training on safe handling, establishing safe exposure limits, and providing the necessary safety equipment, including respirators. Manufacturers and distributors of chemicals also have a responsibility to convey potential hazards to their customers.
If you have suffered from health problems as a result of toxic chemical exposure in a construction site accident, you may be entitled to compensation for damages suffered, including medical expenses, lost wages, future wage loss, and pain and suffering. The law offices of Winkler Kurtz, LLP offer complimentary consultations to prospective clients. Contact us today to learn more about your legal rights.
Get Help from a Long Island Construction Site Accident Attorney
The skilled legal team at Winkler Kurtz, LLP has been practicing together for over 30 years, and has a long track record of winning settlements for injured clients. When you work with Winkler Kurtz, LLP, you can be certain that we will negotiate the highest compensation for your injury. Please contact us online or call our offices at 631-928-8000 to discuss the details of your case.
Can I sue my employer for an accident at work?
After suffering an injury, many employees are unsure whether to sue their employer or not. This is typically known as a work-related accident claim. To best understand these claims it is important to know when an employee can file these types of claims in addition to how they are processed. See below for an assessment from our Long Island Construction Site Accident Attorney.
When Can I Sue My Employer?
Laws regarding work-related accident claims vary from state to state, however all fifty states have statutes that stipulate the time limits for filing a claim. In most cases if an employee wishes to file a lawsuit against their employer they should do so within one year of the accident or when the injury is discovered. If the statute of limitations expires, the employee is no longer able to file a claim.
There are several different claims which can be filed against employers depending on the injury or type of accident. These includes claims for negligence, disability discrimination, personal injury, medical expenses, workers’ compensation benefits and wrongful termination.
Examples of Workplace Accidents Which Qualify for a Lawsuit:
Although there are no set criteria for filing a work-related accident claim, common examples of accidents include physical injuries from equipment malfunction or lack of safety procedures. In addition to physical injuries, there are also claims that can be filed based on emotional distress or mental anguish if a supervisor’s actions result in anxiety and depression. In terms of physical injuries, some examples include:
– Injuries from a defective product which were not properly inspected.
– A fall on a wet floor that was the responsibility of the employer to maintain and clean.
– Slips and falls due to poor lighting or lack of safety signs in common areas. If an injury occurred in a common area, the employer is responsible for maintaining safety.
How are Work-Related Accidents Processed?
Workplace accident claims can be processed two different ways: a claim filed with a workers’ compensation board or a lawsuit against the employer’s insurance company. In some cases, it may be possible to file a claim with both the workers’ compensation board and against the employer with the help of a Long Island Construction Site Accident Attorney.
To file a claim with a workers’ compensation board, an injured worker must provide notice of the accident to their supervisor or human resources department within thirty days of the accident. Thereafter, if the employer disputes responsibility for causing injury they can request a hearing where all parties will be present. This is typically the quickest route for processing claims, however these claims usually do not result in large settlement amounts even if there was a serious injury.
A lawsuit is the other option for filing a workplace accident claim and as such can provide larger settlement amounts than those which are processed through workers’ compensation boards. To file a lawsuit, the injured party must file the proper paperwork with the court asking for compensation for medical expenses and pain and suffering. This process can take several months before a case is heard in front of a judge.
Additionally, it is possible to sue an employer directly if negligence or misconduct led to injury on the job. To successfully prove fault against an employer, it is important to provide evidence of their negligence.
Although claims filed against the employer’s insurance policy are possible and do occur they are not as common as those which are processed through a workers’ compensation board. A lawsuit will typically be filed if the claim is denied by the workers’ compensation board or if there was misconduct or negligence by an employer which led to injury.
Workers’ compensation board claims are the most efficient way to file a workplace accident claim and offer expedited processing, however many personal injury attorneys also accept lawsuits against employers directly.
Contact Our Long Island Construction Site Accident Attorney
If you would like more information regarding workplace accident cases in the state of NY, please schedule an appointment with Winkler Kurtz by visiting our appointments page.
Construction Accidents – Should I Hire A Lawyer?
At Winkler Kurtz, LLP, we consider construction to be the backbone of this country. Since it can be such a dangerous job, it is our Long Island Construction Site Accident Attorneys’ priority to keep workers protected. If you’ve recently been in a construction accident, you may be entitled to legal compensation. To learn if you have a case that should be taken to court, consider scheduling a consultation with us today.
Common Types Of Construction Accidents
As previously stated, construction can be a hazardous line of work. One small accident can lead to lives being permanently altered. That is why when you fall victim to an instance such as this, you shouldn’t hesitate to reach out to our Long Island Construction Site Accident Attorneys. The most common types of construction accidents include:
- Injury from falling debris.
- Machinery accidents.
Workers’ Compensation Claims
In most cases involving construction site accidents, workers can typically receive workers’ compensation benefits to keep themselves financially protected. However, ensuring you receive these benefits can be a complicated process at times. Companies tend not to want to pay people to sit at home and recover. Whether you agree with this stance or not, we can help if you believe you should be receiving benefits. While the workers’ compensation system can vary on a state-to-state basis, the general commonalities include:
- You must prove that you were injured.
- You must verify the injury took place in your area of work.
- Employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance.
What Are You Entitled To?
Now that we’ve discussed a bit about worker’s compensation, our Long Island Construction Site Accident Attorneys now want to touch upon what you’re entitled to after a construction accident. Although it will vary between claims, our team will work diligently to secure the most extensive benefits package possible after your injury. These benefit packages can include:
- Cost of medical expenses.
- Lost wages.
- Partial and permanent disability.
Pushing Past Workers’ Compensation
When the accident that took place was egregious, it can seem like filing a workers’ compensation claim isn’t doing the situation justice. Our Long Island Construction Site Accident Attorneys understand this and can offer another route you can take. In certain instances, you’ll be able to file a civil lawsuit against another person or company present on your worksite. The best time to file for one of these lawsuits is when you are confident that the accident and subsequent injury would have been avoided if not for another party’s negligence. Winning these lawsuits can lead to a larger benefits package, allowing you to stay financially secure after the injury. For the court to rule in your favor, you must be able to prove the below:
- Another person had a duty of care to act reasonably around you on the construction site.
- This person failed to perform that duty.
- This negligence directly led to the accident that took place.
If a civil lawsuit isn’t the best option, there is still one more our Long Island Construction Site Accident Attorneys would like to discuss. Sometimes, people acting the correct way can even cause an accident due to faulty equipment. Should this be the case, you may be able to file a claim against the product manufacturers. Those looking to win this case must prove the following:
- The tool or equipment was unreasonably dangerous when it left the supplier.
- The device was being used in the manner for which it was intended.
- The tool or equipment was defective and led to an accident.
Contact Our Long Island Construction Site Accident Attorney
After being involved in a construction accident, it is never too late to work with an attorney. At Winkler Kurtz, LLP, we’ll pair you with one of our Long Island Construction Site Accident Attorneys who will give you the representation needed to win your case. To get this process started, contact our team today.
Dangers Of Working With Cement
What is cement?
Cement is used in all construction, but it can be a hazard if not handled properly. Cement itself is not dangerous. However, the chemicals and elements added to make concrete are very hazardous. Many types of cancer have been traced back to exposure of these minerals over time. It may take many years for symptoms to show, so it is important to be protected if you are working with cement. If you were injured at work while working with cement, please contact Winkler Kurtz, LLP to speak with our Long Island Construction Site Accident Attorney.
Learn how to stay safe while working with cement…
When buying a house, you will want to make sure the foundation has been built properly. There should be no cracks or chips in the foundation. If there are, this may mean that there were problems during construction. You will want to have the foundation checked by a professional before you decide to buy.
Cement can be dangerous when working with it…
If there are any cracks in a person’s foundation, this may mean that there were problems during construction. You will want to have this inspected by a professional before deciding on whether or not to purchase the home.
New homes are often built with cement, so it’s important to be aware of the effects continued exposure may have on your health…
If you feel ill or notice any changes in your body, make sure to consult a doctor. Exposure over a long period of time may cause cancer and other serious illnesses. There is no need for this if you are careful to provide the proper protection.
What is concrete?
Concrete is a mixture of cement, sand, rocks, and water. It’s often used in construction because it has good binding qualities. Many people use concrete at home for paving around their house or yard. You can even make your own sidewalk with concrete! Because you will be using concrete often, make sure to take the necessary precautions.
Concrete is used in many different ways…
If you are working with cement at home, it’s important that you know all of the risks. It may be easy to admit if you find out that you made a mistake, but what about someone else? Many people have gotten very sick or even died from exposure to cement.
It’s important that you know the risks when working with concrete…
If you notice changes in your body, such as vomiting and nausea, go to a doctor immediately. Even if it is not cement related, these symptoms can be caused by many different ailments. If it is cement related however, this may cause serious health problems.
Cement can be used in many different ways…
If you are planning to use cement, it’s important to take precautions. If you end up making a mistake, someone else may be exposed instead of yourself. Many people have become very sick or even died from exposure to cement. It can easily happen if you are not careful.
Cement is safe if handled properly…
If you notice any changes in your body, such as vomiting and nausea, go to a doctor immediately. Even if it is not related, these symptoms can be caused by many different ailments. If it is related however, this may cause serious health problems. You should always take the necessary precautions as well.
If you are planning on handling cement, take the proper precautions…
You will want to be careful if this is your first time working with cement. Many people have become very sick or even died from exposure to cement over time. It can easily happen if you are not careful, so always take the necessary precautions.
If you notice any changes in your body, such as vomiting and nausea, go to a doctor immediately. Our Long Island Construction Site Accident Attorney can potentially recommend a doctor for you. Even if it isn’t related, these symptoms can be caused by many different ailments. If it is related however, this may cause serious health problems. It’s always best to take precautions when exposing yourself to cement.
Contact Our Long Island Construction Site Accident Attorney
If you were injured at work and require the assistance of a Long Island Construction Site Accident Attorney, schedule your free consultation with Winkler Kurtz, LLP today.