Is the construction industry more dangerous than other types of workplaces? For starters, it’s important to recognize that the question may not be dichotomous, due in part to the variety of construction methods and environments.
Indeed, even a brief look at the topical index maintained by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration on the construction industry illustrates that construction workers can be injured on the job in many different ways.
Construction employers are subject to various safety regulations promulgated by OSHA. Those guidelines address types of personal protective and life saving equipment recommended for workers, environmental controls against dangerous chemicals or hazards, ergonomics guidelines intended to minimize repetitive motion injuries, machinery guidelines, scaffolding construction instructions, and resources applicable to different construction materials, including explosives, concrete and masonry, and steel.
That index also hints at the serious injuries that construction workers might experience. Falls from scaffolding or ladders might result in permanent spinal cord or brain damage and mobility issues, possibly qualifying for disability benefits beyond the initial medical treatment. Chemical exposure may translate into serious respiratory damage. Heavy machinery can change a worker’s life in an instant.
Workers’ compensation benefits are not supposed to be contingent on fault. However, as a personal injury and workers’ compensation law firm, we understand the evidentiary impact of a showing of negligence. If an employer failed to comply with applicable construction regulations, that evidence may provide leverage in discussions over a worker collecting the compensation that he or she deserves. An attorney can work to protect an injured worker’s interests, helping him to collect the maximum level of benefits.