On average, two construction workers die every day because of work-related injuries in the United States, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). In fact, one in five deaths in the workplace are construction-related. With construction companies sometimes skimping on safety engineers and programs, they are owed their share of the blame.
No matter what the cause or nature of the workplace injury, workers are entitled to some kind of compensation. But in many situations, employers seek to protect themselves from their responsibilities, while insurance companies systematically attempt to settle claims for the smallest amount possible or avoid settlements entirely. Without a skilled law firm like McEldrew Young Purtell on your side, you might lose out on future earning potentials and other important considerations that will affect your life and livelihood.
Industrial worker. Source: Pxhere.com, shared under CC0 license
Work-Related Injury Cases We Specialize In
Through McEldrew Young Purtell’s 30-plus years of taking workers’ sides, we’ve seen a good amount of the worst and most complicated workers’ comp cases there are. Our law firm’s advocacy tends to center workers who put their lives most at risk every day, and we are skilled at navigating the anti-worker protections that fill heavy industries.
When the following injuries occur, unwinding the damage suffered is a crucial step toward recovery:
- Chemical exposures: Whether tearing down unsafe materials or working with unproven ones, heavy industry workers often fall prey to chemical exposures whose costs are only revealed years down the line.
- Electrical accidents and explosions: Electrical accidents kill 400 workers per year and injure many more — and half of those fatalities occur in the construction industry.
- Entrapment accidents (caught-in & caught-between): These accidents again disproportionately affect construction workers, occurring via injury by heavy machinery or structural collapse.
- Equipment accidents and machinery malfunction: Heavy industry workers often use powerful equipment and machinery, whose improper function may be deadly.
- Falls through open and unguarded holes: Improper stewardship of on-the-job property hazards constitute a form of premises liability.
- OSHA violations: When these safety standards aren’t enforced, they may contribute to workplace dangers.
- Slip and fall accidents: Slip and falls account for one-third of all construction fatalities, with improper safety standards often at root.
- Struck by falling object/debris: Another frequent construction-related injury, injuries caused by falling objects are often the result of poor property maintenance.
- Trench and building collapse: Excavation work is one of the deadliest jobs in construction, and employer irresponsibility can compound its dangers.
The Top 10 Violations of OSHA Standards
Since the federal safety organization came into being in 1970, workplace deaths and injuries have declined dramatically — deaths are down 63 percent while overall injuries have fallen by 75 percent. When OSHA standard enforcement is lax, tragedy often follows.
OSHA missteps are rampant in construction, with violations sometimes amounting to half of the overall number of penalties OSHA assesses. With fines reaching up to $70,000 per violation, these are not insignificant rules that are being broken.
The top 10 most frequently cited standards by OSHA in fiscal year 2018 include:
- Fall protection
- Hazard communication
- Respiratory protection
- Control of hazardous energy
- Powered industrial trucks
- Fall protection training
- Machinery and machine guarding
- Eye and face protection
Not every workplace injury is caused by employer negligence. The following injuries are occupational dangers which can also cause long-term harm — and are easier to ignore because of the lack of traumatic incidents involved.
- Back injuries
- Carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive stress injuries
- Cuts and bruises
- Joint and ligament damage
- Muscle sprains
- Neck injuries
When Are Third Parties at Fault?
In certain circumstances, liability for on-site construction injuries may be assigned to a third party. Property owners, site architects, general contractors and subcontractors, as well as equipment manufacturers can all be held liable for accidents stemming from insufficient safety enforcement.
The safety provisions that must be followed to legally ensure a construction site is reasonably safe include:
- Checking observation of safety standards
- Correctly communicating job safety rules
- Knowing of and warning employees about possible site hazards
- Showing discretion in the hiring of responsible employees
When to Consult with an Experienced Workplace Injury Attorney
When your claim is disputed, you should seek out the counsel of an experienced workplace injury lawyer. They will help you to gather the evidence you’ll need to challenge the insurer’s position, including taking depositions, requesting an independent medical examination and securing expert witnesses.
With 30 years of experience in workplace injury law, McEldrew Young Purtell is well suited to evaluate the situation and help determine the next steps toward justice. To schedule a meeting for a free consultation, fill out our form or call us directly at 1-800-590-4116.