Workers’ Compensation for Construction Workers
Construction is One of Pennsylvania’s Toughest Industries
Construction workers are some of the most dedicated workers in Pennsylvania. They have to be: their industry is one of the most dangerous there is. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration labels construction a “high hazard” industry, which means there are plenty of opportunities for a worker to get hurt, even under the best of circumstances.
At Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C., our workers’ compensation lawyers have been protecting the rights of construction workers for 40 years. We have worked hand-in-hand with unions across the state to ensure that injured workers are well-taken care of after an accident, and have helped countless families by securing the benefits that those employees needed in order to protect themselves. If you have been hurt in a worksite injury, our team is ready to help you recover.
The Dangers of Working Construction
OSHA tells us that most construction worker fatalities are the result of four scenarios: falls, struck-by, caught-in/between and electrocutions. These might be the most deadly, but they are certainly not the only ways a construction worker can be injured. Larry Pitt & Associates represents injured Philadelphia construction workers who were in any of these four scenarios, as well as those injured in:
- Accidents caused by falling objects
- Accidents resulting from poor or inadequate training and/or supervision
- Crane accidents
- Forklift accidents
- Heavy machinery accidents
- Power tool accidents
- Scenarios involving defective or inadequate safety equipment
- Slips and trips around a worksite
- Speeding drivers while the employee was working on the site of the road
- Workspaces where toxic chemical exposure was either known or unknown
- Wrecking ball accidents
From construction to demolition, from building bridges to paving roads, from toxic exposure to road work hazards – however, you were hurt on a construction site, an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer can help you obtain the benefits you need.
Union Employees, Small Business Owners, and Independent Contractors
Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. represents workers throughout Pennsylvania, operating in every capacity. We are a union-friendly law firm that understands how the rules and regulations governing your collective bargaining could affect how and when you apply for workers’ compensation benefits. We will work with you and your union reps to ensure that your claims are thoroughly prepared, and we represent you at administrative hearings when necessary.
We also represent small employees after they suffered a workplace injury. If you contribute to Pennsylvania’s workers’ compensation fund through your taxes, then you are entitled to make a claim. Independent contractors and day laborers, however, might not be eligible for workers’ comp, unless they are employed through some kind of agency – but that does not mean you should not have one of our lawyers review your case. In some cases, we may be able to file a third-party personal injury lawsuit on your behalf to help you recover compensation for your lost days at work, your medical bills and your pain and suffering.
Injuries Likely to be Sustained by Construction Workers
It is a foregone conclusion that a construction site is a dangerous place to work. According to Safety + Health magazine, over the course of a 45-year career, a construction worker has a 1 in 200 chance of dying in a work-related accident. Each year more than 1000 construction workers will die on a job site in the U.S. and tens of thousands more will suffer debilitating injuries that will require hospitalization and extended medical treatment.
What are the most common construction site injuries?
Construction site falls
Unfortunately, falls account for the most work-related injuries for construction workers. Workers can fall from scaffolding, roofs, beams and ladders, and falling objects can hit workers on lower levels or ground level. In fact, the most-violated OSHA standard on construction sites is fall protection.
Construction workers use lots of dangerous heavy equipment every day to do their jobs. Tools such as bulldozers, power saws, jackhammers, front loaders, dump trucks, and cranes pose a significant danger to construction workers when they malfunction or are not used in a safe manner.
In January a construction worker was crushed in a construction site accident in Chicago. The worker, Joel Ogiego, 45, was operating a crane on the sixth floor during the construction of a high-rise building when he leaned into a shaft where an elevator was descending from above his head. Ogiego was crushed. He was rushed to the hospital where he died of his injuries. OSHA is conducting an investigation and may issue citation and levy fines if any safety violations can be identified.
Whether from lifting objects that are too heavy, performing repetitive movements that lead to injury, exposure to extreme heat and extreme cold for extended periods of time, construction workers can be susceptible to many different injuries and health problems. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that exposure accounts for 15.7% of all construction injuries.
Exposure to harmful chemicals, explosions and fires
Construction workers are exposed to countless hazards that can cause serious injuries in their everyday work. The Centers for Disease Control reports that construction workers account for 15% of reported lead poisoning incidents in the U.S.
We put our more than four decades’ worth of experience to work for you, after you have been injured and can longer physically, financially or emotionally provide for your family. Let us help you through the dark times and into a brighter future.
Some of these common work accident injuries our lawyers have seen have been caused by:
- Failure to follow hazard communication standards – Employers are required to comply with the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard (HCS). Workers may become harmed by hazardous substances if they are not informed about the identities of hazardous chemicals in their workplace and trained on how to handle them safely.
- Faulty scaffolding – According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 4,500 workers are injured in scaffolding accidents each year. Faulty scaffolding, along with unsafe ladders and other platforms are commonly cited OSHA violations.
- Inadequate training – Construction accidents may occur due to inadequate training. Workers who do not receive proper training on how to handle heavy machinery, dangerous tools, or hazardous substances are more likely to become injured in workplace accidents than those who do.
- Lack of fall protection – Those in the construction industry often work on ladders and scaffolding and may therefore become injured in falls from heights Falls from heights is one of the most common types of construction accidents and is listed as one of OSHA’s “fatal four” most common causes of construction worker fatalities.
- Lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) – Construction workers are required to wear various forms of personal protective equipment (PPE) such as eye, hand, and respiratory protection, depending on the task they are performing. Failure to wear such PPE can lead to catastrophic injuries.
- Malfunctioning equipment – If a piece of machinery or equipment malfunctions, it may be due to faulty manufacture or inherently dangerous design. In those cases, a third party other than the worker’s employer may be sued in a third-party product liability claim.
- Missing machine guards – Crushed fingers, amputations, burns, and blindness are all injuries that may be attributable to missing machine guards. According to OSHA, machine parts, functions, or processes that may cause injury must be safeguarded, yet in 2018, failure to follow machine guarding requirements was one of the ten most frequently cited OSHA standards.
- Trench/building collapse – Workers in the construction industry may become injured due to cave-ins and falling loads. Employers should have protective systems in place to prevent workers from becoming injured in such accidents.
- Tripping hazards – Construction workers may also suffer slip and fall accidents due to tripping hazards in the workplace. Uneven walking surfaces, holes in the road, electrical cords, and poor housekeeping are all potential hazards.
- Uncontrolled hazardous energy – Workers who handle the servicing or maintenance of machines or equipment should be trained on proper lockout/tagout procedures. Failure to control hazardous energy sources accounts for 10 percent of serious accidents in many industries, according to OSHA.
You might have additional personal injury claims
When you receive an injury on the job, you could have more than a simple workers compensation claim. A worker could have a products liability claim if the cause of their injury was defective or malfunctioning equipment. Premises liability might be an issue if a construction worker is injured on the job while at another facility.
If you have been injured on the job you will most likely have many questions that a workers compensation attorney can answer for you.
Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Provide Zealous Advocacy for Injured Construction Workers in Need of Benefits
Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. helps injured construction workers throughout Pennsylvania obtain the workers’ compensation benefits they need. When you have questions, we have answers. Please call 888-PITT-LAW or fill out our contact form to schedule a free consultation with a dedicated Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyer at our firm. We are proud to serve clients in Berks County, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, and Philadelphia County.