Hazardous conditions are inherent in construction work. Bergen County construction workers labor at great heights on ladders, roofs and scaffolding, operate heavy equipment and are exposed to falling objects and harmful substances. It’s not surprising, with all the potential for on-the-job harm, construction workers are among the most injured employees in the nation.
Federal health officials reported 3.3 million workers nationwide suffered job-related illnesses or injuries in 2009. Construction workers made up nine percent of the total.
A Bureau of Labor Statistics report said 4,383 people died from injuries received at work in 2012. Among the top 10 most dangerous professions in the U.S. were roofers, construction laborers and structural iron and steel workers.
How do construction workers get hurt or killed? Employees sometimes work hundreds of feet in the air with few safeguards. An improperly secured scaffolding or ladder is all it takes for a fall to occur. At the same time, workers are vulnerable to getting struck by objects from above and moving equipment or construction vehicles on the work site.
Large machines like forklifts and cranes may topple or trap and crush workers, while defective tools can cause serious equipment injuries. Structures can collapse during building or demolition. Outdoor work in temperature extremes may trigger heat exhaustion or hypothermia.
Inhaling dangerous substances like mineral dust or asbestos fibers can cause serious, life-threatening conditions. Workers may be sickened by lead exposure and severely burned in fires or explosions. The physical nature of the job also makes construction workers vulnerable to sprains, strains and repetitive motion damage.
Workers’ compensation pays medical and wage loss benefits for construction workers claims. Depending upon circumstances and the severity of an injury, other compensation may be available through government programs or third-party legal actions. An attorney will assist with claims, challenge claim denials and maximize recovery for a work accident victim and his or her family.
Source: FindLaw, “Common Construction Injury Types” Oct. 01, 2014