Construction workers in New Jersey should know that they are among the most injury-prone of all workers. Of the 3.3 million non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses that were reported in 2009, 9% were incurred by construction workers. This is according to the CDC, which goes on to say that falls accounted for 22% of these construction-related injuries.
Construction employees often work on elevated surfaces like roofs and scaffolding. Elevated surfaces also put workers below in danger, even those who wear hard hats and other safety equipment, as tools may fall from them.
Construction sites can be filled with forklifts and heavy trucks, which increases the risk for back-over incidents and incidents where workers are crushed between machinery and stationary objects. Other equipment on the job site, such as dumpsters and tools like nail guns, can malfunction, causing injury. The site may carry flammable chemicals, too. Hard physical labor can be linked to injuries like muscle and joint damage, heat stress and frostbite.
Where trenches are built, these can collapse on the workers inside. Construction workers often have jobs to do in old buildings where old flooring can collapse. There’s also the chance of developing a respiratory diseases because of continual exposure to coal dust or asbestos.
Those who incur workplace injuries have the ability to seek compensation through the workers’ compensation program. The benefits can include wage replacement; reimbursement for all medical expenses, including the cost of treatments, prescriptions and travel to and from the hospital; and short- or long-term disability benefits. Victims may want a lawyer to help them with the filing process. A lawyer may also assist with any appeals should the employer deny benefits. Injured workers could even opt for a settlement.