The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) are the agency responsible for enforcing the regulations in place meant to safeguard American workers on the job. When an employee suffers an injury, OSHA will investigate if there are any reports of health or safety violations. OSHA oversees millions of employees in various industries, but construction is statistically the most dangerous.
Of all the fatal accidents in the construction industry, falls account for the most deaths. OSHA calls the top four most common causes of death in the construction injury “the Fatal Four.” Falls are the most fatal, accounting for about 40% of all deaths – far more than anything else.
Injuries From Falls
When falling injuries aren’t fatal, they usually result in very painful and sometimes permanently damaging injuries. Broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, spinal damage, lacerations, and internal organ damage are common results of falls. In some cases, these injuries can leave a victim unable to return to work for an extended period of time. In other cases, the victim is left permanently disabled or otherwise unable to resume his or her job.
OSHA has strict regulations meant to ensure worker safety, and if employers fail to meet these requirements, they can be held accountable for any resulting injuries and damages. Construction workers who are injured on the job should seek immediate medical attention. Once able, the next step should be to consult with an attorney. In any falling accident case, the victim faces one of many possible outcomes.
Almost every employee in Pennsylvania is covered by worker’s compensation insurance. Employers must carry a worker’s compensation insurance policy in case any employee suffers an injury on the job. Worker’s compensation benefits usually provide funds for immediate medical issues and lost wages from time spent out of work after an accident. While worker’s compensation is meant to be a measure of protection for employees, employers sometimes try to prevent injured employees from filing for benefits because the employer’s premium rates will increase.
Interfering with an injured employee’s ability to claim worker’s compensation or taking any kind of adverse or punitive action against an injured employee for filing for worker’s compensation benefits is illegal. This practice is known as “retaliation” in the legal world. Even if you encounter no such issue when you proceed to file for worker’s compensation benefits, an attorney can still help guide you through the claims process and find other potential avenues of compensation for your injuries and damages.
Personal Injury Lawsuits
In some cases, worker’s compensation will not provide enough to cover an injured worker’s expenses after a fall. If the injured victim’s employer was negligent in such a way that it contributed to the fall, the victim can file a personal injury lawsuit against the employer. Again, consulting with an attorney is wise because a personal injury lawsuit can sometimes provide much more financial relief than worker’s compensation benefits.
Additionally, personal injury lawsuits don’t always play out as expected, and an attorney may guide an injured client to other forms of compensation if a lawsuit in unadvisable.
If a defective product caused the falling injury in question, such as a faulty ladder or scaffold, the injured victim may be able to pursue a product liability claim against the manufacturer. If the manufacturer of the product in question released a product that was defective by design, production, or marketing, the victim can collect compensation for any resulting damages.
Falls are a common injury, but falls in the construction injury are typically very damaging and can cost injured workers astronomically in the form of medical expenses and lost wages. If you or someone you know has been injured in a falling accident while working construction, reach out to the team at Anapol Weiss for a consultation.