Construction & Workplace Injuries
Common Causes of Work Related Injuries
In Texas, the most common types of work related injuries result from transportation, typically involving trucking accidents or other large vehicles. For oil field, mining and other remote work environments, transportation accidents often occur, not in cars and trucks, but due to travel with airplanes and helicopters. Employee contact with large equipment or construction objects causes falls or other trauma. Finally, burn injuries due to fire, electricity, welding or explosives are common in the workplace.
Employer Responsibility and OSHA
It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure that proper steps are taken to make the workplace safe for the employees. If the employers do not take the proper precautions to ensure a quality workplace, all workers are potentially exposed to work related injuries.
The United States Office for Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has strict guidelines to insure worker safety and well-being. The guidelines specifically state that no laborer shall be required in the performance of his or her job to work in surroundings or working conditions that are unsanitary, hazardous, or dangerous to his or her health or safety. OSHA regulations relate directly to the type of injuries that are suffered by employees. Employees that become injured due to an improper workplace or failure of the employer to follow proper guidelines may be entitled to compensation.
Statistics on Work Related Injuries and Accidents
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reported work place injuries affect 1 of every 20 full-time employees or about 5 cases per every 100 full-time employees. The highest rates of injuries occur in the goods-producing industries with an average rate of almost 7 cases per 100 full-time employees. The highest number of cases occurs in certain types of manufacturing for construction goods and in warehousing of heavy consumer goods, such as bottled water and soft drinks. The lowest rate of workplace accidents is in the financial and insurance component of the service industry, with only about 1 accident per 100 full time employees.
In 2003, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 2.3 million work-related accidents caused serious injuries. A serious injury is one that requires time away from work. Serious injuries could include an injury that requires the employee to be completely off work, or require a job transfer or a change in work requirements. The more serious injuries where employees are completely off of work include traumatic brain injury, paralysis, burns, amputations or other injuries requiring surgical care. Serious injuries are common in construction accidents and oil field accidents. Such work environments are common in Texas.
If a person is injured in a work-related accident, then that person and his or her family may be entitled to compensation from certain individuals or companies for causing the accident. Many work-related accidents are subject to Workman’s Compensation insurance policies, arbitration agreements and other obstacles to recovery. Your work injury lawyer needs to carefully evaluate these work-related claims to ensure your legal rights are protected.
Determining if there is Worker’s Compensation Coverage, whether the injury or death was caused by a third party’s negligence, whether a general or sub-contractor is responsible – not knowing these answers and protecting your rights can cost you and your loved ones.
Construction Injury Attorney
Construction accidents are a common type of workplace injury in Texas. Because of the many potentially unsafe working environments that occur on construction sites, such as working on elevated and unprotected structures and scaffolding, close contact with heavy machinery, contact with hazardous substances, etc., construction accidents can cause the most serious types of personal injuries.
These serious injuries can cause fatalities, completely disable an employee from further work or can disrupt the ability of an employee to earn a reasonable living. Any of these events create great hardships on the victim and their families.
Typical Construction Accidents
In Texas, welding accidents, burn injuries, scaffolding accidents, work-related falls, heavy equipment injury, fires and explosions, trucking accidents and serious automobile accidents are all common types of construction industry-related accidents. If proper precautions are not taken to ensure against unsafe conditions, injuries can occur.
Fortunately, construction accidents and injuries have been on a downward trend during the last decade. However, even with this trend, construction work remains very dangerous and the construction industry continues to create numerous accidents.
To protect construction workers from unsafe work environments, OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) has strict guidelines to protect workers. These guidelines include
- Proper railings on large equipment
- Proper hazardous materials handling procedures
- Proper marking of unsafe conditions
- Proper railings on elevated working positions
- Strict welding procedures
- Strict electrical procedures
It is the responsibility of the employer to ensure that the workplace meets these OSHA requirements. Also, the employer must ensure that the employees are properly trained and are notified about potentially unsafe work environments. Unfortunately, many employers are negligent and do not strictly follow the OSHA guidelines. As a result, employees are injured.
When a person is injured on the job, it is possible that this injury could be related to negligence on the part of the employer or other third party. Certain claims by employees are restricted to Worker’s Compensation claims or arbitration agreements and your construction injury attorney needs to be qualified to fully advise you of your legal rights and remedies.