The construction industry is still one of the most dangerous fields one can work in. Injuries and deaths related to construction in New York have nearly doubled since the start of the pandemic.
Why has this happened, and what can you do if you suffer a construction accident?
Why These Incidents Are on the Rise
One of the main theories about the jump in construction-related accidents is the relative lack of inspections.
Federal regulators of OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, have reported a 53% reduction in total inspections since 2019. This represents one of the lowest recorded numbers of inspections in OSHA history.
According to a report, in 97% of the cases in which a worker on the job died, the employer had existing violations with OSHA. Some of these violations included:
- Failure to provide fall safeties
- Insufficient or lack of respiratory protection
- Undertrained staff
- Misuse of scaffolding
What to Do If You’ve Been Involved in a Construction Accident
Between the need for medical care and potential involvement in the legal system, the process of addressing an industrial accident can be intimidating and draining. If you’ve been in such a mishap in New York, the following are among the first steps you should take.
Seek Medical Attention Immediately
Your health and well-being is the most crucial facet in any work incident that involves possible injury. Always seek medical attention immediately after an accident.
This may entail a trip to the emergency room. The sooner you seek medical help, the better your chance of recovering from both the injury and any additional legal complications that follow.
Do not return to work until your doctor has medically cleared you. If you don’t, that could raise issues with your claim and case down the road, or lead to further physical damage if your body is not allowed to heal properly.
Report the Accident to the Company
In many cases, people are afraid to report an incident to their employer. The worker may feel as if the event was their fault, or fear the company might retaliate in some way against which the worker will not be able to defend himself.
But if you fail to report the incident, you won’t be able to file a claim that meets the needs of yourself and your family. This could include not just physically but in financial and emotional terms.
When you report the situation to your employer, be sure to stick to the facts. Report exactly what happened, step by step, and do not include any opinions in the mix.
It can be difficult to separate the emotional facets during this, but for the sake of your case, it’s best to keep your feelings and speculation out of it.
Consult With a Lawyer
You might assume consulting a lawyer would be going overboard. But there can be far more to settling a construction accident than you know.
You have to find someone who has a full understanding of the legal system and will be an advocate for you throughout the process.
You’re entitled to compensation if there was possible negligence on the part of your employer. A construction accident lawyer in New York who specializes in this area can ensure that both your employer and their insurance company treats you fairly.
This is especially true when a severe injury or fatality happens. In 2020, there were 59 fatal injuries due to construction accidents in New York. The families of those workers needed someone to fight on their behalf every step of the way.
If you’re thinking about getting a construction job, it’s vital to have a full understanding of the risks. Talk to your prospective employer and try to make sure they’ll provide the essential training you’ll need.
If you see something that doesn’t feel safe, speak up about it to your manager. Your safety is critical when performing a difficult job in a busy and overcrowded city.
Most important, if you end up in a construction accident, get in touch with a lawyer. It’s never too soon to talk to someone who can tell you what your best options are for compensation.