Construction work has been around for a very long time involving multiple individuals who must carry out a specific task in settings that are considered dangerous by most people. These tasks usually involve a high level of coordination between construction workers and they require the ability to work with heavy machinery and other equipment. Due to the high level of coordination between members and the heavy equipment which requires a special operator, accidents happen very often. When accidents happen in the construction job site, the outcome may be minuscule or may be followed by an employee’s death. Whether the employee is badly hurt in a work-related injury or the work-related injury results in the death of the employee, the employee is entitled to certain amount of financial and medical coverages and compensations to be paid to the family in the event of a work-related death.
Orange County Workers Compensation Attorney understands the stress and panic that follows a work-related injury that disables you from working a certain amount of time. Our attorneys are ready to work with the California Workers Compensation Laws to ensure you are not denied any of your benefits in the event of a work-related injury. We are ready to help you with your workers' compensation claim immediately after your injury and ready to help you file your documents so that your benefits are ready when you need them.
In the event of an injury, all construction workers in the state of California are entitled to claim their workers’ compensation benefits no more than a few days after the accident (if filed immediately after the accident which caused the injury). In cases involving heavy machinery or third party equipment, the employee may be qualified to fight for additional compensation not included in their workers’ compensation benefits package. To learn more about your rights and about the types of compensations you may qualify for, please contact our Orange County Workers Compensation Attorneys.
Construction is an umbrella term that includes various types of jobs and industries. Under California Law, any individual of any construction industry is protected by law in the event of a work-related injury. In some states employers are not required to have the Workers Compensation Insurance if they employ less than five people, in the state of California even if the employer only employs one person, he or she will be required to provide the employee with a workers’ compensation insurance.
Construction workers are any individuals who hold the following job titles:
- Project Managers
- Building Inspectors
- Civil engineers
- Concrete laborers
- Construction coordinators and assistants
- Equipment and machinery operators
- Drywall finishers and installers
- Framing Carpenters
- Iron workers and welders
- Other: admins, off-site managers, inspectors, and general laborers
If you hold any of the job titles above you are considered a construction worker and therefore, fully covered in the state of California in the event of a work-related injury. Different job types have different risks and varying degrees of injury cases. However, in large-scale construction sites, an individual is exposed to equipment and material that may be foreign to their occupation. If you find yourself in a job site that includes other types of construction workers, you may be exposed to more dangerous situations that hold higher life-threatening consequences.
Construction workers are typically found in:
- Commercial job sites
- Industrial job sites
- Residential job sites
- Other jobs sites include engineering projects such as roads, utility projects, and bridges
The coordination between members becomes more diluted depending on the size of the job site which may require more construction workers to operate towards a common goal. Large-scale construction sites (typically commercial and industrial), involving multiple construction workers from different construction industries, tend to be the most dangerous as there are multiple moving parts in a single location. When you have electrical works, drywallers, and concrete workers, in a single job site, accidents from varying degrees are sure to occur. If you are injured in any of the above job sites resulting from a machinery malfunction you may be entitled to a higher compensation claim. To learn more about the rights pertaining to your specific case, contact a local workers’ compensation attorney.
Construction Safety Regulations and Accidents
The dangerous working conditions that are present in the daily lives of construction workers have been regulated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) since the agency was founded in 1971. Breaking OSHA safety regulations or putting an employee’s life at risk due to the manager's or owners negligence, is a misconduct that can cause an employee his life or cause the job site manager to lose his or her job.
OSHA is a federal agency that aims to prevent work-related deaths, injuries, and illnesses. Since the founding of OSHA, deaths, and injuries have been dramatically cut between 40% to 65%. However, they still remain high when taking into account the number of deaths which occur in other job industries. The Bureau of Labor Statistics and their National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries in 2016, have reported that the number of fatal occupational injuries amounted to 5,190. Of those deaths, roughly around 2080 were due to transportation incidents, 866 of those deaths were due to violence by people or animals, 850 deaths were due to falls, slips, and trips, 760 deaths were due to contact with objects and equipment, 518 deaths were due to exposure to harmful substances or environments, and 88 deaths were due to fire and explosions.
To learn more about the work-related fatalities and injuries please visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics at https://www.bls.gov/iif/oshcfoi1.htm#2015 or visit the National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries in 2016 at https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/cfoi.pdf
In 2001, about 6 in every 100 workers experienced a work-related injury or illness. OSHA inspections and regulations only work when implemented by project managers or sub-managers. OSHA often turns to the general contractor/manager/ or another person in control of the job site in the event of a work-related injury or in the event of a violation of OSHA regulations. The OSHA penalties for violating their regulations can range from zero to a number in the hundred thousand. The legal and financial consequence of violating an OSHA regulation will vary greatly depending on the state and the construction work-related injury. In some cases, work-related injuries occur even when all of the OSHA regulations are in place. Construction job sites have many uncertainties and factors that come in to play.
OSHA regulations have been put in place to ensure that employers are held responsible in the event of a work-related injury that was caused by the violation of an OSHA regulation. The OSHA standards are meant to provide employers with a reliable method to ensure safety regulations in often hazardous working environments. Employees that have been injured as a result of a violation of an OSHA standard may be entitled to a higher compensation.
To learn more about OSHA law and their regulations please visit: www.osha.gov/law-regs.html
OSHA and Scaffold
A scaffold is a temporary structure consisting of large wooden planks and metal poles that are used to reach different sections of a building usually taller than a story high. The scaffold is placed around a building to allow workers to carry material upward and move around the different sections of the building with ease. According to OSHA, the scaffold is used by approximately 65% of all construction workers which is why OSHA carefully inspects any scaffolding project.
Slipping and falling off of a scaffold structure can lead to death depending on the height of the structure and where the person lands. For this reason, employers are held to a high level of responsibility if an employee trips or falls out of a scaffold structure. Even if the employee was not directly hired by the construction manager or overseer, and if the employee or a person falls due to a scaffold violation, the employer is considered responsible for building a faulty structure.
Injuries resulting from faulty scaffold structures are common and are dealt with differently by OSHA if an employee dies or is injured. These issues may involve third parties that may be liable for your injury. In these cases, you may be entitled to a higher compensation.
Construction Injuries and Workers Compensation
Workers compensation laws protect both the employee and employer in the event of a work-related injury. It protects the employees right to file for disability and medical coverage while it protects the employer from being sued for a work-related injury resulting from the workers' negligence or employers own negligence.
In some states, workers’ compensation insurance is not required if the employer employs less than five people. However, in the state of California, any employer employing for any of the construction industries is required to provide workers’ compensation insurance even if the employer only employs one person. The benefits that come with workers’ compensation include medical care and temporary disability.
Medical coverage includes:
- Any medical treatment that is required to cure the worker's injury or illness
- All medical bills
- Prescription drugs
In some cases, the employee may be required to visit the company doctor after an injury, but after 30 days the employee may choose to visit his or her personal medical doctor.
Disability coverage can be temporary or permanent. Temporary disability provides the employee with at least two-thirds of their monthly wage to be paid biweekly. Temporary disability benefits discontinue when the employee is ready to go back to work or is cleared by a medical doctor.
Permanent disability applies to employees that have been badly injured or impaired who cannot perform the required job duties for many years or for the rest of the employee's life. In these cases, the employee is entitled to monetary compensation. Whether it be a one-time payment or monthly monetary assistance, a permanently disabled employee must receive some form of financial compensation. The amount that is given to a permanently disabled employee depends greatly on the employee's income at the time of the injury, age, and the person's career.
Contact the Orange County Workers’ Compensation Attorney to learn more about your rights and protections.
What to do in the event of an accident or work-related injury
If you experience a construction work-related injury and you wish to prevent any breach of your legal rights, it is recommended to:
- Acquire the names and contact information of any person that witnessed the injury. In these cases, it helps to have witnesses that can back your claim in the event that a manager challenges your claim
- Take pictures or videos of the injury and of the area where the injury occurred
- Immediately inform your employer and job site manager of the happening. It is also advised to record the name, title, and contact information of the person informed
- Receive immediate medical attention and documentation of your injuries. It helps your case to maintain a medical report of your injuries for proof
Orange County Workers’ Compensation Attorney advises you to learn as much as you can about your workers’ compensation rights and the various details of your workers’ compensation coverage. Due to the complexity of the workers’ compensation law and the complexity of the situation that caused a work-related injury, it is crucial to speak with a local representative to learn the best method to approach your case. As mentioned earlier, each case has their own factors which impact every case differently.
If you have any questions about how to proceed and claim your workers’ compensation benefits, please contact us at 949-423-3212. Our attorneys are ready to fight for your benefits and ensure you a peace of mind throughout the workers' compensation filing process. We are ready to handle your case with immediate attention so that you receive your benefits without delay.