One of the most dangerous -- and important -- industries in North Carolina is the construction business. Whether it is of construction of houses or commercial developments, roadway paving, bridge erection, excavations or demolitions, construction workers are regularly exposed to on-the-job hazards.
The federal government's Occupational Safety and Health Administration says on its website that workplace injuries occur in construction when workers are exposed to unguarded machinery, silica dust and asbestos. Among the most common causes of serious injuries in construction: falls from rooftops, workers being struck by construction equipment and electrocutions.
OSHA says that falls remain the leading cause of fatalities in the construction industry. Out of 828 fatalities in the industry in 2013, there were 291 deaths caused by falls.
The federal agency says that workers and employers can help prevent injuries and deaths by falls by planning ahead. For instance, employers must plan projects that will involve ladders, roofs and scaffolds and decide which equipment will be needed to complete each task safely.
Planning ahead includes factoring the costs of safety equipment into job estimates. Then, of course, the equipment must be in the right place at the right time so that workers can make use of it.
Construction workers and employers alike are responsible for the use of safety equipment such as fall protection and proper ladders, scaffolds, etc.
Far too often we see careful, skilled workers injured despite taking safety precautions. They are fortunate to have workers' compensation benefits available to cover their medical expenses and a portion of lost wages.
But it is also common that workers' comp claims are denied. In those cases, an experienced attorney can help you appeal the denial and help you get the benefits you deserve.