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Written by AskTheLawyers.com™
Construction workers are regularly required to work in precarious situations where they put their bodies through significant strain and use powerful machinery. They climb great heights, handle potentially harmful debris, work with electrical wiring, dig trenches, mix and pour concrete, and handle traffic as they build up and repair our community. It isn’t uncommon for construction workers to carry out their work in extreme weather, either.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) says that the construction industry regularly tops the list of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI). According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), one in five worker deaths last year were in construction. Proper safety procedures are crucial in every aspect of the job.
Regardless of how attentive an individual is to safety, injuries still occur. If site managers and construction companies enacted secure safety measures, they would prevent injuries and deaths. Federal law requires all private sector employees to report all work-related fatalities within eight hours to OSHA, and in the case of an injury that resulted in hospitalization, amputations, or loss of an eye, employers must contact OSHA within 24 hours.
OSHA reported that in 2018, there were 1,008 deaths from construction accidents. Most of them fall under what OSHA calls the “Fatal Four.” They are called this because they were responsible for nearly 60% of construction workers' deaths in 2018. The “Fatal Four” are :
Other causes for injury include:
-Failure of employer to provide necessary protective gear or safety equipment
Potential injuries in construction are:
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2017, there were 183 deaths in fields related to construction, installation, repair, maintenance and extraction in Texas. This could be lower than the actual number, as accidents involving undocumented workers often go unreported.
Any of these injuries will incur a significant amount in medical bills, and some will further impact one’s life by making it difficult for them to perform normal everyday actions. Furthermore, debilitating injuries like these can severely limit one’s ability to work, if they can work at all. With piling medical bills and an inability to return to the hard labor required in construction, the disabled individual needs support and guidance to help them reassemble a manageable life.
If you’ve been involved in a construction accident in Houston, make sure you follow the correct steps immediately afterward.
1. Seek medical attention.
Your health is the most important consideration. When an accident occurs, either seek first aid, call an ambulance, or ask a coworker to help with either of these. Do whatever you can to heal or stop the injury from getting worse. Worry about the legal considerations later.
2. Report the injury.
Whether you end up filing a workers' comp claim or a personal injury lawsuit, you want to document the injury. If you don’t file a workplace injury report, then your employer has the upper hand. They can claim that they had no idea the injury ever occurred, or claim that you are lying about the circumstances surrounding the injury. When filing the report, be as thorough and accurate as possible.
3. Start a medical journal.
What is a medical journal? It’s simply a record of everything tied to your injury. This is where you can store all your medical bills, doctor’s notes, x-rays, prescriptions, etc. In addition to these, keep a written record of your injuries and symptoms for every day following the injury. Document how you’re feeling, the size of bruises or wounds, any pain, etc.
4. Contact a Houston construction accident Lawyer
If the injured worker is incapacitated, a member of their family can also contact a lawyer.
When choosing an attorney, find someone who has experience handling Houston construction accidents as well as workers’ comp claims. These are intricate and complex matters that require an experienced hand. This is not a path to walk alone. The construction companies and site managers will use every tool at their disposal to save themselves money.
Even you don’t end up needing an attorney to help you, you can still take advantage of the free consultations offered by most law firms. The attorney will let you know if you have a case, and what your best options are. You may even be entitled to file a third-party lawsuit against a driver, manufacturer of defective equipment, or other party if someone else’s negligence played a role in the injury.
To find out the best course of action, consult a construction accident attorney in Houston immediately.