Fall protection essential for construction worker safety
Falls represent the primary threat to the safety of construction workers in Connecticut, according to an analysis of data from a 33-year period between 1982 and 2015. The Center for Construction Research and Training studied data supplied by the NIOSH Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation program and concluded that 42 percent of construction worker deaths resulted from falls.
The researchers also discovered that among the individuals killed in falls, 54 percent of them were not given the opportunity to use any kind of personal fall arrest equipment. Another 23 percent of the workers had been given access to the safety equipment but failed to use it.
The fatality reports for the workers who had not been provided with protective gear revealed that the majority of them had been employed by residential building contractors. Most of the contractors performed roofing, siding or sheet metal work. A full 20 percent of all fatalities represented people who had only been on the job for two months or less.
The law requires employers to provide workers with appropriate protective gear. People who get hurt on the job, however, do not have to prove that negligence contributed to an accident to collect workers’ compensation benefits. If someone has concerns about workplace safety, a consultation with an attorney could reveal how to file a safety complaint and pursue benefits. A lawyer could inform the person about the coverage amounts available and prepare insurance paperwork. If a dispute arises about the individual’s medical need, an attorney might arrange for an independent medical exam. In some cases, a lawyer could challenge a denial from an insurance company and possibly recover damages on appeal or through a lawsuit. Depending on the extent of the person’s injuries, a settlement could pay for medical bills, lost wages and disability.