Most employers in South Carolina are required to carry worker’s compensation insurance to cover expenses related to work-related injuries and illnesses. Construction companies are not exempt from this requirement, and this is a good thing because construction is a dangerous industry.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), nearly 1,000 construction workers lose their lives each year on the job. Of all workplace fatalities in a single year, one in five takes place in a construction zone.
Safety is supposed to be a priority on construction sites, but some companies are lax with safety standards or cut corners to try to boost their bottom line results. There are many ways hazards exist on a construction site that can lead to injury or even death. Here are just five of the most typical ways that construction workers fall victim to these tragic events.
- Fall Injuries
Falls are the most common cause of construction accident injuries. These tragedies impact thousands of construction workers each year, and some lead to death. A fall can take place on the same level, where a worker either slips or trips and falls over equipment or debris or on a slippery or wet surface.
Fall accidents can also take place from another level, and these can lead to much more serious injuries. Each day construction workers climb onto roofs, beams, ladders, and scaffolds. Without the use of safety harnesses, there is a high risk of falls.
- Equipment Injuries
Construction sites are loud environments because there are usually many pieces of equipment operating at once. This presents a significant hazard to workers. An equipment injury can happen in several ways.
Failure to use safety guards on machinery can lead to injury, as can attempting repairs while a machine is still “on.” A construction worker can also be injured by moving heavy equipment, motor vehicles, or a power tool that malfunctions due to a defect.
- Fires and Explosions
There are enough electrical items and flammable materials on construction sites that fire and explosions are common occurrences. A frayed electrical cord or other poor electrical safety practices can lead to a fire, which can result in devastating injuries and fatalities. Explosions can result from gas leaks as well as the mixture of dangerous chemicals.
- Falling Objects
Construction workers are supposed to wear hard hats because of the high risk of falling objects. A worker on another level could drop a heavy tool, or a stack of equipment could become dislodged and fall, leading to a serious head, neck, or back injury.
It is also possible for an entire structure to fall if it is not properly supported. This can trap construction workers underneath debris and lead to serious crushing injuries.
- Repetitive Injuries
Construction is strenuous and repetitive work. It’s not uncommon for a construction worker to suffer from a variety of repetitive motion or exposure injuries. These could include carpal tunnel syndrome, muscle strains, and distress due to extreme cold or heat exposure.
These are not the only common construction accidents. Other serious and frequent causes of construction accidents can include trench collapses, electrocution, violence, and chemical exposure.
What You Should Know If You Have a South Carolina Construction Injury
Worker’s compensation laws in South Carolina are no-fault, meaning you are entitled to benefits if you were injured on the job. There are only a few exceptions, such as being intoxicated or committing fraud, which would bar you from collecting benefits.
If you were injured at work, whether it was due to one of these injuries or something else, you are entitled to receive payment for your medical expenses, lost time from work, and permanent impairment. A denial of any of the benefits you are due is not the last word in your case, and you have the right to speak with a qualified South Carolina worker’s compensation attorney about your options.
Consult with an Experienced South Carolina Worker’s Compensation Lawyer
Worker’s compensation law can be complex, and your employer or an insurance company representative may try to mislead you about your rights. Instead, protect your access to these valuable benefits by speaking with a qualified workplace injury attorney.
At Peake & Fowler, our Columbia injury attorneys will put their more than 60 years of combined experience to work for you. Contact us now at 800-946-9461 or reach us online to schedule a free consultation.