Workers in Pennsylvania are fortunate to be protected by a robust and expansive workers’ compensation system. In this state, nearly all workers receive workers’ compensation coverage. Workers who do not receive coverage under the state system typically qualify for coverage under a federal workers’ compensation plan. However, most workers – including most construction workers – are covered by the workers’ compensation insurance regime if they are hurt on the job and can no longer work temporarily or permanently.
If you have been hurt on a construction job site or while working in the construction industry, the workers’ compensation lawyers of Schmidt, Kirifides & Rassias may be able to fight for you. We approach all matters strategically and founding partner, Mark Schmidt, is “certified as a specialist in the practice of workers’ compensation law by the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Section on Workers’ Compensation Law as authorized by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.” To contact our Pennsylvania workers’ compensation law firm, please call 1-484-679-5239 and schedule a free consultation.
Construction Is One of the Most Dangerous Occupations in Pennsylvania
While most builders, roofers, HVAC installers, plumbers, carpenters, and other construction workers take daily challenges and workplace risks in stride, the truth is a worker in the construction industry is far more likely than average to suffer an injury or fatal injury.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in the entire state of Pennsylvania, there were 179 fatal workplace fatalities in 2014 and 173 fatalities in 2015. In both years, the construction industry accounted for 20-percent or greater of all workplace deaths that occurred in the state. Once again, one-fifth of all workplace deaths are attributed to this single industry.
When one further breaks down the statistics, it is clear that the vast majority of construction injuries occur during the construction of buildings versus the construction of bridges or other structures. However, this statistic may simply reflect the fact that buildings are the most commonly constructed structure. Fatalities are also clustered in “specialty trade work” with 46 percent of fatalities affecting these workers. Specialty trade work includes construction workers like:
- Masonry workers
- Foundation, structure, and building exterior contractors
- Roofing contractors
- Building equipment contractors
- Electrical contractors and other wiring installation contractors
- Site preparation contractors
Workers in these occupations are more likely to suffer a fatal injury. However, even if the unthinkable does occur, family members should be able to rely on the benefits provided through the state’s worker’ compensation system.
What Are the Most Common Reasons for Accidents and Fatal Injuries in the Construction Industry?
Men are most at risk of suffering a workplace fatality. In fact, men accounted for 92-percent of all fatal work injuries. Younger workers are also more likely to suffer a fatal injury since workers aged from 25 to 54 years of age accounted for 60 percent of the state’s work-related fatalities in 2015. Outside of demographic risk factors falls, slips, and trips were the most frequent fatal event in the construction sector. Accidents involving slip and falls caused 17 worker deaths in 2015.
Other common reasons for injuries on construction work sites include:
- Contact with objects or equipment – Workers on job sites frequently work near or next to large, powerful machines and equipment. Workers can become caught on, under, or between pieces of equipment. This scenario can lead to serious crushing injuries.
- Negligence by other workers – While all construction workers try to do their best, there are certain days where a person feels detached from the world around them. Distracted or disengaged workers are more likely to make mistakes or otherwise engage in negligence that cases a death or injury.
- Electrocution injury – When structures are being built, extreme care must be taken to lock-out and avoid live wires or electrical systems coming into contact with other conductors.
- Falling object injuries – When roofers perform their work or a multiple story structure is being built, objects can fall onto individuals working below. These objects can pick up a tremendous amount of speed as they plummet to the ground. When these objects strike construction workers, injuries can be severe or fatal.
Regardless of how you may have suffered a constructing accident at work, there is a strong likelihood that you are covered for wage loss and other benefits. If you have lost the use of an arm, leg, or other body part you may also qualify for specific loss benefits. A workers’ compensation lawyer can help you determine the full extent of your benefits claim.
Work with Our Construction Injury Attorneys in Media and Delaware County
The personal injury attorneys of Schmidt, Kirifides & Rassias approach all matters strategically. To schedule a free and confidential consultation at one of our Pennsylvania law offices, please call 1-484-679-5239 today.