According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 51 of the 56 fatal work accidents that occurred in New York City from 2013 to 2014 happened in the construction industry. It is an unfortunate fact that construction work is dangerous, and many workers are taking their lives into their own hands when they are on the job.
The good news is not every construction accident is fatal. There are many workers who survive their accidents, but their lives are changed forever. It is up to workers to be vigilant in trying to prevent workplace accidents, and it is the personal responsibility of every worker to seek out legal guidance if they are ever involved in a construction accident.
Every construction company that works in New York City has to abide by the city, state, and federal labor laws that are put in place to protect the safety of workers. Unfortunately, not every company takes safety laws seriously, and this can result in serious accidents.
Workers who are uncomfortable with a company's relaxed attitude towards safety should find ways to express their concerns to their supervisors. If you see work practices that violate safety laws but are not discouraged by the company, then it is your responsibility to call the authorities to initiate and inspection and possibly save the life of one of your co-workers.
If you are injured in a construction accident, then you will have to deal with the New York State Worker's Compensation Bureau. It is important to note that worker's compensation is insurance that the construction companies buy to protect workers in the event of an injury. But the worker's compensation system is overwhelmed with cases, and sometimes workers do not get the compensation they deserve.
A worker who is injured should go through the worker's compensation process to get the medical coverage and replacement income they deserve. But if you ever get into a situation where worker's compensation is denying you coverage you are entitled to, then that is when you need to contact an attorney.
As a construction worker in the city of New York, it is your responsibility to know the safety guidelines set forth by your company, and by city, state, and federal government officials. It is your responsibility to follow those safety laws, and to report any instances where not following the laws could result in someone else being injured.
You also have responsibilities to yourself as a construction worker. It is your responsibility to understand your working conditions, and make any notes you feel are necessary regarding improper work arrangements. It is your responsibility to follow proper procedures when you are injured, and to bring in an attorney if the situation requires it. Remember that you have just as much responsibility towards yourself, as you do towards the company and your co-workers.
In the blink of an eye, a construction accident could completely change your life. Unfortunately, you may find yourself in a lifelong battle with the worker's compensation board or the company if you are seriously injured and require assistance the rest of your life. The important thing is to remember that an attorney can be your best ally in those types of situations. Never be shy about protecting your rights as an injured construction worker by seeking out the assistance of a legal professional.