Employers’ Duty to Prevent Falls: What to Know

Employers have a duty to keep workers safe on the job site. Here, the David Resnick & Associates, PC team discusses that duty in the context of construction accidents and what to do if you are injured on the job.

Common Claims in Construction Accidents

Workers can experience life-changing injuries in a construction accident. If you were injured in a construction accident, you might have one or more of the following claims:

  • Workers’ compensation – Assuming your employer carries workers’ compensation insurance, you may be entitled to workers’ comp benefits if you are injured on the job.
  • Personal injury – In addition to a workers’ comp claim, you may be entitled to further compensation in a personal injury claim if a third party’s negligence caused your injury.
  • Product liability – Construction accidents are complex, especially if you are injured by a defective machine or product. Under these circumstances, the manufacturer of the defective machine or product may be held responsible for your injuries.
  • Wrongful death – Because of the dangerous nature of working on a construction site, fatalities can occur. If your spouse or loved one died in a construction accident, you may be entitled to make a wrongful death claim to obtain the compensation you deserve.

The Duty of the Employer

In general, employers must keep their employees safe. Under the General Duty Clause of the OSH Act of 1970, each employer shall:

  1. provide each of their employees a place of employment that is free from hazards that are likely to cause death or serious physical harm, and
  2. comply with the OSHA safety and health standards.

Practically speaking, OSHA requires employers to provide a working environment free from known dangers, keep floors clean and dry, provide personal protective equipment (PPE) as needed and at no cost to their employees, and train workers about certain job hazards.

Because fall injuries on construction sites are far too common, OSHA has established certain workplace standards to help prevent falls. Specifically, the employer must:

  • Install guards for floor holes with a railing and toe-board or cover the hole
  • Provide guardrails and toe-boards around elevated open-sided platforms or other open hazards
  • Use safety harnesses, nets, and railings as needed

What to Do If Injured on the Job

If you are injured in a construction accident, you may be seriously hurt and not know where to turn for help. By keeping these tips in mind, you will help preserve your legal rights.

  • Seek medical treatment – Seek immediate medical treatment so your injuries can be promptly diagnosed and treated.
  • Document your injuries – Take photographs of your injuries and keep a journal documenting the pain you experience each day throughout the recovery process.
  • Gather evidence – Although your attorney will ensure all the necessary evidence is obtained, you may be able to speak to co-workers who witnessed the accident sooner while it is fresh in their minds. Keep the clothes and boots you were wearing at the time of the accident, as these may be used as evidence in your case.
  • Contact a construction accident lawyer – An experienced personal injury lawyer will handle all aspects of your case, including obtaining the necessary evidence, speaking with insurance companies on your behalf, and filing a lawsuit, if necessary.

Contact an Injury Attorney in NYC Today for Help with Your Claim

David Resnick & Associates was founded in 1998. After working in large law firms, David Resnick saw the need for better client communication and more personalized legal services. Mr. Resnick desires to help everyday people who are tragically injured in accidents caused by others. He has built his firm on the principles of providing personal, one-on-one attention to his clients and offering prompt and open communication. Contact David Resnick & Associates, PC for a free consultation with a caring New York City personal injury lawyer.

Author: David Resnick

Founder of David Resnick & Associates, P.C., a New York personal injury law firm in charge of providing exceptional and personal service to each of our clients in various areas including car accidents, slip and fall, wrongful death, construction accidents, and premises liability. David Resnick founded the firm in 1998 after working in large law firms where he saw a need for greater client communication and more personal care.

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