Construction is a dangerous line of work. Although true anywhere, it is hard to argue that the risks are much greater when working the skyline of New York — these buildings are giants, and with their massive size comes massive risk.
Various regulations are in place to help reduce these risks and better ensure a safe working environment. Regulations are present at the national and local levels. When it comes to national regulations, the United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is responsible for many of these federal rules.
One specific example within the construction industry involves the use of fall protection when working at certain heights.
What types of regulations are present for those who work at high heights? There are a number of requirements for those who work at construction sites that cover high heights. One example involves the use of safety harnesses. OSHA requires that these harnesses are made from synthetic fibers and have an attachment point at the center of the worker’s back, near the shoulder area.
Are these devices effective? In many cases, these devices are very effective. In others, they have failed to protect the worker that relies on the device. Two recent examples are present in the Manhattan area. These accidents occurred on the same day and both involved workers that were equipped with safety harnesses, but failed to have the harness properly attached. This failure resulted in a fall. In one case, the worker was fatally injured. In the other, the worker suffered serious injuries.
What recourse is available for injured workers? Injured workers or the families of a worker that has suffered fatal injuries due to an accident at work have a number of options. One option is workers’ compensation. However, in certain situations, a third party claim may also be available.
A third party claim is a type of legal action that allows workers who are injured due to the negligent act of a general contractor, building owner, architect or other party that is not the employer or a co-worker to hold that party accountable for their wrongdoing. This can lead to additional compensation to cover the costs connected to the injury.
Determining the right course of action when injured on-the-job can be difficult. Smiley & Smiley, LLP, with 50 years of experience representing injured workers can review your accident and discuss your options. Contact us now for a free consultation.