Work injury compensation in the construction industryAugust 17, 2011
Many construction sites were found to be unsafe in a recent HSE inspection. One in four construction sites in the Tees Valley were found to be unsafe by inspectors, to the extent that workers were at risk of injury or death, resulting in formal enforcement notices.
There can be many different hazards on construction sites, including scaffolding, machinery and tools. These hazards need to be properly monitored and controlled in order to ensure the safety of workers. If you have been injured as a result of a hazard at work which should have been controlled, you may be entitled to a work injury compensation payment.
Hazards can also come in less obvious forms. A painter was injured when he was carrying paint from a pallet to a site cabin on a construction site and he tripped over loose ground and fell. He broke two bones in his leg and spent several weeks in hospital. It was ten months before he was able to work again, by which time he had lost his job.
Some construction companies have taken action to reduce work place injuries from slips and trips. This can include putting matting down on uneven ground, clearly marking curbs and keeping things clean and tidy.
Refurbishment is a particularly hazardous area of construction. Few buildings will have records of their construction and there may be hidden dangers throughout the refurbishment process. If buildings have been used by squatters or drug addicts, they may need going over by a special team trained and with the necessary protective equipment to handle syringes. Workers will also need protection from all the other hazards of a building site, which requires extensive planning and assessment on the part of the site manager.
Making sure that workers have the necessary PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) will help to reduce workplace accidents. Hard hats and bump caps will protect heads from falling objects and when working in confined spaces, safety boots will protect feet from falling objects and from treading on spikes or nails, hi visibility clothing increases visibility when working around moving vehicles, ear protection will protect ears from excessive noise levels, dust masks will protect from inhalation of dust, particles or fumes, harnesses will protect from falls from height and gloves will protect from cuts and abrasions.
If you have been injured on a construction site because of the negligence of your employer, you may be entitled to compensation. Injuries can occur if employers have not taken steps to protect their workers. This can include failing to provide the necessary protective equipment, failing to train workers or failing to properly assess hazards.
A work injury compensation claim can result in financial compensation which can help with some of the costs of an injury, such as lost earnings, medical care and rehabilitation. Some people will never be able to return to work after an injury whilst others may be off for an extended period. A work injury compensation payment may never fully compensate for the pain and suffering you have gone through but it may take away some of your worries about financial stability, so you can focus on your recovery.