Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Assisting Employees in Atlanta
Employment in the construction industry is a notoriously dangerous and difficult job. Workers handle complicated and powerful equipment in unsteady and challenging circumstances, often high above the ground. At the same time, they are surrounded by large machines, including cranes, bulldozers, and backhoes, all of which have the potential to inflict serious harm if they are not operated properly. Even with superior training and the utmost attention to safety, accidents can and do occur. Workers’ compensation attorney Julie A. Rice understands these realities and has helped many Atlanta construction workers file claims after workplace accidents for the benefits they deserve.
The Risks of Construction Work
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), of all workplace fatalities in 2013, over 20 percent occurred in the construction industry. This means that one in five deaths that year were in construction. Termed the “fatal four,” the four leading causes of death and injury in the construction industry are falls, being struck by an object, electrocution, and being caught in or between materials or machinery. As OSHA has reported, reducing the risk of these types of harm would greatly reduce injury and death among construction workers.
OSHA Regulations on Safety
In an effort to reduce devastating harm in this industry, OSHA has implemented strict standards meant to protect construction workers. For instance, it has developed rules meant to guard against or prevent falls at construction sites, as well as incidents of workers being struck by machinery. Under these standards, employers must guard any holes on a work site where an employee could accidentally fall, must provide guard rails for elevated walkways or platforms, and must provide employees with equipment such as safety harnesses, ropes, and safety nets. If employees and machinery are in the same space, proper signage and directions must be posted, and careful communication standards must be followed to ensure that distance is kept between individuals and machines.
Employers who allow workers to engage in welding or cutting, or electrical maintenance, must also abide by certain standards applicable to each area of work. All employers must provide comprehensive training to construction employers and prominently post OSHA standards and statements of employee rights.
Despite these strict standards, OSHA has reported that the top 10 most frequently cited violations in the fiscal year of 2014 included violations of fall protection standards in the construction industry and ladder standards in the construction industry. If you believe that your employer is not abiding by the standards and regulations imposed by OSHA, it is important that you report suspected violations before a serious accident occurs. While this may seem difficult to do, a knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney can assist you in the reporting process. It is important to know that you are not alone, and your employer is not allowed to retaliate against you for reporting its illegal behavior.
Seek Guidance from an Atlanta Attorney for Your Work Injury Claim
If you have been hurt on the job while working at a construction site, it is advisable to report your injury as soon as possible and file a workers’ compensation claim. This not only may expose dangerous conditions at your workplace but can assert your right to the benefits to which you may be entitled. These can be partial or total, and temporary or permanent, depending on your situation. If you are an Atlanta employee who has been hurt on the job, work injury lawyer Julie A. Rice is available to assist you. We proudly serve construction workers throughout Fulton, DeKalb, Clayton, Cobb, and Gwinnett Counties, including in Marietta, Decatur, and Lawrenceville. For more information, contact us at (770) 865-8654 and (813) 363-6664, or through our online form.