Construction is now and has been for centuries one of the most important industries of man. Like nearly every other living creature on the planet, man has a desire to build dwellings in which they feel safe and secure. Unlike most other creatures, man creates structure for dining, entertainment and pure aesthetics; even the Statute of Liberty was little more than a construction project at one point in time. The skill of construction has evolved from ancient times where workers were sometimes buried in the very walls they helped build to today’s model, where every construction injury, no matter how minor, is accounted for and compensation is paid accordingly.
Five men are breathing a sigh of relief today after surviving a partial roof collapse at the construction site where they were working. While representatives of OSHA are still investigating the accident, witnesses are blaming strong winds on the roof’s failure. According to the business’s owner, his workers had set and secured a number of trusses before taking lunch. After lunch, three workers continued working on the trusses when they collapsed, leaving one worker trapped under the trusses. None of the five workers injured suffered life-threatening injuries, although the trapped worker suffered several broken bones and remains in the hospital.
Although workplace injuries are covered by workers’ compensation, an employee can still sue for compensation, depending on the facts of the case. In cases involving construction workers, a worker can sue his or her employer or a third party if he or she can show a code violation was the cause of the injury. In these instances, even though the employee recovers from a third party, a portion of the award will go toward reimbursing the workers’ compensation program for some of the benefits that the injured party received.
Many construction workers risk their lives every day so society can enjoy the benefits of their efforts. Those who are injured on the job deserve just compensation for their injuries.
Source: Daily Press, “Five construction workers injured as roof collapses in York County,” Johanna Somers, Jan. 9, 2015