As the construction industry continues to expand in New York, more individuals are getting jobs as construction workers. These can be excellent jobs, but with the various dangers that can occur on a jobsite, you take on significant risk even when the employer practices proper safety procedures.

This is particularly true for construction laborers and electricians.

Common injuries

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the three incidents that caused the most fatalities on construction sites in New York throughout 2017 were:

  • Falling
  • Slipping
  • Tripping

Other hazards to be aware of include falling objects, dangers when working in and around large equipment, potentials for fire and your own physical overexertion. Of the 21 construction-related fatality investigations conducted by OSHA in Brooklyn from 2017 to 2018, there was a citation issued for over half of these, meaning the jobsites were not up to the safety standards set by OSHA. Construction is one of the deadliest jobs in New York City and Brooklyn, especially during a real estate development boom.

A work-related injury does not have to be caused by a life-threatening accident. Workers’ compensation covers other types of injuries that require medical care, such as repetitive motion injuries, overuse of particular muscles or respiratory illness after years of labor or toxin exposure.

Workers’ comp vs legal action

Filing for workers’ comp is usually the only option for obtaining coverage for your injuries. However, if you know your employer has been grossly negligent regarding worksite safety, and this has resulted in your severe or even permanent injuries, you may have the option to file a lawsuit.

Not only is there the potential to receive compensation to cover the costs of your potentially devastating medical costs and lost wages, if your case goes to court, the judge may award you with punitive damages. Courts award these types of damages to make an example of an employer for other construction companies, and to discourage negligent or unlawful behavior from causing further injuries.