Earlier this year, two construction workers were killed and five others injured at a Denver construction site when a fire broke out. Many of the workers were treated for broken bones, which they received from either jumping from the second and third floors, or by trying to catch the workers that were jumping.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), 21 percent of all workplace fatalities in 2016 were in the construction industry. And while falls are the number one cause of injury and death, other construction site hazards include unstable scaffolding and ladders, lack of protective equipment, and unsafe electrical wiring.
Musculoskeletal disorders, including tendinitis, bursitis and low back injuries, are also common in the construction industry. The rate of these injuries is higher in the construction industry than in all other industries combined, and can impact your life on a daily basis.
What should you do if you‘re a construction worker who has been injured on the job?
Most employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance (also called workers’ comp), although a company with just a few employees may not be required to carry it. Filing a workers’ comp claim – if it is approved – will ensure that your medical bills and other expenses are covered.
The first thing you should do is inform your employer in writing that you have been injured. In Colorado, you only have four days to report an injury to your employer. If you file later, you may lose some of your benefits.
Within ten days of your injury, your employer is required to file an Employer’s First Report of Injury with its insurance company. This is what begins the workers’ comp claim process.
You will receive a letter from the claims administrator either approving or denying your claim. If your claim has been denied, you can appeal it.
Workers’ compensation will not only cover your medical expenses, it will also cover a percentage of your lost wages and rehabilitation (if necessary). If you were to die from your work-related injury, your family would receive death benefits.
Work-related injuries are common and can be serious, especially in the construction industry. Filing a workers’ compensation claim if you are injured in the workplace can help you through a tough time.