Construction workers are involved in what might be New York City’s most dangerous occupation. As reported by CBS New York, city data shows that construction site injuries have grown by 221% over the past five years. The lack of fully compliant safety training in more than 10,000 of the city’s active construction worksites may have much to do with the alarming increase.
NYC law currently requires construction workers to receive at least 10 hours of OSHA safety training. A Site Safety Training card is issued upon completion. Although the city’s Department of Buildings’ inspectors are checking worksites to be sure all workers have valid SSTs, the agency believes that one quarter of NYC’s estimated 45,000 construction sites remain noncompliant.
On-site exposure to harmful substances
Construction work requires the use of a variety of harmful chemicals and substances. A work site may also contain environmental hazards and air contaminants such as asbestos fibers, mold and dust. According to the National Safety Council, there were more than 37,000 overall environmental or substance-related injuries and illnesses occurring nationwide in 2017. OSHA’s safety standards for employers include providing training for workers who either use or work around harmful chemicals and substances.
Filing a claim for work-related injuries or illnesses
Providing workers’ compensation insurance is a requirement for NYC construction companies. Suffering a work-related injury entitles an employee to file a claim to receive benefits to cover the related medical costs and the wages lost from missing time at work. Workers’ comp may also cover a long-term illness or disability if it results from carrying out regularly assigned duties or working in a harmful environment.
Problems when filing a claim
Some workers’ comp insurance carriers may attempt to deny certain injury or illness claims. To prevent costly legal actions, insurance providers might also attempt to settle a workers’ comp claim with a lump-sum payout. If a company denies a benefits application, the employee may appeal the decision through either the workers’ comp board or in court.