As any seasoned employment attorney knows all too well, working in the construction industry can be extremely dangerous. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in 2017 that construction workers make up only four percent of the workforce, yet account for 21 percent of occupational fatalities. Over two-thirds of these deaths were from falls, being struck by an object, electrocutions, or being caught in or between equipment or objects.
Recent research published in Safety + Health Magazine found that almost every construction worker will have at least one work-related injury over the course of their career. If you have just experienced such an injury and are having trouble recovering workers’ compensation benefits, you may want to contact an experienced Port of Charleston construction worker injury lawyer to help protect your best interests. Call today and set up a consultation with a dedicated attorney.
OSHA Rights of Employees
With the goal of reducing workplace hazards and implementing health and safety programs, the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act of 1970 created the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) within the Department of Labor. Under OSHA laws, employees have several responsibilities and rights. One of these rights is a safe workplace, including the rights to:
- Be trained in a language the employee understands
- Work on machines that are safe
- Be provided required safety gear, such as gloves or a harness and lifeline for falls, and be protected from toxic chemicals
- Request an OSHA inspection, and speak to the inspector when one occurs
- Report an injury or illness, as well as request and receive copies of your medical records
- See copies of the workplace injury and illness log and review records of work-related injuries and illnesses
- Get copies of test results done to find hazards in the workplace
- Speak up regarding any workplace safety or health concerns without fear of retaliation
If an employee believes their rights under OSHA were violated when they were injured, discussing their case with a Port of Charleston construction worker injury lawyer may be beneficial. Certain violations of rights may be related to a denial of workers’ comp benefits, so ensuing compliance in this regard could be critical to an employee’s physical and financial security.
Injured Employee Responsibilities
When a construction worker is injured on the job, South Carolina Code §42-15-20 requires that they report their injuries to the employer as soon as possible. This must be done no later than 90 days after the injury.
Furthermore, injured employees have two years from the date of their injury to file a workers’ comp claim. Employees should also be aware that there is a state-mandated waiting period of seven days for benefits and that their benefits are considered retroactive after 14 days, as per South Carolina Code Section §42-9-200. Speak with a knowledgeable attorney to learn more about what steps to take following an injury.
Consult with a Port of Charleston Construction Worker Injury Attorney
If you were recently injured during the course of your construction industry employment, it may be important to make sure you are receiving all of the benefits you are entitled to. A seasoned Port of Charleston construction worker injury lawyer could review your injuries and benefits and help you with any denials or delays in receiving them.
Sometimes simply hiring an attorney can improve your chances of receiving the benefits you deserve, as it lets your employer and the insurance company know that you mean business. To start standing up for your legal rights, call today to schedule a consultation.