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How Should Construction Workers Handle a Workplace Injury?

By March 12, 2021 No Comments

Unfortunately, construction workers are at a higher risk of being injured on the job than most other industries. The work environment of construction sites involves loud noises, heavy materials, and power tools that could cause injury. Workplace injuries are actually underreported in the construction industry, which is something that should change. If you’re injured on the job, this article will explore the steps you should take in handling your injury. You might even consider hiring a personal injury lawyer to help with your case. Here are the necessary steps to take:

  1. Report the injury to your employer and insurance.
  2. Tell your healthcare provider the injury is work-related.
  3. Give your employer written notice.
  4. Record missed work, related travel, and expenses.
  5. Find a personal injury lawyer.

What Makes Construction Dangerous?

There are various reasons why construction jobs are more dangerous than other positions. It’s even known that construction injuries are underreported, yet they remain on the top. There are many situations in construction where workers might find themselves in a dangerous position or amid harmful materials. Here are just a few reasons why construction is a hazardous occupation:

  • Working at high heights, leading to fall-related accidents.
  • Working on roofs, ladders, and scaffolding.
  • Being around dust, asbestos, and old building materials. 
  • Inhaling dust that can cause scars inside the lungs and cancer.
  • Manual labor.
  • Using dangerous equipment and large machinery. 
  • Accidental impact around dangerous objects or machinery.
  • Working with vibrating tools that can cause hand-arm vibration syndrome.
  • Musculoskeletal disorders due to repetitive carrying and handling of objects.
  • Hearing loss due to loud noises.

Common Construction Injuries

After viewing the list above, it’s easy to see how many of the resulting construction injuries are among the most common workplace injuries. Many construction injuries result from the dangerous environment construction workers are subjected to, but most can be avoided with proper safety precautions and the right equipment. Some of the most common construction injuries are:

  • Falls
  • Workers caught between equipment or objects
  • Workers struck by objects 
  • Electrocution
  • Highway construction collisions
  • Respiratory issues
  • Accidents due to poor hazard communication
  • Accidents with powered industrial trucks

What to Do After Being Injured

There are five steps to follow after a workplace injury. Construction workers should follow these simple steps to get the help they need and help others in their industry. If construction injuries continue going unreported, the industry won’t make the necessary changes to be safer. 

1. Report the Injury to Your Employer and Insurance

The first step after being injured, and one of the most important, is to report the injury to your employer and your insurance company. You can be denied or lose the right to workers’ compensation if you don’t report right away. Companies typically have a protocol in place to report an injury, so reach out to your manager or human resources immediately for help with the process. 

When you seek medical care for your construction injury, make sure to tell your doctor that the injury happened at work. Reporting the workplace injury to your doctor is an essential step so that the injury location is noted in your medical records. Suppose there’s no medical note about your injury happening at work. In that case, insurance companies may deny you coverage because there’s no proof in your medical records about where the damage took place. Once you’ve visited your doctor, make sure you adhere to how they want your injury treated. If you stray from any medical guidelines, the insurance company could deny your claim. 

By now, you’ve probably realized that keeping a clear record of everything involving your injury is essential. The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry requires you to record any missed days of work, as well as travel and out-of-pocket expenses. In most workplace injury cases, there will be a waiting period before you’ll be able to receive benefits. You might be able to gain compensation for any costs or missed wages during this period. But, you will only receive compensation if you keep a detailed record of everything. If you don’t miss any work after the injury, you might still be eligible for medical or rehabilitation benefits. 

4. Find a Personal Injury Lawyer

Hiring a work injury attorney can take some of the stress out of the situation and help you win your workers’ compensation claim. If you’ve never dealt with a workplace injury, the paperwork and various steps can be complicated and confusing. Personal injury lawyers have helped many other people go through the process and can offer you the best advice. They will ensure you aren’t denied due to a discrepancy and can help you keep all of your records of the accident. Not only will you be dealing with your employer, but you’ll also have to navigate protocols with your insurance company and the state. 

Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer

Construction workers are at a higher risk of workplace injuries and should be aware of what to do if they get injured on the job. Following these five simple steps is the right start. Hiring a work injury attorney can make the process easier for you and ensure you follow the proper protocol to receive workers’ compensation. Don’t be afraid to make a claim and get the help you need after a construction injury. 

Jerry Sisk

Jerry Sisk

Jerry is a Minnesota workers' compensation attorney and work injury lawyer. He a member of the Minnesota State Bar Association, Minnesota Association of Justice, and Anoka County Bar Association. He has 10/10 on Avvo, 5 Stars on Google, AV Rated through Martindale-Hubbell and National Trial Lawyers Top 100. Currently, he is Co-Chair of the Work Comp Section of the Minnesota Association of Justice.