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Risk of construction accidents rise, immigrant workers vulnerable

Throughout New York, construction is one of the industries that seems to be growing consistently. Projects are constant across the city year-round. While that might have been interrupted and slightly delayed because of the ongoing health crisis, most sites got up and running as quickly as possible with workers back on the job. While this is undoubtedly a positive, the inherent dangers involved with construction work are in place regardless of the circumstances. All workers face the potential for injury and death, but immigrant workers are especially vulnerable. Considering the obstacles these individuals face in being compensated – whether that is through workers’ compensation or a personal injury claim – it is imperative to have professional advice after an accident.

Research shows the jeopardy construction workers face

Researchers and reporters have analyzed construction projects and the possibility of injuries and death on the job with a focus on immigrants. A major problem is often the working conditions and accidents on the sites. Because immigrant workers may not be aware of the safety requirements or are fearful of speaking up about potentially dangerous issues, these are frequently left unchecked. Anecdotal evidence shows how many of these workers lose their lives. Even more are injured and unable to work. The overall statistics for construction worker injuries is troublesome.

The health crisis added another layer to the problems these workers encounter. Since immigrants may not be part of unions, they are not accorded the voice to ensure they are made safe and have access to care after accidents. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says that one-fifth of all worker deaths on the job happened within construction. An average of two construction workers lose their lives because of a work accident every day across the country. The hazards are well-known to companies. Transportation accidents began to spike in 2019. That same year, there was an 11% increase in workers slipping, tripping and falling. There were 642 workers who lost their lives due to exposure to harmful substances. Other problems include falling objects, workers who are not communicating effectively, electrocution and getting caught between objects.

Workers’ compensation and legal claims may help after construction accidents

Protective systems and equipment are supposed to be in place to shield workers from construction accidents, but some employers might take advantage of immigrant workers by doing the bare minimum or less. In addition, there could be an attempt to dissuade injured workers and families who have lost a loved one from seeking the workers’ compensation and other benefits they are entitled to. To be fully protected, it could be important to have professional advice regarding the available options. Those who have been hurt or lost a loved one should be aware of this and take the appropriate steps.

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