Workers’ Compensation Issues: Worker Safety Concerns on the Rise in Denver
The construction business is booming in Denver. In fact, construction has increased by 50 percent since 2015, with a number of projects taking place, including several office and residential buildings and the FasTracks light rail project. With all the new construction taking place, it is important for workers and their employers to keep safety in mind, as construction work is still some of the most dangerous work in the country.
Keeping Construction Workers Safe
Given the increase in projects, it should not come as a surprise that the amount of injuries and deaths stemming from construction-related incidents often correlates directly with the overall amount of construction activity.
Safety regulators and lawmakers note that oversight of construction projects and other dangerous jobs is crucial. That being the case, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently took action against a Denver-based roofing company, fining that company for exposing its workers to “unreasonable hazards.”
The company violated a number of safety regulations, including failure to train its workers properly with regard to the use of scaffolding and avoiding falls, forklifts, ladders and several other violations. OSHA noted that it had warned the company previously; however, the company ignored those warnings.
A Look at the Statistics
In 2014, almost 5,000 workers died in on-the-job incidents and between 50,000 and 60,000 more individuals lost their lives due to occupational diseases. Workplace safety has been a longstanding issue in Colorado and elsewhere throughout the country, particularly since it is quite difficult for OSHA to enforce compliance with workplace safety regulations in an effective manner, given the number of workplaces in the U.S.
Workers’ Comp for Construction Workers
In general, workers’ compensation coverage is used to provide workers who get hurt (or become ill due to their occupations) with financial support and medical care. Colorado requires all individuals who perform construction work on area construction sites to be covered by workers’ compensation insurance.
That said, construction contractors, as well as individuals who directly hire construction workers, must provide such coverage or require each worker to show evidence of existing coverage. Without coverage, the contractor can face hundreds of dollars in fines.
Coverage is imperative because, as noted above, workers are subjected to a number of hazards stemming from electrical wires, scaffolding and ladders, trenches, gas pipes and heavy equipment, among other things. The injuries that a construction worker can sustain can be quite severe, ranging from broken bones to head trauma and spinal cord damage.
We, at Levine Law, want workers in all industries to be as safe as possible. Individuals who work in construction are encouraged to seek legal guidance from a knowledgeable Denver workers’ compensation attorney to learn more about the various requirements and the benefits that may be applicable to your specific situation. Call our office today to discuss your case.