Minnesota construction workers face many dangers. Among all of the other potential causes of serious injuries and fatalities, falls are the leading factor. Because of the dangers posed by falling accidents to construction workers, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has focused on strict enforcement of its fall prevention safety regulations.
According to OSHA, 937 construction workers died in workplace accidents in 2015, and 350 of the fatalities happened in falling accidents. OSHA mandates that construction companies use fall protection systems whenever their workers have to work at certain heights. Workers are also supposed to be supplied with safety equipment to protect them if they do fall.
Despite the safety regulations, some companies violate them in an effort to cut corners. OSHA has been levying heavy fines on companies that repeatedly violate the standards. For example, OSHA fined one roofing company in August $1.5 million for its violations of the fall protection standards.
Under the workers’ compensation laws of Minnesota, employers either must have workers’ compensation insurance for the benefit of their employees or obtain the permission to self-insure. In exchange for the receipt of benefits, workers give up their rights to file lawsuits against their employers when they suffer workplace injuries. Injured workers do not have to prove that their employers were at fault for their accidents to receive benefits. Even workers who caused their own injury accidents may recover benefits. Experienced lawyers may help their clients to file their claims on a timely basis with their employers’ workers’ compensation insurance carriers. If the claims are denied, the lawyers may advocate for their clients at subsequent appeals hearings.