The construction of a Queens casino that lead to six-figure fines by a government agency for safety violations could also lead to a New York workers’ compensation claim.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration, five contractors were recently cited for alleged hazards in the construction of a casino at the old Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens.
Employers have a duty to ensure that their workers are kept safe at work. That not only means making sure that hazards, such as spills, the possibility of fall hazards, electrical problems and other commonly blamed incidents for workplace injuries are avoided, but also providing training for employees.
When most people think of workplace injuries, they look at construction scenes. With shaky scaffolding and a work-in-progress scene with power tools, heavy machinery, workers at tall heights and other hazards around, that’s usually the main place that workers get injured.
But that’s not the only place. Workers’ compensation claims can be filed for employers who are injured at seemingly mundane office complexes. Spills, electrical issues and overstocked rooms are all reasons that can cause a person to be injured on the job. Also, injuries in vehicle accidents on work projects also may allow a person to seek workers’ compensation.
Workers’ compensation laws are designed to help workers who are injured on the job. But the laws are complex and can be difficult to navigate. Trust an experienced Long Island workers’ compensation lawyer to help you if you are hurt at work and require compensation.
According to OSHA, five contractors have been cited for safety hazards. The government agency has proposed fines of more than $127,000 because of it. Four contractors were cited for allegedly providing inadequate safeguards to protect workers who could be exposed to airborne lead while they are torch cutting. A fifth contractor was cited for allegedly not providing fall protection and training.
OSHA inspectors found evidence that workers were exposed to high levels of lead, protective controls to cut down on that exposure weren’t put in place, respiratory protection and protective clothing wasn’t given to workers, there were no showers or places to change into clean clothes, and employees weren’t given the results of soil and air samples taken at the site.
These serious violations could end up leading to major health problems for the workers, even with the intervention of OSHA. Workplace injuries can not only apply to cuts and bruises and other outer-body injuries, but also cancers and inner ailments that pop up as a result of precautions not taken by employers or because of hazards at work.
Construction contractors understand they have many state and federal laws that they have to follow. Most do a good job, but others lag behind. Part of the reasoning could be financial. It usually costs money to provide training, more equipment and other things needed to comply with the laws.
Not complying can lead to health hazards, which can lead to work injuries. Workers must be smart and cautious, but even that may not be able to prevent the problems that their companies create without proper precautions.
The Law Offices of Ira S. Newman provides workers’ compensation counsel in New York City, Long Island, Great Neck and throughout the area. Call 516-487-7375 or contact us through the website.