Belsky Weinberg & Horowitz, LLC A Personal Injury & Workers’ Compensation Law Firm

Contractor responsibility when workers are injured or killed

Construction work is one of the most dangerous types of jobs people do in Maryland. Because of the potential hazards involved, there are federal and state safety regulations in place to help make construction sites safer for workers and minimize the risk of accidents.

Since construction sites normally have several parties involved, including general contractors, subcontractors and their employees, it may seem difficult to determine who is responsible when a worker is injured in an accident. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, provides the health and safety rules for construction sites. According to their regulations, general contractors can be held responsible when a worker is injured, as can the subcontractor for whom the worker was doing the work.

If an accident happens and someone is seriously injured or killed, OSHA will conduct an investigation. If the agency finds that safety regulations were violated, leading to the accident, the responsible subcontractors and general contractors may be fined. OSHA reports that in 2013 alone, 20 percent of all workplace fatal accidents occurred in the construction industry, making it a particular safety focus.

Construction workers should also make sure to be cautious while they work, taking care to identify potential hazards and avoid them. They should make certain to always use safety equipment while working on the job. In the event of a workplace accident, injured victims may be eligible to file a claim for workers' compensation benefits, which might cover an injured worker's medical expenses, treatment needs, any needed prosthetic devices and other costs. As the filing process is time-sensitive, many workers choose to obtain the assistance of an attorney in gathering the necessary supporting documentation.

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