Chopra & Nocerino, LLP

Construction, transportation see rise in worker deaths

Almost half of the worker fatalities in 2017 were in the construction and transportation industries according to global investment firm Conning. Workers in New York should know that there are several factors involved in this trend.

One is a lack of healthy workers and the lowering of hiring standards. Many are being hired who have drug and alcohol addictions: From 2013 to 2017, the number of workplace drug and alcohol overdoses has gone up 25% with U.S. Drug Test Centers saying that the Midwest states have the highest rates.

Recently, injury rates in the construction industry display a curve with most victims being either young with less than three months of actual work experience or elderly. With more immigrants working in the industry, there is the issue of communication, especially when it comes to safety training. Obesity is another issue with 40% of American adults suffering from it, a 10% increase compared to 2000.

The trucking industry is seeing a shortage of trained employees. This means that more truckers are driving drowsy and even falling asleep behind the wheel. Over a third of respondents to the National Survey of Long-Haul Truck Drivers Health and Injury admitted to doing to the latter. The shortage is also tied to the gig economy.

Sometimes, it is employers who are to blame for accidents. Injured employees may want to consider filing a claim under construction accident law if this is the case. The alternative, which is to file a workers' compensation claim, may not cover all of their damages. Before filing, victims may wish to see a lawyer because they will need to obtain proof of the employer's negligence. The lawyer might bring in third-party investigators to do this before proceeding to negotiations.

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