There are numerous accidents that can happen in construction sites – electrocution, falling, getting hit by a falling object, getting caught up in a malfunctioning machine, among others. But this does not mean that workers can just accept their fate. In fact, it can be said that they deserve to feel safe, even if construction sites are meant to be hazardous.
This is not just a moral issue. According to the website of the Goings Law Firm, LLC, those who have been injured in construction site accidents, whether they are workers or passersby, may recover compensation.
But preventing accidents will always be the better option, even if taking the case to court means that you can get money. Nothing can compensate the pain and suffering of sustaining an injury, especially if another party, particularly a negligent or reckless one, has been involved.
Cleaning the premises
Employers and employees should coordinate in construction site safety, and one of the easiest things they can do is to clean the site. This will minimize dust exposure, which can be particularly dangerous to the eyes, skin, throat, and lungs.
Organizing the premises
Another basic thing they can do is to organize the premises, in a way that will prevent unnecessary accidents that may arise from disorganization, such as slipping because of an unattended construction tool on the floor and getting hit on the head by a falling construction tool because it has been misplaced.
Installing instructions and warning signs
Some construction site hazards are more obvious than others, but no matter the obviousness, instructions and warning signs should always be present. You will never know, because construction workers may be too involved in the job that they forget how to use common sense. Even a minor mental lapse can result into a disaster, particular when equipment and heavy machines are involved.
Even if the construction site is well-organized, an accident can still occur if the construction tools, equipment, and heavy machines are not properly maintained, because this may lead into defects and malfunctions that may ultimately result into accidents and injuries. Regular maintenance and inspection of these things should be done.
Maritime workers are not eligible for workers’ compensation for work-related injuries such as regular employees are under state or federal law. Instead they are covered by a special federal provision called The Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA) which was originally enacted in 1927 to cover dock workers and longshoremen. It was only in 1972 that the LHWCA was expanded to include maritime workers that are not covered under The Merchant Marine Act of 1920, also known as the Jones Act, as well as civilians working on all US military bases as provided for by the Defense Base Act.
The LHWCA is generally more generous in terms of benefits than those accorded to employees covered by state-mandated workers’ compensation. The LHWCA, for instance, provides permanent partial disability payments while state workers’ compensation does not. Another difference is that the total temporary disability is equivalent to 67% of the maritime worker’s weekly wage while regular workers are paid just 60% of their average weekly wages under the workers’ compensation insurance. One thing they have in common is both are no-fault coverage as long as the injury or illness is work-related.
With these advantages, it is understandable that an injured worker would rather be covered under LHWCA than state workers’ compensation insurance, but the LHWCA only covers employees that spend a significant portion of the working day doing maritime or water transport-related work in an area that is on or near navigable waters. This excludes employees employed in the maritime industry but the nature of the work is exclusively secretarial or office work.
Other maritime industry employees excluded from the LHWCA are:
- Builders and their employees of ships less than 65 feet long
- Marina employees not engaged in replacement, construction, or expansion of the marina save for those in maintenance
- Recreational boat mechanics and repairmen
- Fish and related farming employees
- Employees covered under the Jones Act
If you satisfy the requirements for coverage under LHWCA and you sustain a work-related injury or illness, you may be eligible for LHWCA benefits. Consult with a maritime lawyer to find out your rights.
It’s no joke that the right lawyer makes all the difference. You have to weigh your case and your options, and you have to know how to find the right attorney for your needs. Consider the following helpful advice concerning knowing what to look for in an attorney and how to secure the right one.
A good tip to remember when looking to hire a lawyer is to make sure you find a lawyer that has the necessary experience that you’re looking for. If you’re going to court soon for a criminal case, it wouldn’t make sense to bring on a divorce lawyer, you’ll need a criminal lawyer.
Do not hire a lawyer without doing some background research. Look their name up on the Internet and talk to friends or relatives who might know the lawyer you are interested in. It is always in your best interest to choose a lawyer with an excellent reputation and good ethics.
Be sure you know about the reputation of a lawyer before you hire that lawyer. Check with your local bar association, and read online reviews of lawyers. These can help you decide whether or not a particular lawyer is someone you can trust. You will save yourself a lot of money, aggravation and time, down the road.
A good tip to keep in mind if you’re thinking about working with a lawyer is to give them as much information as you can. The more documents and information they have that pertains to a case, the better your chances are of winning. If you think a document might be worthless, you lawyer might think otherwise.
It’s important that you remember what you’ve read here as you go about the selection process. A good attorney isn’t hard to find, but he or she is not just going to jump out at you. You have to know what you’re looking for, and hopefully you now feel like you do.
The Fair Labor and Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA) celebrated its 75 anniversary in 2013 and it is fast approaching its 76th year. Although it has been in force for all that time, employee awareness of their rights under the FLSA has only started to come into being in the last 10 years, and that is a matter of concern for a lot of employers.
Back in the day, exploitation of workers was rampant, and that included child laborers, which was the impetus the drove legislators to enact the FLSA in the first place. Today, a majority of the cases filed under the FLSA is for unpaid overtime for employees that were misclassified as exempt. The most common misconception by employers is thinking that if an employee is on a salary rather than hourly basis, that employee is exempt from overtime pay. The fact is, it is not as simple as that.
In 2013, more than 7,000 cases were filed with federal court for FLSA violations by lawyers who took on the cases on a contingency basis. This signals more than anything that there are numerous FLSA violations occurring, and employees are becoming more aware of what they are legally entitled to. And these cases do not even include the many other cases filed for discrimination and sexual harassment, which collectively are costing employers millions in damage payments.
While employers may not have intended to violate the FLSA, ignorance of the law is not a defense. If the employer cannot categorically prove that they pay all their non-exempt employees the mandated overtime pay for work over 40 hours a week (44 hours for live-in workers, and special conditions for certain populations) of work, then they are in violation of the FLSA.
If you believe that you have been misclassified as exempt or otherwise entitled to unpaid overtime, consult with an employment lawyer to determine if you are indeed entitled. As most reputable lawyers will take on an eligible case on a contingent fee basis, you have nothing to lose.