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NIOSH Develops Aerial Simulator to Help Construction Workers Avoid Injury

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health is showcasing this device as part of its National Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction, an event that encourages work to halt temporarily at construction sites so managers can talk to workers about safety and workers’ compensation issues.

Aerial lifts are becoming more and more popular at many worksites, because they are easy to set up and have considerable vertical ability. However, they are also easy to overuse and misuse, especially if workers are not properly trained and supervised. NIOSH’s aerial simulator is basically an advanced form of drivers’ education simulators. It uses computer models and other mechanisms to test lifts and ensure that they conform to government and safety standards.

Most aerial lift-related falls occur between 10 and 29 feet.

Construction Accidents

The industry is so competitive in New York that a few extra dollars is often the difference between winning and losing a contract or showing a profit and sustaining a loss, and worker safety is one prominent area where some companies put profits above people. Some firms may not provide the latest safety equipment. Other firms may not give workers enough information to properly use equipment, especially if there are non-native English speakers on the jobsite, or supervising the workers to be sure they are fully utilizing the equipment provided.

Neglect leads to a wide range of workplace injuries for construction workers, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has identified the “fatal four” workplace accidents. They are:

Eliminating the Fatal Four would save over 500 lives a year. Other common causes of workplace injuries include motor vehicle crashes and worker-on-worker assaults.

Compensation Available

Workers’ compensation laws in New York provide injured victims access to no-fault insurance that pays for economic losses. So, injured workers do not have to prove fault to receive money to pay for:

  • Lost Wages: Most victims receive two-thirds of their average weekly wage (AWW) multiplied by the percentage of their disability until they are able to return to work.
  • Medical Bills: Under workers’ compensation, victims have a limited right to choose their own doctors. The insurance company will pay for emergency treatment, follow-up care, physical rehabilitation, prescription drugs, and all other reasonable and necessary medical expenses.
  • Supplemental Benefits: Widows receiving death benefits and permanently disabled victims may be eligible for additional money.
  • Death Benefits: Lost wages are paid in a lump sum, and the family may also be entitled to funeral and burial expenses.

In some cases, such as those that involve defective products or extreme recklessness on the part of the employer, injured workers may be able to sue outside workers’ compensation and obtain additional compensation for their noneconomic losses, including their pain and suffering.

Injured workers are eligible for cash compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Long Island, contact Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP. We do not charge upfront legal fees in workers’ compensation cases.

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