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Construction falls key source of workplace injuries

New Jersey construction workers deal with some of the most dangerous jobs available, especially when working at heights. In statistics released by Nationwide Insurance, the company noted that it has processed over 10,000 workers compensation claims related to construction accidents in the last five years. Of these claims, falls from elevated surfaces were one of the most frequent and expensive sources of workplace injuries.

Nationwide Insurance noted that over 30 percent of its workers compensation claims in the construction industry are related to falls from heights. The insurance company is supporting a nationwide program to help reduce the number of falls on the job. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration sponsors a week-long "Stand-Down To Prevent Falls in Construction" each year that includes sharing safety best practices to help employers create a safer environment and avoid workplace injuries.

Falls from elevated locations can be among the most expensive workers compensation claims because they lead to longer periods of time away from the job, injuries to multiple parts of the body and, often, the use of short- and long-term disability leave. While workers are often well-aware of the risks of heights, safety events on the job can draw attention to particular hazards.

Construction companies that want to reduce workplace injuries can develop written policies and reduce the use of unstable elevation mechanisms like ladders, using safer options instead. In addition, regular inspection and repair of work site equipment can help avoid injuries caused by falls from defective lifts and scaffolds. The use of additional protective gear, guardrails and materials lifts can also help avoid severe injuries.

Workers who have been injured on the job have a right to seek compensation for the damages they have suffered, including their medical bills and lost wages. A workers' compensation attorney may help injured employees pursue the compensation they deserve and work to protect their rights after workplace injuries.

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