Construction workers face many workplace dangers that can cause them to suffer serious injuries or death. According to U.S. Department of Labor, 991 of these workers were killed in 2016—21 percent of all workplace fatalities. Falls, electrocutions, being caught between heavy equipment, and overexertion are just some of the reasons that individuals are hurt or killed at construction sites.
While injured employees are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, many fail to report their accidents.
Reasons Construction Workers Fear Reporting Workplace Injuries
In order to be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, a workplace accident must be reported to an employer within a specific time limit set under state laws. In Florida, the deadline for reporting an injury suffered on the job is 30 days of the date of the accident.
When construction workers don't report their injuries, they're ineligible to receive the workers’ compensation benefits they may be entitled to. In 2013, The Center for Construction Workers and Training (CPWR) conducted a survey of 614 workers to determine why so many individuals in construction fail to report their injuries. More than a quarter of the respondents admitted they failed to report at least one work-related injury during their career.
Some of the reasons include:
- They considered pain to be a part of their job.
- They couldn't afford to take time off work for doctor appointments.
- They feared retaliation, such as not being hired by their employer in the future.
- They wanted to remain eligible for safety-related prizes.
- They didn't want to be perceived as weak or a complainer by other construction workers or their supervisor.
- They found the process of filing a workers’ compensation claim and providing needed paperwork to be confusing and too much effort.
If you're a construction worker and suffered an injury at your job, you don't want to lose the workers’ compensation benefits that you deserve and need. While the process can seem overwhelming, sorting out the intricacies of the workers’ comp system and preparing claims so people injured on the job recover benefits is what our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at Johnson & Gilbert, P.A., have been doing for Volusia County clients for more than 15 years. Let us help you too. Call our office to schedule a free consultation today.