Delaware Workplace Accident Lawyers

Whenever an employee is injured at work, the incident should be reported to a supervisor, and the process of applying for Workers’ Compensation should take place. Workers’ Compensation covers medical costs and lost income that results from a work accident.

There are many different types of workplace accidents. Some of the most common workplace accidents are listed below.


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Construction Industry’s Fatal Four

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), there are four main causes of workplace fatalities in the construction industry. These accidents are referred to as the “fatal four” by the OSHA. The fatal four include:

  • Falling accidents: Falling accidents are common in the workplace. Many different workplaces have wet floors, but a slippery surface is not the only cause of work-related slip and fall accidents. Tripping hazards, such as uneven floors, carpet snags, extension cords, or clutter, can cause someone to trip and fall. When a worker falls from a ladder, scaffold, roof, or another structure, they can be catastrophically injured. Roofers and construction workers are at risk for these kinds of workplace accidents.
  • Being caught in between objects: These types of accidents can happen during a trench or excavation collapse, rigging accidents, equipment rollovers, and when a worker gets caught in rotating equipment or is wedged between unguarded parts.
  • Electrocution: Overhead power lines, exposed wires, and faulty connections all pose a significant danger of electric shock to a construction worker, but this is another type of work hazard that could happen in any environment. Electricians are not the only workers at risk of electrocution. Nearly every industry uses electricity, so electrocution is possible in almost any workplace. Jobs that involve power lines or faulty wiring can pose dangers for workers.
  • Being struck by an object: When an object makes an impact with a person at work that causes an injury, it can be classified as a struck-by hazard. There are four types of these hazards, including flying object, falling object, swinging object, and rolling object. These situations can be difficult to protect workers from since there are many instances where the target of the flying object is not participating in the work that causes the object to fly. Workers should wear the proper protective equipment.

Toxic Exposure

There are a lot of industries where workers are exposed to toxic substances. Hazardous chemicals or conditions, such as lead, asbestos, coal, silica, leaking pipes, and flammable chemicals, can affect those in the food, manufacturing, and construction industries. Workers may be at risk of developing diseases, such as pneumoconiosis, asbestosis, mesothelioma, black lung, silicosis, and many more occupational illnesses.

Workers in many different industries are at risk of toxic exposures. A contaminant may be an airborne irritant, such as asbestos, lead, coal, silica, or mold, that can cause damage to the lungs. Alternately, dangerous fumes or flammable gases create other dangers. A person may be exposed to a toxin for a short or long period of time.

Being Pinned or Crushed

Construction workers and other manual laborers are vulnerable to vehicle roll-overs, trench collapses, or rigging accidents. A person may also be caught in mechanical equipment when parts are exposed or rotating features are insufficiently guarded. This type of accident could involve a worker’s limb or other body party being compressed, or their entire body being stuck underneath or in between heavy objects. These so-called pinch point accidents can cause significant injuries because they exert tremendous physical force on the body. It can cause include cuts, bruises, amputated limbs, and paralysis. Crush injuries can lead to job loss, chronic pain, mobility problems, cognitive disorders, and a life that requires constant medical care.

Lifting Accidents

When workers are required to pick up or move heavy objects, injuries can happen. Moving large boxes or other heavy objects, such as equipment or office furniture, can easily cause a strain injury if it is not done properly. A worker who is not used to using their legs to properly lift a bulky or weighty item may hurt themselves trying to move something too big or heavy for them to handle. These accidents may cause strains from overexertion.

In many industries, objects that need to be moved could weigh more than 50 pounds. If you lift something that is heavier than this, you are risking your own health along with injuries to your muscles, your discs, and your vertebrae.

While improper form and weight can contribute to injuries, repetition is another way to cause an injury. Even if you are not lifting a particularly heavy object, it can cause strain on your joints and muscles. A few ways to avoid this include:

  • Use stands to hold objects when not in motion.
  • Alternate who lifts an object.
  • Take regular breaks to prevent overexertion.

Transportation Accidents

It may seem that workplace motor vehicle accidents are uncommon, but they are a leading cause of injuries. Some workplace transportation accidents include:

  • Collisions between work vehicles.
  • Collisions between work and personal vehicles.
  • Single-vehicle accidents.
  • Employees being struck by a vehicle.

Building Collapse

Those working in or near old, damaged, or crumbling buildings, as well as those performing demolition services are at serious risk of being crushed if the building collapses. Construction workers, first responders, and innocent passersby may suffer catastrophic or fatal injuries in one of these devastating accidents.

There are several circumstances that lead to the collapse of a building, including:

  • Defective/poor materials: The building could have been built using defective or poor-quality materials.
  • Excessive loads: Construction workers can use heavy machinery while on a job, and if they do not use them properly, it can lead to a collapse.
  • Lack of inspection and maintenance: Without routine examinations of a building, certain problems can go undetected.
  • Poor design: When a building has a fatal flaw in its design, it may not be able to sustain as much weight as it should, leading to a collapse.
  • Secondary explosion: There are instances when an initial explosion creates a dust cloud that leads to a secondary explosion.
  • Structural instability: When there are problems with the foundation of a building or it is not properly set on the ground, the building could fail at any time.
  • Water flooding: When a flood occurs, it can weaken the foundation, making the entire building susceptible to a collapse.

There are injuries that can occur due to a collapsed building, including amputations, asphyxia, crushed limbs, toxic chemical exposure, and death.

Frequently Asked Questions

Workers’ Compensation can cover expenses related to diagnostic tests, provider visits, surgeries, treatments, therapy sessions, medical equipment, and prescription medications. The insurance program also allows for payments to replace lost income. Temporary disability benefits offer payments to replace income that is lost while the employee is unable to work.

Permanent disability will compensate the worker for lifelong or severe injuries. These benefits can account for partial disability payments or total disability benefits, depending on the severity of the injury and how it affects the worker’s ability to earn an income.

To qualify for Workers’ Compensation benefits, the injury must have been sustained during the course of employment. In most situations, the injured worker will tell the employer about the injury and request medical care. However, not all work situations are the same. The injured employee needs to report a workplace injury within 10 days to management. They must file a Workers’ Compensation claim within 90 days.

It is important to note that the injured worker informs their employer in writing or by email, specifying:

  • Date and time of the injury.
  • Where it occurred.
  • How it occurred.
  • Requesting medical attention for the injury.

According to insurance providers, the written notification to employers is an important step in the Workers’ Compensation process because employers are not required to provide benefits without written notice.

Delaware Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Help Injured Employees After Workplace Accidents

Our Delaware Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow can help you prove that your injuries were related to a workplace accident. Call us at (302) 427-9500 or complete our online form for a free consultation. We have offices located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, and we serve clients throughout Middletown, Dover, Milford, Lewes, Rehoboth, Elsmere, and Seaford.

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