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Construction industry: Inherent dangers and benefits for workers

| Mar 2, 2018 | Workers' Compensation |

Due to natural hazards of the job, construction work can be particularly dangerous. These risks have long been recognized in America’s construction industry, but nevertheless frequently threaten the safety of countless employees in the field. Kentucky, like other states, enforces laws meant to keep workers safe; yet do the natural dangers make these risks inevitable, and to what extent are workers in the state protected in the case of an accident? 

An article from CNN Money recognizes the dangers involved in construction work, noting the 17.4 fatality rate for every 100,000 workers. The very nature of the job, according to CNN, makes some risks inherent, including falls, electrical shock and falling objects. Using a data from Laborers Health & Safety Fund of North America, CNN notes that falls alone claim the lives of roughly 250 construction workers each year. One factor that plays a role in worker safety involves accident reporting. Organizations such as LHSNFA have encouraged those in the industry to always report accidents, as well as to spread awareness about construction worker hazards.

More recently, 89.3 WFPL weighed in on the potential changes surrounding Kentucky’s workers’ compensation laws. Acknowledging Republican lawmakers’ attempts to pass a bill that would place stricter regulations on the amount of time workers can collect benefits after an accident, WFPL goes on to report that the bill would limit benefits only to workers with permanent-partial disabilities. Those receiving such benefits could only do so for up to 15 years; after this timeframe, injured workers could submit applications for benefit extensions. House Bill 2 would not affect those with permanent-total disabilities. Workers with injuries that escalate or build up over time would need to apply for compensation within five years of the most recent accident. While some Kentucky lawmakers approve of the potential changes, others — including one Louisville Democrat who lost his arm in a construction accident — claims the bill could ultimately hurt those with permanent-partial disabilities in need of benefits.