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Though deaths on the job remained about the same nationwide in 2015, New Jersey unexpectedly saw an increase of nearly 10% in fatalities in the workplace during the same time period. Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics data indicated that 97 New Jersey residents died from work-related accidents, up from 87 a year earlier. Officials could not identify a single factor that contributed to the increase.

Here are some of the findings included in the BLS study:

  • Violent deaths nearly doubled, from 11 in 2014 to 18 in 2015
  • More than a third of the New Jersey deaths—37—were in motor vehicle accidents
  • Falls from heights accounted for 24 workplace fatalities in 2015
  • The construction industry experienced the largest number of deaths—22, and more than half of those (12) were of workers who fell from high elevations
  • The occupation that saw the highest number of deaths was motor vehicle operator, with 15. This was also true with respect to work-related deaths nationwide.
  • More than two-thirds of the workers who died across the country were Caucasian—that statistic was significantly lower in New Jersey, with only 54% of workplace fatalities involving white workers
  • Men are far more likely to die in the workplace than women—nationally, 98% of job-related deaths are of men. In New Jersey, 94% of workplace fatalities are men
  • There’s a lot less risk if you are self-employed—only 14% of deaths nationally were of people who worked for themselves
  • 40% of the deaths in New Jersey involved workers over the age of 55, as compared to 35% across the country.

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At Taylor & Boguski, we bring more than 70 years of combined legal experience to injured people throughout New Jersey. For a free initial consultation, contact our office online or call us at 856-200-8989.

Seven construction workers were injured in a Hackensack scaffolding collapse in early December—three critically. Authorities say the workers were performing repairs on the roof of an apartment complex on Tracy Place around 3:30 in the afternoon when the scaffolding fell. There were six workers on the scaffold at the time it collapsed. The workers fell approximately 45 feet to the ground.

The accident occurred at an apartment complex known as ‘The Brookdale’, which has approximately 200 apartments in 10 buildings.

According to witnesses, the scaffold was a makeshift one. One neighbor, who declined to be identified, said that it wasn’t “a real scaffolding,” but was “jerry-rigged” together with ladders and planks. The neighbor said the way the system was set up, it did not seem reasonable that it could support the weight of all the workers. Authorities confirmed that no permit had been pulled to do the work on the roof. Both OSHA and the Bergen County Sheriff’s Bureau of Criminal Identification reportedly came to the site for an investigation.

Under state and federal laws and regulations, building owners and general contractors have to take certain steps to minimize the risk of injury to workers. Specifically, when workers are employed at levels above the ground, they must be provided with adequate safety equipment, which may include:

  • Properly installed scaffolding
  • Safety harnesses or hoists
  • Well-maintained and sufficient ladders

Witnesses said that the “scaffold” setup at the apartment complex consisted of so-called “ladder jacks” holding walk-boards between two extension ladders. Preliminary investigations indicated that there were no rails on the scaffolding, and that the workers did not have safety harnesses or similar devices. Authorities believe that the workers, who were unsupervised at the time, exceeded the weight limit of the walkboard.

Contact a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Today

At Taylor & Boguski, we bring more than 70 years of combined legal experience to injured people – including workplace accidents and construction accidents – throughout New Jersey. For a free initial consultation, contact our office online or call us at 856-200-8989.

Workers’ Compensation—Different Types of Petitions

If you have been hurt at work in New Jersey, you will most likely be required to seek monetary recovery for any losses through the state’s workers’ compensation system. The process can be complex and confusing, though. This blog post identifies the different types of petitions that can be filed during the course of an application for workers’ compensation benefits.

An Informal Claim Petition

If you are involved in a dispute with your employer regarding compensation for a work-related injury, you can file a petition or application for an informal hearing. This hearing will be scheduled before a judge of compensation. The hearing with the compensation judge is designed to help you avoid litigation regarding your right to compensation, as litigation will typically be a more involved and time-consuming process. A wide range of issues can be addressed at an informal hearing, from the permanency of benefits to the amount of temporary benefits, as well as payment for any medical treatment.

Just because you file an informal claim petition does not mean that you cannot later file a formal petition. Any statements or offers you make during the course of the informal hearing will not be binding in subsequent proceedings. You can secure legal counsel to represent you in an informal hearing, but it is not required. If you do retain legal counsel, you will be responsible for paying your own legal fees.

A Formal Claim Petition

You can also file a formal claim petition with the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Division. This must be done within two years of your injury. Your case will typically be assigned to a district office of the Workers’ Compensation Division in which you live, or where the employer is located. In most instances, your first hearing will be within six months of the filing of your petition.

When you file a formal claim petition, you can also file a motion for medical and/or temporary benefits. This will allow you to receive some compensation while your claim is being resolved.

Occupational Injury Petitions

Though most workers’ compensation claims are based on traumatic accidents, where you suffered an injury because of a specific event, you can also seek benefits for a work-related illness, known as an occupational disease. An occupational disease can include a repetitive stress injury, or it can stem from exposure to chemicals or other substances, leading to cancer, heart disease or other malady.

Contact the Law Office of Taylor & Boguski

To schedule a free initial consultation with experienced New Jersey family law attorneys, contact Taylor & Boguski by e-mail. To learn more about our practice, visit our practice area overview page.

Construction Accidents, Third Party Liability, and Workers’ Comp

Mount Laurel Third Party Construction Accident Attorneys

While workers’ compensation covers medical costs for work – related construction accident injuries, it doesn’t always cover lost wages or pain and suffering. That’s important to remember in cases where construction accident injuries involve negligence on the part of a contractor or subcontractor other than your employer. In fact, it’s not uncommon for painters, electricians, carpenters, drywallers, and concrete workers to come and go, each working for a different employer. As a result, it’s not uncommon for certain safety violations to occur, resulting in construction site accident injuries that incur costs beyond what workers’ compensation can cover.

Third Party Liability and Construction Site Accidents

If you’ve been injured due to negligence on the part of a contractor or subcontractor, your employer’s worker compensation should cover most of your initial medical costs. However, if your injuries are serious and result in partial or long-term disability, workers’ compensation may only cover a portion of the total financial impact of your injuries. For instance, serious head trauma, spinal cord injuries, burns, or amputations often involve pain and suffering and long-term costs that exceed what you can recover through workers’ compensation benefits.

Holding Third Parties Legally and Financially Liable for Your Injuries

A negligent electrician, backhoe driver, crane operator, welder, or carpenter isn’t going to volunteer information regarding their negligence. As a result, you’ll need to work with an experienced construction accident attorney who has access to the necessary investigative resources needed to expose OSHA violations and departures from New Jersey state law governing everything from the use of ladders, scaffolding, asphalt, electrical work, drywall, concrete, and heavy equipment at construction sites. This involves collecting eyewitness statements, reviewing company records, collecting evidence from the scene of the accident, and reconstructing what happened.

Contact Mount Laurel Construction Accident Attorneys at Taylor & Boguski

If you’ve been injured in a construction site accident, there may be other considerations beyond what your workers’ compensation benefits will pay. If your injuries were caused in part by the actions of a third party, you may be able to collect additional compensation to offset the long-term financial consequences of your injuries.

To discuss your case and learn more about our personal injury practice and how we can help you, contact Mount Laurel construction accident injury attorneys at Taylor & Boguski today.