The construction work is physically demanding. What's more, there are a whole host of hazards that could cause injuries. For example, it is all too easy for a worker to injure his or her back when attempting to lift an object. Likewise, a worker could be hurt when working with heavy machinery or even be struck by a tool or debris that falls from a scaffold. When a worker is injured, money to cover medical and other expenses is extremely important.
Most states require that employers carry workers' compensation insurance. Depending upon the state in which you live or work and the size of your employer's company, they may be exempt. Exempt companies are usually very small, no more than three or four employees. Most of the larger employers must carry insurance or be self-insured. However, your employer's duties do not end with getting insurance.
Your employer generally must also comply with the following duties:
- Give immediate medical assistance to any employee who is injured on the job.
- Complete a report of the injury, the circumstances surrounding the injury and mail a copy to the workers' compensation board as well as their insurance company.
- Keep up to date reports of every accident that results in personal injury or lost time from regular duties (beyond the shift or working day in which the accident happened).
- Post a conspicuous notice of compliance with workers' compensation.
- To comply with all requests for further information regarding workers' compensation by either the board or insurance company.
If your employer fails to comply with any one of these requirements, they may be subject to fines or even criminal sanctions. Additionally, if you are injured and your employer does not carry insurance, then your employer may be personally liable to you for your injuries.
If you or a loved one believes that your employer is failing to comply with proper workers' compensation guidelines, then you may want to speak to an attorney. Workers' compensation was enacted to protect workers from the risk of poverty due to workplace injuries. It is important that your employer complies with these regulations to ensure that you and all your co-workers are protected.