Labor Shortages Place Construction Workers In Danger
While construction contracts in the U.S. are skyrocketing right now, the labor shortage means that there are fewer workers onsite. That means that there are greater dangers to the workers who are there. In other words, the shortage of workers is leading to more on-the-job accidents.
When companies need employees to fill positions, they often reach out to underskilled workers. This works when you can pair a new hire with a skilled and seasoned professional. However, there are too many of the former and not enough of the latter making matters difficult for the workers who do show up, and their companies who may face larger workers’ compensation premiums due to more on-the-job accidents.
Why this is bad
Two out of every five construction accidents that cause injury on the job happen to employees during their first six months of employment. In other words, one of the major factors preventing injury in the workplace is the existence of experienced, skilled workers who take workplace safety seriously. The companies are liable when injuries do occur and must pay benefits to employees who are injured on the job. Meanwhile, construction jobs are becoming more complicated than ever.
Construction companies, understanding the problem intimately, reach out to skilled employees to oversee projects, work long hours, and ensure that the job is getting done right. This is resulting in fatigue, burnout, and deadlines that can force workers to skip safety steps. This results in more injuries, fewer workers, and more stress on the workers who do show up. In other words, once the cycle is started, it gets worse with every turn and is self-sustaining.
A post-pandemic problem
The pandemic placed several pressures on America’s businesses. Firstly, many were placed on pause while the pandemic was in its early stages. Then, Congress began offering unemployment benefits to those who had lost jobs due to company closures. Then, it was apparently difficult to get anyone to come back to work. But even after the unemployment benefits were cut, the situation has not righted itself. Workplaces are still understaffed across all industries leading to more pressure and a greater risk of injury on workers. Deaths and severe persistent injury caused by the coronavirus have also factored into the work shortage.
It’s your company’s problem to solve
Despite pressures placed on American companies, the American worker is still entitled to a safe workplace and if they are injured on the job, they are entitled to compensation from their employer. It’s not your fault that your company cannot recruit skilled labor or has to provide training to new recruits. When you are injured due to understaffing, your company must still pay you benefits.
Talk to a Decatur, GA Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Understaffing is not a defense to a workers’ compensation claim. Call the Decatur workers’ compensation attorneys at O’Connell Law Firm today to discuss litigating your compensation claim against your employer’s insurer.