COVID, Construction, and Legal Claims
The global pandemic has rocked our world in ways we couldn’t begin to imagine at the outset. It’s no wonder that the construction industry is now facing the issue of how less-than-robust precautions on the part of construction companies may have affected the health of construction workers and what kinds of injury claims may be on the horizon. There are, naturally, a lot of legal twists and turns involved. If you believe that you acquired COVID-19 as a result of your employer’s lax practices and suffered damages as a result, now is a good time to consult with an experienced NYC construction accident attorney.
OSHA Called Out
According to ConstructionDive, a national worker safety organization called out the government in early February for failing to adequately protect workers from the rampant spread of COVID-19 on worksites across the nation and is demanding that OSHA immediately effect temporary emergency standards to help rectify the situation. In a Zoom address to reporters in which she showcased an 8-part agenda that is intended to help protect workers’ safety, the Co-Director of the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health shared that “our federal government has failed us” in all of the following ways (on the job):
- Failed to adequately reduce risk
- Failed to adequately protect workers
- Failed to stop the spread of the coronavirus
A member of the House Education and Labor Committed who was also on the call supported the proposed agenda and went so far as to say that the country – under the former administration – utterly failed our workers by refusing to require OSHA to issue safety standards that were enforceable. Ultimately, he contends, workers were unnecessarily exposed.
Employees Share Their Stories
The article goes on to share the experience of many construction workers on the job during the pandemic, and they describe conditions that are not adequate to the situation. Consider the following:
- One laborer shared that his employer failed to provide masks or gloves, that their bathrooms didn’t have soap and water (in addition to being otherwise unhygienic), that OSHA inspectors on the job could rarely speak Spanish, and that social distancing was not enforced.
- A former construction worker who battled COVID-19 for three months in the hospital relayed that her employer lied to them about other employees being infected and that, after a coworker passed out on the job, she, herself, also soon became ill.
- Employees also point out that they are not comfortable reporting violations on the job due to fear of reprisals.
Ultimately, testing and tracking were too unorganized and inadequate to definitively determine how much liability construction companies actually shoulder at this point.
Don't Put off Consulting with an NYC Construction Accident Attorney
If you’re a construction worker who believes your employer’s failure to adequately address COVID-19 caused you to suffer damages, the focused construction accident attorneys at Lipsig, Shapey, Manus & Moverman – one of New York City's oldest and most well-respected personal injury firms – are well-positioned to zealously defend your legal rights as we move forward toward COVID-related claims. To learn more, please contact or call us at 212-285-3300 today.