Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers: Bill to Improve Construction Worker Safety in MarylandMay 23, 2016
Legislators in Maryland have introduced a new bill that will have a major impact on the construction industry. HB977 will address some of the significant safety issues that have plagued the industry for years, and make serious reforms that will ensure adequate health plans for employees and improve worksite safety.
In 2014, approximately 4,000 Maryland construction workers reported workplace injuries. Close to 2,400 of these injuries resulted in the employee needing to take time off from work, work in an alternate position or face other types of restrictions while recovering from their injuries. Sixteen workers died from injuries sustained from a workplace accident, which averages out to more than one fatality per year. Sadly, these figures are not likely a true representation of the actual statistics since a great deal of construction accidents go unreported. Hispanic workers in particular have a great tendency to avoid reporting construction injuries. In fact, researchers estimate that 75 percent of injuries in Hispanic workers go unreported.
Creating safer environments for construction workers not only protects the employees from potentially serious, or fatal injuries; it can also help the employer avoid costly Workers’ Compensation payments, legal fees and lost productivity. The HB977 bill would require construction firms to provide a sworn statement of their commitment to safety, including a documented plan for preventing occupational safety and health hazards.
The bill is a result of recommendations made by industry stakeholders, labor representatives, public interest groups and state officials, all of whom make up the newly created Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. The Department was established after a report indicated that the state of Maryland lost $712.8 million between 2008 and 2010 as a result of construction safety issues.
Thorough screening of all subcontractors is another key component of the bill. Some Maryland companies, as well as other jurisdictions across the country, are well aware of the importance of screening for safety purposes. The proposed bill will encourage the same vigilance towards safety that some of these other companies have already been practicing.
Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Protect Workers Injured at Construction Sites
Construction sites can be a dangerous place to work, particularly when the right safety protocols are not in place. If you have been injured on the job, contact Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton so that we may review the details of your case and pursue the financial compensation you need to recover from your injuries. Call us today at 844-556-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.