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What are the rights of an employee after an on-the-job injury?

California workers know that construction is a dangerous industry, but they may not understand their rights after an on-the-job injury. On a job site, there are many potential hazards faced by workers, including dangerous equipment and falls. In fact, falls are the number one reason for on-the-job injury and death on construction sites. 

Employers are responsible for providing a safe work environment for both regular and temporary employees. This responsibility is especially important when employing California residents to work on potentially hazardous environments, such as on a construction project. Steps should be taken to ensure that all workers know how to prevent falls and complete their tasks safely. 

Falls can be prevented by proper training for workers and providing the needed safety equipment. When a worker is injured because of unsecured scaffolding or a lack of safety restraints, the injured party has the right to file a workers' compensation claim. No matter the circumstances of a work accident, the employee may seek recovery for medical expenses, lost wages and rehabilitation. In situations where an individual is killed from a serious fall at work, the family left behind may be eligible for death benefits. 

After an on-the-job injury, the employee may be unable to return to work. In these cases, benefits should cover the cost of vocational training for a new job and other recovery needs. Both federal and state laws provide certain rights to workers, including the right to a safe work environment and options after an accident. If unsure about legal rights and options, a worker may have a consultation with a legal professional knowledgeable in workers' compensation law.

Source: osha.gov, "Welcome to OSHA's Fall Prevention Campaign", Dec. 10, 2014

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