Stats on Job Injury for Construction Workers
Cities like Huntsville, Alabama are exploding. Businesses are moving to the area and it is expected that the U.S. Space Force headquarters will soon locate in the Rocket City, bringing many more jobs and businesses. This means a lot more construction work is already taking place, and more will follow.
Construction workers are a vital part of the national and state economy. The jobs are heavy, the hours long, you work with dangerous machinery, work near busy road full of traffic and you have to work in all types of weather conditions; all of this takes a toll on one’s body. Growth as that seen in Huntsville, AL means even more work, and unfortunately more work injuries.
According to the attached article, annually 1 in 10 construction workers suffer a work injury, and reports show that construction workers face a higher risk of traumatic spinal cord injuries. More hauntingly, a recent study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that in 2020, 1,034 construction workers lost their lives in job accidents.
If you are a construction worker in Alabama, you have most likely suffered a job injury before, probably several times, and most injured workers do not immediately report every injury they suffer. Many injured workers believe that injury is small and will resolve itself with a little time and they worry about getting a reputation of a worker who is often injured, so weeks can go by before the worker realizes that their injury is more serious than they initially thought.
We have spoken to numerous people who have called our office after being told by their employer that they had waited too long to report/give notice of a job injury and therefore they are not entitled to any workers’ compensation benefits. This is rarely true.
While it is true that according to Ala.Code §25-5-78, an injured workers is supposed to provide written notice of a workplace injury within 5 days of the on-the-job injury, but this section goes on to state that, in Alabama, a worker has up to 90 days in which to inform his employer about a job injury. An oral report is just as valid a notice means as a detailed written report.
Company policy cannot override law, so if your employer states that “…company policy mandates that all workers’ compensation injuries be reported within 2 days of the occurrence of said injury and since you did not do so you are not eligible for workers’ compensation benefits ” (which several injured workers have called to tell us over the years)-they are lying to you.
Having stated this, it is always best to report a potential job injury as soon as possible.
Another reason workers do not immediately inform their employer that they suffered a work injury is a fear repercussion for filing a workers’ compensation claim. I understand this concern, but you should know that by law-in Alabama a worker cannot be fired solely for seeking workers’ compensation benefits.
Ala.Code 25-5-11.1 states that “no employee shall be terminated by and employer solely because the employee has instituted or maintained any action against the employer to recover workers’ compensation benefits under this chapter or solely because the employee has filed a written notice of violation of a safety rule pursuant to subdivision (c)(4).”
In Alabama, your employer cannot fire you solely because you have reported and sought workers’ compensation benefits related to a job injury. If you believe that you have been terminated solely because you sought workers’ compensation benefits, then you may have a wrongful termination / retaliatory discharge claim.
If you have suffered a job injury, or have been fired after asking about workers’ compensation following a work injury, and you have questions about your right to Alabama workers’ compensation benefits, don’t hesitate to contact Powell and Denny and speak with one of the experienced workers compensation lawyers and schedule a free consultation and let us see if we can help. Appointments are available in person, or virtually through Zoom for your convenience from wherever you live.
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+ Powell and Denny have successfully represented injured workers from Birmingham, Huntsville, Florence, Muscle Shoals, Tuscumbia, Athens, Decatur, Town Creek Ardmore, Hartselle, Madison, Toney, Scottsboro, Ft. Payne, New Hope, Guntersville, Albertville, Boaz, Ashville, Anniston, Gadsden, Cullman, Jasper, Gardendale, Morris, Kimberly, Centerpoint, Leeds, Tarrant City, Fairfield, Hueytown, Bessemer, Adger, Tuscaloosa, Cordova, Alabaster, Pelham, Harpersville, Opelika, Phenix City, Montgomery, Clanton, Calera, Enterprise, Monroeville, Mobile, Evergreen, Dothan, Alabaster, Pelham, Trussville and towns and cities in between.
Stats on Job Injury for Construction Workers