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Construction injuries in the shadow of a giant

Across the nation from Coachella Valley, a giant has risen to reshape America’s most famous skyline. Erected at Ground Zero, the new, 104-story 1 World Trade Center is an instant, must-see landmark in New York City.

Though the nation takes pride in the rebuilding of the WTC, the effort has come with a price, according to a media report. “Dangerous work conditions” led to at least 34 serious construction worker injuries there. 

In addition, two workers were killed in helping to resurrect the landmark.

The injuries were described as “life-altering,” and included incidents such as a worker falling 20 feet in a scaffold collapse. As our regular readers will recall, we have written previously about falls at construction sites: falls from ladders, scaffolding and other heights are the leading cause of construction-related injuries.

Other serious injury at the WTC was caused when a 60-pound bundle of reinforcement steel fell and struck a worker in the head. Another badly hurt worker was hit “by a huge steel plate.”

The injuries sustained were in several cases so severe that the workers will never be able to return to their jobs. In other cases, the injured party is still going through physical rehabilitation.

After devastating injuries like those, workers’ compensation is critical to the worker and his or her family. Workers’ comp covers health care costs and also replaces a portion of lost wages.

Hopefully, these workers are receiving all the benefits they are due. But what happens when an employee injured on the job has their claim denied? Here in Coachella Valley, many injured construction workers enlist the aid of an attorney experienced in navigating California's workers' compensation bureaucracy, administrative law hearings, paperwork and the assembling and preparation of documentation.

Source: New York Daily News, "Dozens of injuries at World Trade Center construction site went unreported," Greg B. Smith, Nov. 3, 2014

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