Insurer warns about potential for more construction injuries
California, like many states, is experiencing a shortfall in highly skilled construction workers. Spending on construction and development exceeded expectations this fall for residential, commercial and industrial projects. In northern California, particularly after the wildfires, there are numerous high-priority projects to undertake and residential development is expected to spike. Developers, owners and contractors are in need of workers, and often must hire inexperienced or untrained people to fill positions. The labor demand is expected to exceed staffing levels throughout 2018 and beyond. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates 800,000 jobs will be added to the construction industry by 2024.
All of the above means safety must be a top priority moving forward. The risk of injury on construction sites is greatest for newer workers. Unsafe jobsites result in devastating injuries. Many expect there to be a larger number of construction workers injured or killed on the job in the coming year.
Insurance companies are promoting safety programs
Workers’ compensation insurance is a large expense for many employers in the construction industry. It can also be a high cost for insurers. That is why some insurers are teaming with employers to promote safety programs and training.
The industry trade journal PropertyCasualty360 recently published an article about the need for insurance providers and employers to work together to minimize workplace injury in construction.
Insurers always seek to lower costs
The drive behind employee safety in construction is based on expense. The fewer injured workers, the fewer payouts the insurer must make. The other way insurers seek to lower costs is to deny that a worker is seriously injured, or claim that the injury is not work-related.
That is why injured workers must protect themselves when filing for workers’ compensation benefits. As more construction workers become injured on the job, it is imperative that they know how to navigate the complex workers’ compensation system to get the benefits they are owed under the law.