New York Carpenter Accident Attorneys
In New York, carpenters are in high demand. These talented workers perform a host of tasks related to wood, such as construction, installing, and renovating furniture and buildings.
Danger is present in most active jobs. Carpentry is no exception. After a work accident, it is natural to feel distressed and anxious about your recovery and future.
Why wonder about your rights? Consulting with our legal team at Hill & Moin is like speaking with family. We will first listen to you, then offer you free, confidential advice grounded in over 60 years of experience. Schedule your appointment today at (212) 668-6000.
Keeping New York Carpenters Safe
Every construction site or project manager must ensure employees are safe. All jobs are unique to themselves, but you can expect responsible employers to provide specific training and equipment across the board.
Woodworkers wear safety goggles to protect their eyes from flying particles, paints, and stains. The glasses should be resistant to impact and chemicals.
Flying wood chips could be an issue if workers use certain tools, such as lathes. In these cases, employers might provide clear face shields.
Machinery and tools can damage your hearing, especially when you are exposed to noise for an extended time. Ear muffs cover your ear to muffle sounds. Ear plugs go inside the ear, reducing noise to a comfortable level.
Head and Face Protection
Some power tools like sanders, saws, and drills produce dust. Carpenters can protect their lungs and sinuses from irritating particles with masks or respirators. The gear should fit properly without any gaps along the edges.
Those taking the lead on construction or renovation projects should decide whether on-site carpenters need hard hats. If there is a risk of falling objects, helmets are one of the most effective forms of head protection. Headlamps can also help brighten low-light environments.
Carpenters can protect their hands with cut-resistant gloves around hazards, namely:
- Sharp or rough edges
- Electric saws
Anyone who works with wood knows that splinters and cuts come with the territory. Yet, some might be surprised to discover that even vibration sometimes causes harm. Anti-vibration gloves can absorb some of the shock.
Foot protection must correspond to the potential hazards, such as those listed below, in New York workplaces:
- Harmful materials or chemicals
- Falling objects
- Rolling equipment
- Sharp or pointed objects at ground level
- Things that could puncture the bottom or side of the foot
- Exposure to electricity
- Slippery walking surfaces
- Extreme heat or cold
- Rotating or abrasive machinery
- Uneven walkways
Local regulations might govern what is appropriate. Therefore, employers must select footwear carefully and train workers on how to use it. Workers’ shoes should also be inspected regularly to ensure they are in good condition.
Loose-fitting clothing poses a safety risk around machinery with moving parts. A typical outfit for a carpenter would be long-sleeved shirts and long pants with an apron, if necessary.
Site managers should consider the job and environment when setting the dress code and providing uniforms to workers. Policies might also include practices like tying long hair back or using prescription safety glasses for vision correction.
First and foremost, carpenters need the right tool for the task. Many injuries occur when trying to make do with the wrong tool. Equipment should also be kept clean and in good working order.
Some tools serve safety functions. For example, blade guards, push sticks, or blocks are useful for leading wood on stationary jointers or routers.
Every New York shop should have a fire extinguisher, sprinkler system, smoke detector, or other equipment to prevent and put out fires.
How should you dispose of oily rags? How can you lift heavy objects without injuring yourself? What is the lock-out or tag-out procedure for the machinery you use?
If you struggle to answer these questions as a carpenter, you might not have received proper training. You are not to blame. Untrained workers pose a danger to themselves and others, but supervisors have a duty to teach workers how to stay safe.
Hazardous Work Conditions Lead to Injury
The Woodworkers Guild of America identifies the following equipment as potential causes of injury:
- Table saws
- Shapers and sanders
- Band or radial arm saw
Some older equipment styles, such as miter saws, can also occur because they can cause kickbacks or cut fingers placed too close to the blade.
In 2019, 11,670 carpenter injury and illness cases were severe enough to require days off work.
Some common woodworker injuries are:
- Amputations: The loss of a body part (e.g. fingers, toes, hands, feet, arms, ears, or legs)
- Cuts and lacerations: Wounds caused by sharp objects or blunt trauma
- Fractures: Falls from a height or machinery accidents (e.g. getting crushed or caught) could result in broken bones
- Electrocution: Workers could come into contact with high-tension lines, electrical cables, or faulty mechanical equipment
- Eye or vision damage: Eye injuries or blindness caused by particles or toxic fluids
- Muscle and tendon injuries: Sprains, strains, and tears often associated with repetitive motion
- Knee problems: Arthritis, bursitis, and other knee issues can occur from a poorly designed work environment, particularly if standing or kneeling are constant features of a job
- Traumatic brain injuries: Concussion, coma, seizures, and other symptoms resulting when something strikes or punctures brain tissue
- Nerve damage: Constant vibration, nerve compression, or stretching hands in awkward positions could lead to vibration white finger, cubital tunnel syndrome, or carpal tunnel syndrome
- Respiratory issues: Exposure to vapor, dust, gas, and other toxic fumes increase the risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
The number of fatal work injuries for carpenters rose from 86 in 2018 to 99 in 2019. The associated events were:
- Violence by people or animals
- Transportation accidents
- Falls, slips, and trips
- Exposure to deadly substances or environments
- Contact with objects or equipment
Construction companies and other employers are responsible for implementing safety procedures. Many accidents occur because someone neglects his or her duty. Please send us a message at your earliest convenience if you would like a free evaluation of your carpentry incident.
Understanding Your Legal Rights
When deciding on a course of action, weighing your options is important. Yet, getting accurate and current information is vital – your legal decisions will impact your health and finances for years following a work-related injury or illness.
Workers’ Compensation Claims
In New York, employers pay for workers’ compensation insurance. The purpose of this coverage is to cover medical care and benefits for employees disabled by a work-related injury or illness. The surviving spouse and dependents can claim benefits if an accident is fatal.
To qualify, carpenters must fulfill their responsibilities:
- Seek medical treatment or first aid as soon as possible. Make sure to inform the healthcare provider that you were injured at work so they can send a report to the New York State Insurance Fund (NYSIF)
- Report the accident at 888-800-0029 and make a note of your incident number
- Let your supervisor know about your accident and the resulting injuries
- Review your contract; our law firm can help you check the workers’ compensation article during your free consultation
Carpenter accident attorneys can help the coverage you deserve for:
- Doctor’s visits
- Dental care
- Psychological counseling
- Chiropractic services
- Surgeries and hospital stays
- Lab tests and diagnostic exams
- Prescription medicine
- Nursing services
- Prosthetic devices
Sometimes, the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) denies claims. Workers’ compensation entitles you to “all medically necessary care related to your injury or illness,” but not everyone agrees on what treatment is necessary.
Other benefits, like those listed below, depend on the incident’s date, the injury’s severity, and the options negotiated by your union (if applicable).
- Wage replacement
- Supplemental pay
- Retirement service credit
- Weekly cash benefits for spouses and dependents of a deceased worker
The WCB sometimes rejects claims for benefits of workers’ compensation insurance. When that happens, attorneys can review your case and help you to file an appeal. If you haven’t filed yet, working with our experienced legal team could help you meet deadlines and avoid making costly mistakes in the first place.
Personal Injury Lawsuits
Workers’ compensation claims are not based on fault. However, some accidents happen when someone is negligent.
For example, your employer might purchase a new drill press for the shop and you get hurt because the item is defective. Lawyers could pursue compensation from manufacturers responsible for the faulty design.
These claims, called personal injury lawsuits, could encompass damages not covered by workers’ compensation insurance:
- Pain and suffering
- Psychological damages
- Loss of companionship
What if you are an undocumented worker or an independent contractor? What if your industry is not eligible for workers’ compensation? You may still have questions, and we are happy to share what we know.
Getting Legal Answers in New York
Outside of our network of trusted law firms, some firms might give uninspired service to their clients to get as many in and out of their doors as possible. At Hill & Moin, though, we treat our clients like family, as many of our clients have told us. And if we refer you to another firm, you can be sure that this is because it’s fitting for you and your situation.
We can pair you with a lawyer who fully intends to get you the maximum amount of damages or benefits possible. Our past settlements and verdicts speak for themselves.
Our Personal Injury Recovery Solutions® help our clients maximize compensation and secure their future. You can learn more by reaching a member of our skilled team at (212) 688-6000.
Don’t wonder about your rights!