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On April 3, 2014, in Florence Township, a construction worker fell through the roof of a commercial building and into wet cement, summoning Burlington County rescue crews to the scene.

The accident occurred around 2:10 p.m. at the site of an upcoming Burlington Coat Factory on Route 130 in central New Jersey. According to witnesses, the man fell through an opening on the building's roof and into the wet concrete as it was being poured. Rescue crews were able get the worker out of the cement, and he was subsequently flown to a local hospital for treatment. The extent of his injuries has not been reported, and no additional information has been released regarding exactly how the accident occurred or what, if any, safety devices were available when the man began working on the roof.

Workplace accidents - particularly those that result from a lack of proper safety measures - are a serious problem, particularly in the construction industry. Consider the following figures reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • The private construction sector saw 775 work-related deaths in 2012 alone - a 5 percent increase from 2011.
  • The 2012 fatal injury rate in the construction industry was 9.5 fatal injuries per 100,000 full time employed (FTE) workers, making it the fourth-most deadly sector.
  • Many deadly construction accidents involve falls from higher elevations on roofs or scaffolds; in 2012, 668 workers died from fatal falls, trips or slips.

New Jersey construction supervisors and property owners are legally required to evaluate work site safety regularly and provide adequate warnings regarding unsafe conditions when necessary. Unfortunately, noncompliance with these regulations is all too common, and injured workers and their families are the ones who suffer as a result.

If you are injured in a fall or other workplace accident in New Jersey, you likely have a right to collect certain workers' compensation benefits to cover your medical costs and potential lost wages. Furthermore, if a third party is also found to be at fault, you may have legal standing in a lawsuit against that individual or entity. Consult a personal injury attorney to learn more about your options.

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Smith & Gaynor, LLC
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Morristown, NJ 07960

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