According to statistics released by the Health and Safety Authority for 2009, more than 10% of all workplace related accidents happen on a building site. That may not seem a particularly astonishing figure, considering it was closer to 20% at the height of the construction boom a few years ago. But when you consider that there are fewer than half the number of people employed now in the construction industry than there were four years ago, it would appear that little progress has been made in preventing construction workers from suffering a building site injury.
To put this figure into greater perspective, it was in 2006 that the Safe Pass program was upgraded to comply with the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Construction) Regulations 2006. This should have seen a reduction in building site injuries in subsequent years. However, economic factors have created an environment where short cuts are taken by employers to save money and meet deadlines, whilst health and safety training has been made less of a priority. These factors have led to a higher proportion of building site injuries in real terms and a proportionate increase in claims for compensation.
Some of these claims for building site injuries originate from during the “boom years”, with occupational ailments coming to light now -such as hand arm vibration syndrome, asbestos-related mesothelioma and manganism (a welding-related disease similar to early onset of Parkinson´s disease). A building site injury does not necessarily have to have happened recently to qualify for compensation, and should you be experiencing any symptoms of illness, you should mention your occupation to your doctor to determine whether there is a link between your current ailment and a building site injury that may have been acquired in years gone by.
Claiming Compensation for a Building Site Injury
Irrespective of whether your building site injury happened yesterday or is an illness from many years ago which has recently manifested, the key to your eligibility for claiming compensation for a building site injury is the “Date of Knowledge”. This is the date on which you knew you had a building site injury. If you sustained an injury yesterday from an accident at work, yesterday was your date of knowledge. But if you have just been diagnosed with manganism, it was the date on which you were diagnosed which is the date of knowledge. The importance of this is that the Statute of Limitations allows two years for you to make a compensation claim for your building site injury from your date of knowledge.
Once you have established that you are not time-barred from making a claim for compensation for your building site injury, the next factor to overcome is your employment status. Although your employment status should make little difference when somebody else is to blame for your building site injury, the law in Ireland distinguishes between the employed, self-employed, sub-contractors and short-term agency workers when it comes to claiming compensation for a building site injury. There are changes to the law taking place to remedy this inequality, but should you have any doubts about whether you are still entitled to claim, you should speak to a solicitor once any threat to your health has been resolved.
The two “qualifications” above are not the only reasons that a compensation claim for a building site injury may not be processed smoothly. Elements such as contributory negligence, employer denial of liability and inadequate Injury Board Ireland assessments can all cause problems along the way to you receiving an adequate award of compensation. To offer advice to anybody who has suffered a building site injury for which somebody else was responsible – even partly – we have set up a free advice telephone service. The service will enable you to speak with a solicitor, ask questions about your entitlement to claim and receive helpful and practical advice with no obligation to proceed with a claim.
Call us now or if you cannot speak now please fill in the form on the left and we will call you back.
What You Can Expect When You Call
When you call our free advice service, you will be speaking directly with a solicitor with many years experience in dealing with compensation claims for a building site injury. We understand that, when you call, you may still be in a great amount of pain from your injury, so we will ask you to tell us first the circumstances surrounding your building site injury, how it has been diagnosed and what treatment has been administered.
We will also like to know how your building site injury has affected your quality of life, your interaction with your family and friends and future employment prospects. It is also important to us to know why you consider your employer was responsible for your building site injury and what measures, in your opinion, could have been taken to prevent it.
Wherever possible, we will make a preliminary assessment of your compensation claim for a building site injury, advise you whether there is a claim which it is worth your while to pursue and tell you how long we think your claim may take to process and what level of compensation you could expect to receive.
Should you have any questions or there is any element of our advice you are not quite sure about, please do not hesitate to ask. When you are claiming compensation for a building site injury, you may be a little apprehensive about speaking with a solicitor, but we are here to help so please let us know if there is something you do not entirely understand.
Call us now. Our lines are open seven days a week between 8.00am and 10.00pm and we also offer a call-back facility. Therefore, if it is not a suitable time for you to call us right now, please leave your details in our call-back form below, and one of our team will get back in touch at a more convenient time.