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Pittsburgh building boom means more construction injuries

It's that time of the year: the summer sun is shining and the air is filled with the sounds of baseball games, family picnics, children playing and the bangs and booms of busy construction sites.

The website BuildingPittsburgh.com says construction activity is "up significantly" this year in metropolitan Pittsburgh. Commercial construction projects are up 24.3 percent and residential construction is up 31 percent over last year. While that is good economic news, it also reminds us that construction is a dangerous business in which too many firms try to misclassify workers so that they can avoid paying for Pennsylvania workers' compensation, unemployment insurance and other benefits.

You might recall that five years ago, Pennsylvania acted to discourage construction firms from misclassifying workers. The Construction Workplace Misclassification Act specifically targets employer who misclassify workers as independent contractors rather than as employees.

As you know, in Pennsylvania as well as in Ohio, most employees injured while on the job are eligible for workers' compensation benefits that include coverage for medical expenses and replacement of a portion of lost wages.

In a line of work as dangerous as construction can be, workers' comp is vital to help people who are injured in falls, struck-by-equipment accidents, motor vehicle accidents, electrical shock, malfunctioning of tools or safety equipment, scaffolding collapse, crane collapse, slips, fires, falling objects and overexertion.

Construction workers injured on the job are too often denied full and fair workers' comp benefits by insurers and employers. An experienced Pittsburgh-area workers' compensation attorney can help you appeal a denial of needed benefits.

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