Drywallers are in high demand in NYC, installing drywall in commercial projects, remodels, and additions in every borough of the city. While drywall installation may appear to be a reasonably safe job, there are hazards that could cause serious or fatal injuries. The factors that contribute to drywall installation injuries include:
- Loss of balance when lifting and moving materials.
- Falling from an elevation.
- Injuries related to moving heavy materials.
- Repetitive motions.
- Long work shifts.
- Cold weather, ice, snow.
- Stress-related injuries.
- Unsafe working conditions.
According to the CDC, several types of injuries commonly affect drywall installers:
- Overexertion (37%): Injuries related to lifting, moving, carrying, or holding drywall. These injuries typically affect the back, and include strains, sprains, tendonitis, dislocations, or tears, and can be minor, serious, or incapacitating.
- Falls (32%): Moving drywall can cause an installer to lose balance and fall when lifting, carrying, or moving heavy drywall materials on a jobsite. Other risks on the worksite include wet or slippery floors, unsafe stairways, or obstructions that limit vision, or a lack of required barriers as required can lead to a fall from heights.
Your employer may attempt to deny that your injuries occurred suddenly (acute), asserting that you suffered a cumulative injury. An acute injury occurs at a specific time, after which you were unable to function at work, and eligible for workers’ comp benefits. Cumulative injuries, which commonly affect drywall installers, may be denied as since the damage occurred due to repetitive motions, such as lifting and moving heavy drywall sheets, no specific time of the injuries can be identified.
If your claim was denied as it was not an acute injury, get help from a workers’ compensation attorney immediately to assist you to appeal the claim. Employers may claim that your injuries are the result of natural aging, or that you engaged in activities outside work that contributed to your condition. Your body suffered damage over time, and the right lawyer can present facts to help you pursue the benefits you deserve.
With the assistance of an experienced workers’ comp attorney in NYC, the facts surrounding your injuries can be evaluated by a legal professional – and it can make a significant difference in the outcome of your claim, and the benefits you could receive. The issues that must be reviewed include:
- Your medical condition and the extent of your injuries.
- The expected time needed to recover from the injuries, and whether a recovery is possible.
- The procedures in place on the site regarding drywall handling.
- The equipment provided to assist in installation.
- Whether the drywall installer was provided with information on the weight of the drywall sheets.
- What training was provided to the worker about lifting, moving, and installing drywall.
- How the drywall sheets and equipment were stored and protected on the jobsite.
- How worker safety is managed onsite regarding required barriers, lighting, etc.
The workers’ compensation system should be easy to navigate, and drywallers injured on the job should be able to easily file claims and receive benefits – but many, many legitimate claims are denied. Workers can be left without an income, unable to collect benefits, and be at a loss on how to resolve a denial of benefits.
At Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP, every detail of your claim will be evaluated, and every form of benefits pursued, whether in the initial claim, or when appealing a denied claim. We are proud to be recognized for our legal work on behalf of injured construction workers, and the millions of dollars we have recovered for our clients over our years in practice.
If you were injured at a construction site while installing drywall, we offer a free initial consultation to discuss your case. Call us today at (212) 986-7353.