Many great things happen in a construction zone. For instance, buildings are brought up from the ground within a matter of months as well as houses being built for people in need of new homes. However, there is also a possibility of accidents occurring in construction zones. Construction accidents are actually quite common, unfortunately, in this extremely dangerous industry involving heavy equipment and high places to fall from. There are efforts made and followed each year to assure that construction workers are coming to one of the safest workplaces possible; however, safety measures are not always abided by and certain accidents will happen regardless of this.
You may be surprised to know that nearly 6.5 million people work at over 252,000 construction sites across the nation on any given day. There are many common potential hazards, including falling from scaffolds and falling from ladders. The fatal injury rate for the construction industry is higher than the national average in this category for all industries (OSHA).
Possible Liable Defendants in Construction Accidents
- Construction Site Owners: The construction site owner may be legally liable for anything that happens at the site for the duration of the project. If there was a harmful condition on the land that the site owner knew about or should have reasonably known about, they can be held liable when injuries occur. Construction site owners owe a duty to workers to keep a site safe.
- General Contractors: They must also provide a safe workplace to others, which includes a legal duty to make employees aware of defects or hazards at the site. They must make sure that the work is being performed safely and that safety regulations are being followed.
- Architects/Engineers: Design professionals must include progress observation in reports and also ensure compliance with code regulations in many situations. If they do not meet proper standards, they may be held liable under certain circumstances.
- Equipment Manufacturers: If a manufacturer sold defective equipment that lead to injury, then they can be held liable.
- Insurers: Parties will be required to carry insurance coverage for workers in major construction projects. The insurance coverage of each party involved and the extent of that coverage are important issues when assessing legal responsibility for a construction injury.
What Steps Should I Take If I am Injured On-Site?
- Always seek medical attention for your injuries not only for your well being, but also for documentation.
- Report the injury to your employer or the construction site manager immediately. Take note of the name of the person notified.
- Get names and contact information from anybody who witnessed your accident.
- Try to preserve as much evidence as possible. This includes photographs of the injury and keeping equipment that may have been damaged as a result of the accident.
OSHA Scaffold Regulations
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As you may know, scaffolding-related accidents are some of the most common and dangerous in construction accidents. When scaffolds are not erected or used properly, fall hazards can occur, causing serious injury. If more protection came into play to keep workers safe, there would be about 4,500 injuries and 50 fatalities prevented each year (OSHA).
Every employer, supervisor, and worker involved in work on scaffolds is required to comply with regulations set by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration. Two of these matters include design and construction. The design and construction of scaffolds, for instance, must conform with OSHA requirements concerning type of equipment, rated capacities, construction methods, and use. Each scaffold needs to be able to support its own weight and be loadable within reason. Also, inspection guidelines must be followed. All scaffolds should be inspected by a reasonable person for visible defects before usage.
So, let’s consider you were injured in a construction accident – where do you turn next? What do you do? Speaking to an experienced attorney is your best option, and for that, you are just in luck. Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi have had experience in construction accidents for years, earning compensation for those who deserve it after serious injury has taken a toll on their lives. Now you can get the compensation you deserve, too! Call today for a consultation to find out more information.