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It is well known that construction work is one of the most dangerous jobs in the country. Every day, a construction worker reports for work, they put their life at risk. In fact, one in ten construction workers are injured every year. These construction accidents, more often than not, result in serious injuries, if not, death. The worst part is, these construction accidents and injuries are preventable. So why do they keep happening?

Generally, contractors and subcontractors control the safety of the worksite. Most of these companies are both diligent and conscientious about protecting the safety of their workers. However, the sad fact is there are still too many contractors that, oftentimes, try to cut corners by ignoring basic safety regulations that put construction workers at risk.

Construction safety should always be a top priority on any construction site. However, mistakes happen and when they do, the results tend to be very serious. The following is a list of common mistakes that could threaten the safety of a construction worker.

 

Failure to Comply with Safety Regulations

All construction companies are required to follow government safety regulations while on the job. In most cases, it is the responsibility of the owner and general contractor, to ensure work site safety and to follow federal and state safety regulations.  If they fail to do so, they may share in the legal responsibility if a worker becomes injured in a construction accident.

 

Failure to Provide Proper Tools

While they are necessary on the job site, failure to provide proper personal protective equipment (PPE) such, as safety clothing, helmets, goggles, other garments or tools to protect a construction worker’s body from injury or infection, can lead to extremely dangerous situations. The hazards addressed by personal protective equipment include physical, electrical, heat, chemical, biohazards, and airborne particulate matter.  If the construction accident was due to a failure to provide the required, or proper, safety equipment or tools, an injured construction worker (in addition to filing a worker’s compensation claim) may be able to pursue a third party action. This third party action may include claims against the owner of the property or the general contractor or a subcontractor that was charged with the responsibility of work place safety.

 

Improper Use of Machinery

Most job sites are very busy and often heavy machinery and construction equipment, such as bulldozers, hydraulic excavators, dump trucks, cranes and forklifts, are in constant use. Heavy equipment and machines are necessary to get the job done, however, if not respected, can pose a hazard to construction workers, which can result in serious injuries and even death.

 

Inadequate Training

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has published various standards that contain training requirements for construction workers, including, safety and health training When working on a construction site, rigorous training and following proper protocols is absolutely necessary. If a construction worker is injured as a result of a failure to train or follow proper safety procedures, the owner, general contractor or subcontractor may share legal responsibility for the construction accident as a result of not providing a safe work place environment.

 

Failure to Provide Barriers or Warning Signs

Pedestrians and other non-construction employees, while walking or driving by a job site, may also become injured as a result of a construction accident if the job site does not contain the proper barriers, safety precautions are ignored or warning signs are not posted. In such cases, the injured party may have a claim against the owner, general contractor or subcontractors if they were responsible for the job site and failed to comply with federal and state safety regulations.

 

When Construction Accidents Occur, Who is Liable?

There is always someone responsible when it comes to construction site safety. Below are two issues that may make construction accident liability a difficult issue to determine.

Contracts

Liability often comes down to the paperwork. The party responsible for keeping a construction site safe may depend on the language of the contract signed by those involved. For example, a general contractor, numerous subcontractors, and an owner may all blame each other as having responsibility for safety at the construction site. As such, often the issue of responsibility is a matter of contract law and liability and will be determined by the language of the contracts signed amongst the parties.

What “Safe” Means

The other issue that surfaces is, what exactly constitutes a ‘safe’ construction site? What seems like a simple answer may be up for debate in the event of a construction accident lawsuit. Fundamentally, there is a duty to keep the construction site in a reasonably safe condition, based on standards other construction companies would exhibit. Failure to comply with OSHA and state regulations to keep a construction site safe may be the responsibility of the owner or construction company and they may be jointly liable for damages in a construction accident.

 

If you have been injured in a construction accident, please seek medical help immediately. First, call 911 and have a medical professional assess your injuries. The next step would be to consult an experienced construction accident attorney, as you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, especially if you are suffering life-altering physical and emotional problems and financial changes and challenges after an accident. Brindisi, Murad, Brindisi & Pearlman are experienced construction accident lawyers ready to fight for you. Construction workers work hard to improve Central New York and put their lives at risk every day. If you’re seriously injured, you need The People’s Lawyer on your side. You should not be punished for helping to improve the community, contact us for a free consultation today.

 

 

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