Are you the victim of a construction accident?
According to OSHA, one in 10 U.S. workers will be injured on the job site this year. Around 13 deaths occur EACH DAY, in the workplace. In 2015, 21.4% of those workplace fatalities were in the construction industry- that is, more than one in five.
While there are countless types or injuries and scenarios here are the top five leading causes of construction accidents reported as reported by OSHA.
When construction workers are not properly trained, they are a danger to themselves and others. This is not usually a result of operator negligence but rather inadequate training. Training should be provided for every piece of equipment used as well as instruction on the proper use of safety equipment and personal protective gear.
Another problem is the failure of employers to choose workers that are suited to the assigned tasks. Even with proper training, if a worker is physically unable to perform his or her assigned duties, the chance of injury rises. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure that all their employees receive adequate training. Failure to do so may allow the injured worker to collect additional compensation.
Poorly-maintained safety equipment
You know the risks of working in the construction industry, and you know how to use the safety equipment that is supposed to keep you safe while you are on the job. What happens when that safety equipment fails? The result could be an injury or worse. This is why it is essential that an employer make sure all safety gear is in top-notch condition.
It is the employer’s responsibility to provide and maintain all personal protective equipment and safety gear so that it is reliable and ready for use. Failure to maintain necessary safety equipment has serious repercussions. For construction companies, the immediate concerns should be the welfare of their employees whose wellbeing relies on proper maintenance of all equipment. Injuries or losses of life caused by faulty safety equipment are usually the fault of the employer.
Equipment defects or malfunctions
An equipment failure may not be the company’s fault. Machinery and equipment may fail because of a manufacturer’s defect. This means that it did not meet the conditions required for safe and effective use at the time it was made or sold.
If an injury from a defective piece of equipment occurs, an experienced construction accident attorney will be able to sort out who is responsible. Questions ask include whether the manufacturers knew of the defect, failed to act or hid information from consumers and users.
Exposure to toxic materials
According to OSHA, exposure to chemical hazards and toxic material can cause a range of injury from irritation, increased sensitivity to certain materials and even cancer. Additional dangers include flammability, chemical burns, radiation burns and burns to the lungs. Not all chemical and toxic injuries are immediately noticed. In fact, many cause life-threatening illnesses months, years and even decades later.
Employers using hazardous chemicals or handling hazardous material must provide labels and safety data sheets for workers. Training for how to manage the toxins appropriately should also include the measures needed to protect workers from exposure and what to do in the event of exposure. Failure of a company to provide proper training or protective equipment represents a significant liability in the case of an injury.
Misuse of tools or equipment
Have you been asked to just “make do” when the proper tool or piece of equipment was unavailable? It may not seem like an unreasonable request. After all, we have all tried to improvise tools from time to time.
In the construction industry, however, this is a recipe for injury. It is your employer’s responsibility to provide you with the proper tools and equipment to do the tasks you are asked to do.
If you have been injured or caused injury to others because you were asked to “make do,” a Sacramento injury attorney may be able to help. It is important to act quickly to protect your rights, earnings, reputation and job.
You have a legal right to a safe work environment. A lawsuit for your injuries can not only help you with your financial and physical recovery, but also help protect other workers from harm. A personal injury lawyer from the law firm of Rosenthal Law can advise you of your rights and guide you to recovery.