Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Construction Accidents

People working in construction are exposed to tremendous hazards and dangers with thousands of construction workers seriously injured or killed each year. 
Despite state and federal regulations, as well as industry standards, requiring owners, general contractors and subcontractors to implement a wide variety of safety measures, each year U.S. workers experience 6,000 job related deaths and 5.7 million occupational injuries, illnesses and accidents. 
Because of nearly daily changes at construction sites, construction accidents require early legal intervention and investigation.
General Construction Site Accidents 
Each year more workers are hurt and killed doing construction than in any other industry.
Construction site injuries frequently result from objects or workers falling from elevated areas,  workplace motor vehicle machinery and equipment accidents (including trucks, cranes and forklifts), electrocution, fires, explosions, exposure to harmful substances and environments, a lack of excavation shoring, and unsafe ladders.
Construction Site Falls and Scaffolding Accidents
The most common causes of construction site catastrophic falls and deaths include unprotected sides and wall openings, holes in floors and unguarded protruding steel rebars, and falls off the edges of - - or holes in - - roofs.
An estimated 2.3 million construction workers work on scaffolds and each year 4,500 workers are injured in - - and 60 die as a result of - - scaffolding accidents.
Scaffolding accidents often involve falls due to lack of fall protection, instability or overloading caused scaffold collapse or tip-over, or being struck by falling tools, work materials or debris.
Structural Collapse Accidents
Structural collapses occur both in existing structures or structures being built.
For buildings under construction, structural collapse accidents require examining construction codes and blueprints to determine:
            ° whether structure was being built properly according to its design or if it's design was                             improper;  
            ° were the foundation and building materials appropriate;
            ° was the building properly braced during construction; and
            ° was it engineered to be structurally stable.
For an existing structure's collapse accident investigation involves ascertaining the structure's age, how well it was maintained, and whether owner was aware of any potential safety hazards and, if so, what it did - - or failed to do - - to address these dangers.
Liability and Damages in Construction Site Accidents
Workplace injuries range from broken limbs to severe brain and spinal cord injuries to death. 
Further, construction site injuries often devastate the injured worker's family members whom may have depended on his income and now are responsible for his care. 
The property's owners, general contractors, contractors, construction managers, construction companies and equipment manufacturers may all be liable for compensation for pain and suffering, emotional trauma, medical costs, lost income and future earnings.