Our great nation was built by construction workers – literally! Construction workers have always played a critical role in our society. They build our roads, houses, hospitals, shopping centers, entertainment complexes, workplaces, as well as repair and maintain our infrastructure. This industry is huge – according to the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), about 6.5 million people work at approximately 252,000 constructions sites across the country. Because of this magnitude, as well as the dangerous nature of the work, unfortunately, the accident rate in this industry is very high. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that construction accounted for the highest number of fatal work injuries of any industry sector in 2012.
Establishing safe habits while working on a construction site is critical. Safety should be the number one priority in every working environment. Managers should ensure all employees are aware of all rules and safety practices. It is the employer’s duty to administer safety precautions and to provide all employees with proper training to help prevent dangerous accidents from occurring. In addition, managers should set their employees up for success, regularly updating safety procedures and leading by example.
Construction accidents are among the most severe of all workplace calamities – due to the amount of dangerous equipment and hazardous materials at a job site. OSHA, a division of the U.S. Department of Labor, has set up specific workplace safety rules and regulations to which all employers in the United States must comply. These rules include ensuring all workers have the proper safety equipment such as goggles, helmets, gloves, and other protective gear. OSHA also requires that employers perform regular inspections of equipment to ensure its proper use as well as regular inspections of the job site itself. These inspections could mean the difference between life and death for construction workers.
Every employee has the right to work in an environment that does not jeopardize their safety or health. When an employer is negligent in their duties to provide a safe workplace, employees are put at risk. Employees can suffer catastrophic injuries such as permanent disability, loss of limbs, head injuries, blindness, broken bones, amputation, and even worse, death.
Some of the most common types of construction accidents include:
- Construction site falls
- Crane accidents
- Mishandling of hazardous materials
- Scaffolding accidents
- Lifting accidents
- Concrete accidents
- Workers being run-over by operating equipment
- Electrical accidents
- Errors in truck loading and unloading
- Product liability
- Equipment accidents
- Equipment malfunctions
- Trench collapses
- Fires and explosions
- Welding accidents
It is important to know that some of these accidents can be prevented if employers instill more strict safety precautions and establish better workplace procedures, such as promoting a clean, organized environment and being more aware of the working conditions their employees are subjected to. It is also the responsibility of employers to protect their employees by carefully selecting new hires, implementing safety checklists, adopting and enforcing safety procedures, providing formal training, and by conducting occasional drills and inspections.
All injured employees are entitled to worker’s compensation to cover lost income, medical bills and other expenses while on disability leave. In some cases, workers may be eligible for lifetime permanent disability payments and lump-sum settlements. At Friedman Rodman Frank & Estrada, P.A., our Miami work injury attorneys help workers throughout Florida file worker's compensation claims to receive this compensation.
Our main objective in every case is to maximize the value of your total compensation. To maximize these results, we look for every valid legal claim that can be brought against persons or companies, such as employees, subcontractors and vendors. Construction accident victims can bring personal injury lawsuits if they are injured by dangerous or defective products, or by the negligence of a third party. Contact our South Florida law offices by calling us at 305-448-8585 or toll free at 877-448-8585, or by contacting us online to schedule a free and confidential consultation.