How Do Construction Accidents Happen (And What Can I Do About It?)

construction accident attorney

A construction accident attorney frequently handles cases where worker safety was not high on the list of priorities. Despite OSHA regulations and violations observed by employees, money and time restraints end up being the focus instead.

When a worker suffers an on-the-job injury, he or she often contacts a construction accident attorney to hold the negligent party accountable. Many times negligence results from a lack of oversight in providing the safety equipment and personal protective equipment (PPE) needed to prevent an injury.

According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), construction-related accidents are frequently attributed to falling. Falls are also the number one cause of construction work-related deaths. NIOSH adds that 401 of the 991 fall fatalities in 2019 happened at a lower work elevation.

construction accident attorney

Reasons for Negligence

Other reasons for injuries and fatalities include electrocutions, struck-by accidents, and caught-between incidents. All these accidents regularly occur. Construction safety oversights also include the following issues:

  • Tripping dangers due to leftover debris of construction items or materials
  • Missing protections on power tools
  • Uninspected/unsafe equipment
  • Lack of worker protection for workers in trenches
  • Property conditions deemed as unsafe

SWA Issues

In many cases, Stop Work Authority (SWA) procedures are ignored. A Stop Work Authority iis a process that is designed to prevent an accident by following “safety first” rules. The program encourages employees and contract workers on a construction site to stop work if they notice an unsafe work condition. 

The protocol follows that the employee/contractor stop the work, notify the project manager so they can investigate the worksite and then correct the problem. After the correction is made, the work is resumed and the manager follows up to ensure the site is still safe.

The steps for an SWA must be taken in sequence to maximize a site’s safety. Besides the acronym, SWA, people in charge at construction sites must provide personal protective equipment (PPE) or gear that follows OSHA regulations for safe work conditions.

Types of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

PPE refers to items such as a hard hat, work boots, safety vest, ear protection, safety belts, and gloves. 

OSHA makes it clear in its literature that employers must pay for and provide PPE for their employees. According to OSHA, employers are also obligated to conduct a hazard assessment of a workplace. This is done to oversee and control certain physical or health hazards. 

OSHA stresses that employers train employees in the proper use and care of PPE as well. Maintenance of PPE is also up to the employer, who must replace damaged or worn PPE while continuing to review the effectiveness of their PPE program. 

Safety regulations in the construction industry make it imperative that injured construction workers speak to a construction accident attorney before they proceed with filing any claims. 

Doing so will allow them to protect themselves financially and assist them in receiving fair and equitable compensation for injuries resulting from third-party or employer negligence claims.

The Fatal Four

Safety regulators often refer to accidents in construction as the fatal four. These incidents, mentioned above as well, include falls, struck-by accidents, electrocution, and caught-betweens. 

Ladder-based Falls

More specifically, ladder accidents often lead to long-term disability when the wrong ladder is used on a job site. In some cases, the ladder is improperly set up or is placed on an unstable surface. Accidents may also result if a worker slips or loses their balance when they reach too far for an object. Some lawsuits are filed when a ladder has been improperly maintained.

Scaffolding Accidents

Scaffolding accidents are also commonplace in construction accident attorney cases. One Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) study revealed that about 72% of the injuries resulted from a plank or support that was not stable and gave way. 

In other incidents, workers reported that they slipped or a falling object hit them while they were working. Therefore, most of the accidents happen because the scaffolding was not properly installed or constructed, or the platform was not regularly checked and maintained.

Machine and Power Tool Accidents

When a worker is injured from using a machine or power tool, it is usually because of insufficient training on equipment use or a mechanical defect. In some cases, an electrical failure may lead to an injury.

Vehicle Incidents

Some construction claims result when a forklift, grader, dump truck, or backhoe hits a worker or they are injured while operating it. Forklift accidents frequently happen when a driver turns the vehicle or operates it with the load raised. Accidents may happen to pedestrians when a large truck is backing up. Some workers also file claims after they fall from a construction machine.

Speak to a Construction Accident Attorney Now

To ensure you receive a fair settlement for a construction accident claim, you need to speak to a construction accident attorney who can advise you every step of the way. Workers Compensation may not satisfy what you need in compensation. Therefore, discuss your case with an experienced attorney. Phone Belal Hamideh Law at (562) 526-1224 today.