Construction sites are among the most dangerous workplaces in America. Each year, nearly a thousand construction workers are killed and five hundred thousand are injured in falls, electrocution, crane accidents, scaffold accidents, welding, cutting and brazing accidents, and accidents caused by dangerous machinery. When a construction employee is injured, he can usually receive wage and medical benefits through workers’ compensation. And when the injury is caused as a result of defective machinery, or by the negligence of the architects, project owners, other contractors, or their employees, the construction worker can bring a civil lawsuit for damages that can far exceed what is available through workers’ compensation.
If you have been injured on a construction site, call our office immediately and speak with one of our experienced investigators.
There can be many dangers on a construction site, depending on the size, complexity and the nature of the work being done. Although less than one percent of the American workforce is involved in construction 20.5% of fatalities among private employees in 2014 were in the construction industry, according to the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration: Link to: https://www.osha.gov/oshstats/commonstats.html]
Injuries on a construction site should be taken seriously.
There may be a wide variety of parties involved at a construction site with different responsibilities, including,
- The site’s owner,
- General (or prime) contractor and subcontractors,
- Construction managers,
- Equipment and material suppliers, and
- Architects and engineers.
The larger the project the more likely work and legal responsibilities will be delegated to a larger number of companies. If you are injured on a construction site to try to determine who is responsible you need to look at the extent of a party’s control over the premises and the degree of their control over the work itself. The construction site owner may have effectively given up control of the site to the general or prime contractor.
General and subcontractors must provide a construction site that is reasonably safe. They have a legal duty to,
- Warn of any defects or hazards at the site and hazards inherent in the work being done.
- Ensure that, to the degree, they have control over a part of the work being performed, that work is being performed safely. This includes the hiring of reasonably competent employees and complying with safety regulations.
Architects and engineers have differing responsibilities which should be spelled out in their contract with the site owner. Duties may cover observing the work to ensure compliance with plans and specifications as well as site inspection to make sure safety rules and regulations are being met. In addition, design professionals are held to certain standards in performing professional services and may be held liable for injuries as a result of a failure to meet those standards.
If a piece of equipment or the material being used is to blame for an injury the company that made it, marketed it, sold it, maintained or controlled it may be held legally responsible.
If you or a loved one has been injured at a construction site, contact our office. Given the number of parties involved and the potential number of defendants, this is not the type of injury you want to try to settle on your own. Statutes of limitations apply so call us today.