Top Five Construction Accident Causes
October 23, 2020 | Personal Injury
Here’s the top construction accident causes, as construction accidents are quite common in New York. OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, has only one inspector for every 59,000 workers.
Therefore, this agency usually does not uncover violations until someone gets seriously hurt. Moreover, New York’s construction industry is very competitive.
Some companies may being cutting corners when it comes to worker safety.
These claims are legally complex in New York. Depending on the facts, victims may file workers’ compensation claims, negligence claims, or strict liability claims.
Workers’ compensation provides no-fault benefits which take care of economic losses.
These victims only need to prove that the injury is work-related.
Negligence claims are appropriate if the construction company was one of the many firms in New York that do not have workers’ compensation insurance.
Some of these companies ignore the law. Others lie on official paperwork and insurance companies refuse to cover the loss. And, despite multiple efforts to repeal it, New York’s scaffolding law is still in effect.
This law holds companies strictly liable for the injuries, mostly falls, which are related to dangerous scaffolds.
Our New York personal injury attorneys are experienced in all three kinds of cases. So, regardless of the facts, we fight for fair compensation.
Inadequate Ground Level Protection from Falling Objects
There is an old story that a penny dropped from the top of the Empire State Building is fatal to a pedestrian on the street.
Mostly because the penny would flutter to the ground instead of dropping straight down, this story is mostly false. However, it does illustrate Newton’s Second Law of Motion.
Speed multiples the force in a collision between two objects. And, the farther objects fall, the more speed they pick up.
Workers’ compensation usually applies if the injured victim was an employee at that worksite.
Negligence claims are usually appropriate if the victim was a pedestrian or a roving inspector.
In these claims, victim/plaintiffs must establish a lack of care by a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not).
Lack of Fall Protection in Elevated Areas
Scaffolds are an essential part of almost all construction projects, from single-family, single-story homes to the 73-story One Vanderbilt skyscraper.
Tall buildings usually also mean large construction cranes. Given the high winds at high elevations, these cranes are quite dangerous.
New York’s scaffolding law dates back to the late 1800s.
It is the only law of its kind in the United States. Construction companies are strictly liable for gravity-related fall injuries.
Worker negligence, if any, is irrelevant, as is any safety measures the employer had in place. Generally, this strict liability applies to both economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.
Tripping Hazards Related to Construction Debris and Materials
Clutter is inevitable at busy construction sites.
Many times, workers are so focused on completing tasks on time that they do not see fall hazards on the ground. These hazards are especially bad news for people with bad knees or other pre-existing conditions.
On a related note, debris is also one of the leading causes of office falls. In fact, obstructions like loose carpet and open drawers are such a serious problem that, statistically, office workers are more likely to fall than construction workers.
Missing Protectors or Guards on Power Tools
Product manufacturers often include safety devices on saws and other power tools. Because they affect worker productivity, many employers remove these devices. In doing so, these employers are leaving themselves vulnerable to legal action.
Lack of Safety Precautions Near Power Lines
At a busy construction site, it’s very difficult to tell the difference between a live wire and a dead one. In addition to electrical shock injuries, touching a wire can cause serious burns and falls.
Even if the injury occurred on a scaffold, the scaffolding law typically does not apply to these injuries. But the other two aforementioned legal options are still available.
On a related note, the warning signs and written safety instructions, if any, are sometimes dangerously deficient. Some construction workers may have Limited English Proficiency.
LEP workers might not be able to read such signs or instructions. Or, they might not understand what they mean.
Construction accident victims usually have several legal options. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in New York, contact Napoli Shkolnik PLLC. You have a limited amount of time to act.
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