Some Construction Site Accidents are Results of Employers’ Failure to Uphold Safety Standards in the Workplace

Being struck by falling tools or debris is one of the dangers inside and around construction sites. Exposed to this danger includes the construction workers themselves, visitors to the site and pedestrians who are only passing by. Some of the worst results of getting struck by falling objects are traumatic brain injury, paralysis and death.

The most common objects which fall from high construction areas are handheld tools, loose building materials, improperly secured loads from cranes or mechanical lifts, and movable concrete. In 2012 alone, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) received reports of 78 deaths involving construction workers, who were said to have been struck by falling objects or debris while at work.

To avoid accidents from occurring, OSHA has made it the legal responsibility of construction companies and employers to make sure that construction sites are kept safe. Majority of construction site accidents, according to OSHA, are due to failure to maintain safety in and around construction areas – failure which is equivalent to acts of negligence by construction companies, site owners, workers and/or subcontractors. These acts include:

  1. Failure to display signs which will warn people about work going on overhead;
  2. Failure to place barricades that will limit access to or near construction sites;
  3. Failure to properly secure handheld tools or work materials to keep these from falling from high working places;
  4. Failure to wear proper protective gear, including hard hat, face shield, and safety googles;
  5. Failure to make regular inspection of tools and equipment before these are used;
  6. Failure to train of employees about safety measures and on the proper use of construction equipment;
  7. Failure of employers to provide workers with the necessary safety gears;
  8. Failure to put in place safety devices, like debris nets, shore and brace structures, catch platforms, tool guards, and toe boards; and,
  9. Failure to make sure that loads, which are being lifted, are properly secured.

One article posted in the website of Crowe & Mulvey, LLP, points out that employers are responsible in making sure that workplaces, especially work environments characterized by dangerous situations, like construction work, are always kept safe. There are guidelines for nearly every construction procedure, and if ever employers fail to uphold the standards they are held to, then they can be held financially liable for injuries resulting from any accident.

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