Construction areas can lead to all types of accidents including scaffold accidents, getting hit by falling objects, crane accidents, machine malfunctions, and highway work zone accidents. What makes these areas even more dangerous is the use of heavy machinery and dangerous equipment.
Working with heavy machinery involves a high risk of injury and those who operate heavy machinery must pass safety tests and abide by strict rules to ensure their own safety as well as the safety of others. Unfortunately, companies sometimes do not offer sufficient training and may not properly maintain the equipment, creating additional risks. An inexperienced or poorly trained operator may not have adequate control of the equipment which, for example, can cause cranes tip over, truck crashes, or the dumping of contents in the wrong area, or released too quickly, creating flying objects. Just the maneuvering of this equipment could be a dangerous proposition.
In order to limit the dangers, supervisors must be especially vigilant in roadwork areas, proper warning signs have to be posted at appropriate distances and there have to be personnel with flags and signs to control the flow of traffic in the area. Barrels, cones, and barriers must be used as necessary to protect workers and create safe temporary lanes for passing traffic. Workers need to wear brightly colored safety vests or other clothing that makes them more visible to passing vehicles. It is crucial to control the speed in work areas so passing vehicles can stop quickly and safely if necessary. Road crews can be responsible for injuries to pedestrians and motorists if they do not provide adequate warnings or are careless in moving equipment.
Specifically, building construction is also an extremely dangerous. Improperly rigged scaffolding can come loose or collapse and workers can fall many stories. Scaffolding can fall on pedestrians and vehicles below. Falling debris, construction materials, and tools can injure workers and passersby. At a site where the walls are still open, the crew must be careful to secure tools and materials so they do not blow away or fall from the building. To maximize safety, work crews, both inside and outside, need proper tools and safety equipment such as hard hats and safety goggles. They need safe sources of electricity for power tools and proper instructions for handling chemicals or other possibly toxic materials.
A supervisor's failure to enforce safety measures may make the company liable for a worker's injuries. A construction accident can leave the worker permanently disabled and requiring lifelong care, medication, and assistive equipment. A worker may need multiple surgeries and other treatment to recover from an injury.
In most states, workers who are injured on the job received only worker's compensation benefits which means that they may not sue their employers for their injuries. In New York, however, there are special provisions for workers injured at constructions sites which allow injured workers to bring lawsuits against the party or parties responsible for their falls. The experienced Long Island construction accident attorneys at Parker Waichman LLP have successfully assisted those injured to obtain adequate compensation for their injuries, including medical and rehabilitation expenses and lost wages.
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