It is no surprise that injuries occur regularly in construction zones where heavy machinery and equipment is in use. These accident include falling objects, crane accidents, machine malfunctions, scaffold collapses, electrocution due to low-hanging wires, and highway work zone accidents.
Operating heavy machinery involves a high risk of injury and operators should be carefully trained and certified and they must fully abide by all rules to ensure their own safety and the safety of others. But companies do not always offer sufficient training, and they may not properly maintain the equipment, creating the risks of accidents caused by equipment malfunctions. An inexperienced or poorly trained operator may not have adequate control of the equipment which, for example, can lead to: cranes tipping over; trucks crashing; or a dump truck's contents being dumped in the wrong area or improperly released, creating dangerous flying objects. Maneuvering, and especially backing up, large, unwieldy equipment is dangerous and the operator must be vigilant about people and other equipment moving in the area.
Supervisors must be especially vigilant in roadwork areas. The work crew needs to post warning signs well before the work area and personnel with flags and signs are needed 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. Road crew members can be injured or killed when hit by passing cars. Road crews must wear brightly colored safety vests or other clothing that makes them visible to passing motorists and it is crucial to control the speed in work areas so passing vehicles can stop quickly and safely if necessary. Road crews can cause injuries to pedestrians and motorists if they do not provide adequate warnings or are careless in their use of heavy equipment.
Building construction also poses hazards. The site should be fenced off so that unauthorized individuals do not enter the area. Improperly rigged scaffolding can come loose or collapse and workers can plummet many stories. Or, scaffolding can fall on pedestrians and vehicles below, causing injuries and property damage. Falling objects, 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. 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, propane tanks, or toxic materials.
A supervisor's failure to enforce safety measures may make the supervisor and the company liable for a worker's injuries. A construction accident can leave the worker permanently disabled, requiring lifelong care, medication, and assistive equipment. A worker may need multiple surgeries and other treatment to recover from an injury. A family can lose its primary breadwinner in a construction. Parker Waichman LLP has experienced attorneys who have successfully assisted those injured in construction accidents to obtain the compensation they need and deserve.
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