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How Third Parties Can Be Liable for Construction Worker FallsFalls cause more deaths at construction sites than any other work-related accidents. Construction workers are sometimes positioned high in the air, making any fall a life-threatening event. Even falls with little or no elevation can be dangerous if the worker falls onto a piece of equipment or hard surface. When seeking compensation for their injuries, many construction workers must file a workers’ compensation claim because their injuries occurred as a result of performing their job duties or negligence by their employer. However, there are situations where a third party was responsible for the fall and is liable in a personal injury lawsuit.

Faulty Equipment

Construction workers use equipment from third-party manufacturers to reach high places and protect themselves while up there. You could file a personal injury lawsuit against the manufacturer or seller of the equipment if its failure caused your injuries, such as a ladder that collapses or a safety harness that fails to secure you. To hold a third party liable for a faulty product, you must prove that:

  • There was a flaw in the product’s design;
  • The materials used to build the product were substandard;
  • The manufacturer was negligent in constructing the product; or
  • The seller knew of the product’s flaws when you or your employer purchased it.

Unsafe Conditions

You and your employer may lack control over the conditions of the work site if you are working with a subcontractor or other third party. Leaving equipment strewn across the ground or spilling a slick substance may cause you to fall from tripping or slipping. Because this is a third party claim, you must prove that:

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Trucks Backing Up Can Cause Serious Construction Site InjuriesA large truck is one of the most dangerous pieces of equipment that you will commonly find at a construction site. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there were 962 fatalities at road construction sites from 2003 to 2010. Among those:

  • 443 were caused by a worker being struck by a vehicle or mobile equipment;
  • 143 were caused by a vehicle backing up; and
  • 84 were caused by a dump truck backing up.

In many cases, workers who are injured by a vehicle that is backing up can petition for workers’ compensation benefits. However, there are scenarios where a third party may be responsible for the incident, which allows the victim to file a personal injury lawsuit.

The Danger of Trucks in Reverse

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Chemical Exposure Has Long-Term EffectsExposure to hazardous substances is a serious risk that some construction workers face on the job. The immediate danger is most apparent when disastrous events occur, such as explosions. However, chemical exposure can cause medical conditions that may become life-threatening over time. Construction workers must be aware of the long-term hazards of working with toxic substances.

Types of Hazards

Construction projects may use materials that are toxic to workers who come in contact with them. Builders have stopped using some of the most hazardous materials, such as asbestos. However, workers may still need to remove dangerous materials if they are renovating an older building. Workers can also become ill due to exposure to more common substances, such as:

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