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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in construction accidents

Heavy Machinery Poses Injury Risk for Construction WorkersA construction worksite has plenty of dangerous equipment that can cause severe injury or death if workers are not careful. Some of the most dangerous equipment is heavy machinery, such as bulldozers, cranes, dump trucks, and excavators. When used safely, these machines are highly useful because of their ability to complete large-scale tasks in an efficient manner. When accidents happen, workers can suffer broken bones, severed limbs, and traumatic brain and spine injuries. If you have been injured by heavy construction machinery, you may be eligible for personal injury compensation.

Staying Safe

Most construction workers are appropriately cautious when around heavy machinery, but some accidents happen because a worker was being careless or reckless. Making a mistake with a machine could cause injury to yourself or others. You need to take safety precautions in order to protect everyone on the construction site:

  • Do not operate heavy machinery that you have not been trained to use or are not comfortable with.
  • Be cautious when entering and exiting the machine to avoid falls.
  • Stay focused on operating the machinery and avoid distractions, such as your phone.
  • Do not operate the machinery if you are impaired, such as feeling drowsy or sick.
  • Always use safety equipment when on or near the machinery, even if for just a short time.
  • If moving the machine, communicate with a spotter on the ground who can check in your blind spots.
  • When driving the machine, stick to the designated safe routes.
  • If working on the ground, keep a safe distance from the machine and stay aware of its location.

Injury Compensation Options

Many construction workers who are injured on the job are limited to claiming workers’ compensation benefits. You do not have to prove negligence when filing for workers’ compensation, but there is a cap on the amount of compensation you can receive. Sometimes, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against a third party who was liable for your injury. For instance:

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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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