Construction sites are inherently dangerous places; it’s why there are supposed to be signs posted on and around the site, warning of the dangers, and why workers are required to wear hard hats. One of the reasons accidents on work sites are so dangerous (and often so deadly) is the speed at which they occur. By the time you realize what’s happening, it may be too late to protect yourself.
There are times when construction site accidents have little to do with the workers themselves, and more to do with acts a nature – the sudden thunderstorm no one expected, or the shift of soil that can’t hold up under the weight of a concrete truck or crane. In most scenarios, however, the accidents and resulting injuries are the result of negligence on someone or some entity’s behalf. Most heavy equipment accidents on construction sites are caused by operator error, poor supervision and training, poor maintenance or defective equipment.
Operator error is a leading cause of construction site accidents. Sometimes, those accidents involve acts of gross negligence: “goofing around” on the job, failing to ensure a vehicle is in park, or being distracted by a phone. Other times, the operator makes an “honest” mistake that has devastating consequences. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation, or you may need to file a third-party personal injury lawsuit.
Lack of training and supervision
More often than not it is a lack of training that leads to mistakes. In industries like construction, which rely on independent contractors and third-party workers, the level or supervision and training is much lower. The Seattle Times reports that “Self-employed workers, including independent contractors, die at nearly four times the rate of other workers. Since 2006, the death rate among the self-employed at work has grown by nearly 25%.”
Construction vehicles and equipment have to be maintained, just as any vehicle or piece of equipment does. Aside from addressing general wear and tear, construction workers and supervisors must ensure that broken or faulty pieces of the machinery are fixed. Deflated tires, cracks in glass, pinhole leaks in hoses in hydraulic systems, and other faulty parts can lead to accidents, which can lead to injuries.
Sometimes, the problems with equipment are caused by product defects: flaws in the design, construction, or marketing. For example, a defective O-ring could wear out on one side before the other, causing two pieces of metal to scrape together. This can create metal dust that clogs up other parts of a tool, or lead to sparks that cause a fire.
If you are injured while working on a construction site, Martin & Helms wants to help. We’ve been protecting the injured throughout North Alabama for more than 20 years. To schedule a free consultation at one of our offices in Huntsville or Decatur, please call 256-539-1990, or fill out our contact form.