Construction Workers – Most Prone to Work-related Accidents

The Willow Island disaster, which occurred in April of 1978 and killed 51 construction workers all working on a scaffold, is considered the largest construction accident in the history of the United States. So many more construction site accidents happened before and after this one tragic event, all severely injuring scores of workers and taking the lives of many others.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics records about 150,000 job-related injuries annually in construction sites alone, making industrial jobs the most dangerous of all types of works. To ensure safety in construction sites, in particular, and in all workplaces, in general, the United States government passed into law the Occupational Safety and Health Act, or OSH Act, in 1970 which, after a year, established the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). OSHS’ main concern is to implement the mandate on safe and healthy working conditions in all work environments for the benefit of all employees.

In 2012, of the 4,175 deaths involving employees in the private sector, 806 were construction workers. The top four causes of deaths, which OSHA came to call the “Fatal Four,” include: falls; being struck by something, such as a truck, crane, a falling wall, a falling object or other heavy tool or vehicle; electrocution; and, being caught-in/between.

A personal injury attorney will always emphasize the necessity of construction jobs, yet will also affirm the many dangers construction workers are regularly exposed to. Thus, property owners, contractors, machinery manufacturers and all workers have the responsibility of doing their part in keeping working sites as safe as possible to avoid untoward incidents, which, in reality, can be avoided.

When an accident occurs, however, then hiring a highly-competent legal counsel may be necessary. He/She may be able to help the accident victim assess the extent of the injury, apply for Worker’s Compensation benefit or pursue the best legal action against the liable party (if the injured victims waives his/her claim for the Worker’s Comp benefit).

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Roles of the Criminal Defense Lawyer

A criminal defense lawyer necessarily comes after the fact; it is not their responsibility to prevent a criminal or unlawful act from being committed. Instead, the criminal defense lawyer must examine the facts of the case to determine if the defendant did in fact commit the crime, and if so, if there are mitigating or exonerating circumstances that would serve to reduce or nullify the defendant’s culpability. However, the profession is often rife with contradictions.

In many cases, the defendant will do anything to avoid prosecution and conviction. This includes intentionally offering false testimony in court. Now, the criminal defense lawyer has three roles: advocate, court officer, and justice seeker. It is the main duty of the criminal defense lawyer to vigorously protect the rights of the defendant to the full extent of the law, and this is in line with the defendant’s aim. But as a court officer and justice seeker, the criminal defense lawyer cannot knowingly and willfully participate in fraud.

To fulfill these sometimes disparate roles, the lawyer has to convince the client not to lie in court by refraining from testifying or by telling the truth. Being caught in a lie is a dangerous precedent in a trial because it tends to bias the judge and jury against any subsequent testimony or facts. The criminal defense lawyer must guide the defendant to achieve the best possible results while maintaining integrity.

Although a defendant is supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, society is quick to pass judgment. Often, being charged with a crime is enough to significantly and adversely affect the defendant’s life. It is up to the criminal defense lawyer not only to protect the rights of the defendant but to do so without breaking moral and ethical rules or condoning fraud. It is only when it is apparent that the defendant and the lawyer are credible that an acquittal or dismissal will be considered just in the public’s eye.

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