Workplace Accidents in Construction
One of the reasons construction work is so dangerous is because it frequentlwy involves working with and around heavy equipment, scaffolding, and high voltage electricity. When operating as expected and used by properly trained people, these need not be the cause of workplace accidents. Unfortunately, things don’t always go as planned.
Construction equipment malfunction is a broad category, which may mean anything from a defective safety harness to an overloaded circuit box. In 2012, 775 people met their death while working on a site. Equipment failure and related causes accounted for about 10% of these fatal workplace accidents in construction, or 78 people. For the same year, more than 183,000 construction workers sustained nonfatal injuries.
Some of the more spectacular equipment failure accidents in construction involve collapsing or otherwise malfunctioning cranes. The most recent ones in the U.S. occurred in 2008, one in Houston and two in New York City, and it was determined that errors were made in the positioning, assembly, or operation of the crane which caused the incidents. The accidents collectively claimed the lives of 13 people.
Construction workers lucky enough to survive an equipment failure event may nevertheless face considerable down time while recovering from their injury, and this means medical expenses and days of work lost. Fortunately, these are covered by workman’s comp insurance, which is mandatory for all private employers in the US for their employees in case they get injured on the job. While workers’ comp wage replacement is certainly less than the normal pay, it is better than nothing, and there is no need to prove fault which hurries things up considerably.
However, according to the website of the LaMarca Law Group, if workplace accidents occurred because of gross negligence on the part of the employer, it may be possible for the employee to file a claim in civil court. This will largely depend on the circumstances surrounding the event. To find out more about what cases would qualify for personal injury litigation, consult with a Des Moines workers compensation attorney. It is the employer’s duty to keep their workplace safe for their staff.