The Threats of Falling Equipment In and Around Construction Sites

Being struck by falling objects or other debris is always a risk inside and around construction sites. Besides the workers themselves, visitors to the site and even pedestrians are also open to the risk of being hit by objects falling from above, accidents that can result to traumatic brain injury, paralysis or even death. The most common types of falling objects that can cause serious injury are handheld tools, loose building materials, movable concrete and improperly secured loads from cranes or mechanical lifts.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), in 2012, about 78 construction workers were killed after being struck by falling objects or debris. Due to the dangers workers and many other individuals are exposed to, OSHA makes it the legal responsibility of construction companies and construction site owners to make sure that construction sites are kept safe. Accidents due to failure to keep construction sites safe may be the result of negligence of construction companies, site owners, workers and subcontractors. These acts of negligence that can result to falling objects or debris and injure someone include:

  • Lack of signage that will warn people about work going on overhead;
  • Lack of barricades to limit access to construction sites;
  • Tools or materials accidentally dropped by workers working on construction scaffolding and platforms;
  • Failure to wear or lack of personal protective gear, such as hard hats, face shields, and safety googles;
  • Failure to make regular maintenance checks and properly inspect construction equipment before use;
  • Failure of workers to secure hand held tools and other materials properly;
  • Failure on the part of employers to properly train workers on safety measures and on the proper use of construction equipment and machinery;
  • Failure on the part of employers to provide workers with safety gears;
  • Lack of safety devices, such as debris nets, shore and brace structures, catch platforms, tool guards, and toe boards; and,
  • Failure to properly secure loads that are being lifted, resulting to objects getting dislodged.

According to Philadelphia personal injury lawyers, there are many traumatic injuries that can occur on construction sites. These injuries frequently require emergency medical services because of the dangerous equipment on these sites. Unsurprisingly, construction workers face the most risk of construction site injuries. They must rely on their employers to provide the safest work environment possible and proper safety training for their jobs. Unfortunately, many employers fail to take adequate safety measures in order to cut costs and many construction workers suffer injuries as a result.

While it is true that a construction worker, who gets injured on the job, may be able to apply for financial benefits paid by the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Program, he/she may also waive this legal right and choose to file a civil suit against his/her employer instead; he/she may also be able to file a civil lawsuit against a third party individual whose action or lack of action may have contributed to the accident that resulted to his/her injuries. Having a seasoned personal injury lawyer, who can counsel him/her regarding the best legal action to take, may be an advantage.

 

Causal Factors of Product Liability Cases

There is a legal concept called product liability, wherein designers, manufacturers, and everybody else involved in trade are legally obligated to make sure that the products they make available to the public are safe, because they can be held accountable for accidents, injuries, and deaths.
According to the website of Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC, all those who have been hurt because of dangerous products may pursue legal action against the responsible parties. But how can consumers get hurt by products anyway? There are three main factors that may trigger a product accident.

Design Defects

A design defect occurs when a product has an inherently dangerous design. It is one of the most common triggers of product accidents and injuries. Designers should first study their proposed designs, determine the possible risks, and come up with a way to avoid these risks by improving the design. Failing to make a competent and thorough study may result into a design defect that may put an unsuspecting consumer in danger. An example of this is how certain vehicle airbags deploy in a way that causes more harm than good.

Manufacturing Defects

A product has a manufacturing defect if it has flaws that have risen because of manufacturing error or negligence. The two most common manufacturing defects include the use of poor materials and the practice of poor manufacturing techniques. Both can make the product suffer from poor quality, and it may even easily break and cause an accident. For example, a bicycle for children may have a crack in the body, making it vulnerable to breaking and making the child at risk of crashing and injuring himself.

Inherently Dangerous Products

The whole product itself may be dangerous. Maybe the product has not been studied well and yet the company that owns it puts it out in the market, such as those surgical implants that turn out to have negative medical implications. Maybe the product has hazardous substances, like arsenic, mercury, and lead, such as those toys that can cause lead-poisoning. Maybe the product has no labels that may inform consumers of the product’s safety and hazardousness, such as those construction equipment that do not come with safety instructions and warning signs.