Construction has one of the highest injury rates of any industry out there, and complexities abound in many construction-site accident cases. In bigger projects, there is a wide variety of entities represented: the construction-site landowner, contractors (general, prime, and subcontractors), design and engineering professionals, and manufacturers of construction machinery and equipment.
Legal Rights of Injured Construction Workers
Work and legal responsibilities are often delegated in construction projects. Who is responsible for accidents and injuries and to what extent may not always be obvious. Site owners are responsible for injuries that arise due to harmful conditions they knew of or should reasonably have known of and did not disclose. Contractors have a duty to provide safe working conditions for their workers, make sure their workers are professionally trained, warn of hazards or defects at work sites, and comply with safety regulations. Architects and engineers are tasked with ensuring that design plans and specifications are adhered to, and code regulations complied with. Manufacturers of machinery and equipment may be under the gun if defects or poor design lead to accidents and injury.
Construction accidents encompass falls, explosions, burns, exposure to toxic chemicals, malfunctioning equipment, crushing weight, collapsing scaffolding, falling debris, electrocution, and repetitive-motion and lifting injuries, among others.
To protect passersby, unsafe areas need to be blocked off, warning signs must be posted, and approach areas or bypasses should be free of hazards. There are also issues of workers’ compensation that may be visited, depending on the situation.
If you are injured at a work site, contact an experienced construction-accident injury attorney and workers comp attorney to navigate your way through the maze of issues to protect your rights. My office practices both personal injury and workers comp.