Gravity is one of the most powerful natural forces on this planet. When it comes to gravity on the construction site, the laws of nature can send someone falling to serious injury or even death. Gravity can also come into play in accidents involving objects or equipment that falls and injures a worker on a lower level. Many of these accidents occur because a worker or supervisor neglects a duty to exercise care in performing a task.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration stated in a statistic about construction accidents that falls accounted for over 30 percent of all construction fatalities and even more on-site injuries. These accidents are mostly due to the lack of safety measures that can protect a worker from falling from such heights. There are several methods that supervisors can and should use on site to prevent these injuries. When they fail to do so, it is considered employer negligence on their part. Workers have the right to make a workers' compensation claim and in serious cases, even file a personal injury claim for compensation.
Injuries that result from fall-related accidents in construction can be extremely dangerous. If a worker falls, depending on the height from which the fall took place, he or she could experience brain injury, spine injury and multiple broken bones. If the fall is from high enough so that velocity is more powerful, the accident can easily lead to the worker's death. Falls from ladders, roofs and unguarded elevated surfaces are far too common in the construction industry and should serve as an incentive for companies to make their sites safer for workers.
Workers can also slip and fall on flat surfaces. This may be due to the negligence of another employee who left wiring and equipment in the wrong place or forgot to clean up slippery surfaces after completing a task. Slip and fall accidents can also range from mild to severe and can include broken bones and back injuries that hinder the employee's ability to work in the field.
Lastly, workers do not need to be the ones that fall in order to be injured. Falling objects are another eminent danger on an unsafe construction site. Equipment in the industry is notoriously heavy and if an object or piece of machinery falls from higher levels, the natural force of gravity can quickly turn it into a deadly weapon for any of the workers below.
Several measures can be taken to increase the safety of workers when it comes to the risk of falling and being injured. Construction companies are required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to literally secure their workers when they perform tasks at heights. Guardrails, safety nets and harnesses are all available resources for workers to avoid falling from heights. While it is the supervisors' responsibility to make these safety features available to workers and train employees on how to use them correctly, it is consequently the responsibility of the workers to choose to use those features. If a worker is injured after refusing the safety equipment offered to him, he cannot blame anyone but himself for his injuries. However, if there were no safety options available and the worker fell or was struck by a falling object, the employer is responsible to compensate him for his injuries.
Far too many workers are injured from falls on construction sites. Supervisors must work harder to train, educate and equip their employees with the means to maintain safety. If you or a loved one suffered injuries on a construction site, contact a personal injury attorney in Santa Clarita to help you determine what the best option for taking legal action is for your situation. At The Law Offices of Gerald L. Marcus, we believe that if your injuries were the fault of someone else, you should not have to pay for them alone. Call today and schedule a case evaluation with a member of our legal team.