FAULTY SAFETY DEVICES ON CONSTRUCTION SITES
Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) statistics reveal that catastrophic injuries and fatalities from construction accidents are rampant. Close to 40 percent all of work injuries occur on construction sites. Many of these injuries were caused by faulty safety devices on construction sites. In 2015, a worker was killed when a crane malfunctioned while he was inspecting mechanical problems with the crane, causing him to be crushed by the boom. The other major caused are falling off ladders and electrocution. Faulty safety devices on construction sites is a preventable problem, and contractors that don’t take this problem seriously are being found liable for the consequences. If you’ve been injured in a construction accident, you should make an appointment for a free consultation with a faulty safety device attorney as soon as possible. Deadlines for filing claims can expire!
DEFINING FAULTY SAFETY EQUIPMENT ON CONSTRUCTION SITES
Faulty safety equipment refers to a device that has some type of defect that causes it to malfunction. Sometimes it is caused by a defect in the design of the product or in its manufacturing, giving rise to a product liability claim. It could also be a result of improper or lax maintenance of the device, which gives rise to a claim against a contractor, in addition to a claim for Workers Compensation benefits.
EXAMPLES OF CONSTRUCTION ACCIDENTS FROM FAULTY SAFETY DEVICES
The most frequent type of accident on a construction site is a fall. When a fall is from a great height, catastrophic injuries or death is often the result. Falls are often caused by faulty scaffolding, ladder, harnesses or other safety equipment.
Faulty equipment can cause objects to dislodge and fall on workers or bystanders. Crane malfunctions frequently cause objects to heavy objections to fall, causing catastrophic injuries and even death. A construction worker in Boston was killed when a faulty crane dropped a 6 ton steel beam on him.
Frayed power cords cause serious injuries, especially when used in wet conditions. Contact with high voltage wiring that is not properly insulated in another major hazard. When equipment is not maintained properly, there is liability for the serious injuries that result.
Malfunctioning parts can cause workers to be “caught-in-between” heavy objects and equipment and crushed. This is especially common on crowded worksites with multiple forklifts. Sadly, this type of accident with forklifts is fairly common.
SUING THE MANUFACTURER
Construction Workers are entitled to Workers Compensation benefits, and may believe this is their only avenue of recovery. There are many other potential lawsuits that arise from a construction accident, including product liability claims against the manufacturer of faulty equipment. Manufacturers have a duty to make their products safe for their intended use, and when they fail to do so, they are liable for the consequences of their action or inaction. There are three basic types of claims for faulty safety devices:
- Defect in the design of the safety device rendering it unsafe or useless
- A manufacturing error caused the particular safety device to be unsafe or useless
- Manufacturer failed to provide proper warnings about the intended use of the product or hazards it may present
NEW YORK CITY FAULTY SAFETY DEVICE ATTORNEY
There are also claims under Labor Law, and exceptions to the Workers Compensation law that can give rise to additional avenues of compensation. The only way to know for sure what claims you may have is to contact an experienced faulty safety device attorney. At Wittenstein & Wittenstein, we’ve been handling construction accidents for generations, and we will leave no stone unturned to get you the highest amount of compensation possible. There are strict time limits for filing claims, so you should not off contacting an attorney. Please contact us at 718-261-8114 for a free consultation.
The Occupational Safety Administration, of the Federal Department of Safety issues regulations that are intended to improve construction worker safety. They publish pocket guides that should be in every worker’s pocket to ensure that there is compliance to protect themselves and their co-workers from preventable accidents. Faulty safety device accidents are some of the most preventable. Devices that are tested regularly as much less likely to fail. Aging devices should be replaced, and devices with outdated designs should be replaced with modern safer ones. These simple steps can make a dangerous job just a little bit safer.
When you arrive at a new job, don’t be shy about asking whoever’s in charge about which safety devices will be available to you. If you have experience, you will know right away if this is a construction site that cares about safety. If you don’t get a straight answer, go to “higher-ups,” they can’t fire you for insisting on having proper safety devices. If you notice unsafe conditions on a work site, report those conditions. If you don’t feel comfortable speaking up about conditions on the site, you can file an anonymous report. You owe it to yourself and your family to make sure that you are working with the safest conditions possible.