Lack of Basic Safety Considerations Leads to Miami Construction Accidents
The construction industry has had the highest rates of both fatal and nonfatal occupations injuries for many years, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported an incidence rate of 13.3 per 100,000 employed construction workers in 2001. As a worker you may or may not have been informed that the responsibility for your safety on the job falls on the heads of the contractors and developers. This is especially hard to believe because when a construction worker suffers an injury on the job, it is the contractors and developers who usually deny that they have responsibility.
We are experienced representatives of injured construction workers, and we have seen firsthand the dangers that come with the job. There is a reason why contractors and developers are supposed to enforce strict adherence to the OSHA regulations, and failing to do so can place workers at a high risk for injury.
One of the most disappointing things about the accidents that take place in the construction industry is that many workers suffer the same types of injuries over and over again. Our team of injury lawyers has noticed this trend in the construction cases that we handle, and we have provided information on some of these common accidents below.
Aerial Lift Accidents
These accidents typically involve platforms, vertical towers and articulating boom platforms. The most common type of incident involving an aerial lift is the tip-over, which is caused by misapplication of the machine, obstacles, lack of use, unfamiliarity with the machine and lack of training.
Employers of construction workers are responsible for training employees on how to operate aerial lifts, which includes knowing how to set brakes, use outriggers, and know the limits on boom and basket loads. Employees must also learn how to wear the fall protection gear and be cautious to avoid using ladders or stools to raise the employee above the height of the platform.
Defects in Tools and Equipment
Construction workers are required to use a variety of tools to grind, shape or alter concrete, steel and other hardened surfaces on a regular basis. It takes extensive training in order to operate some of these tools correctly, and working with defective tools greatly increases the risk for injury. In order to prevent injuries, workers must make sure that floor and bench-mounted grinders are properly secured according to precise specifications.
Construction tools can be made up of many moving parts that are prone to defects, and even a slight malfunction can create dangerous projectiles that injure a worker’s eyes, hands, face and other body parts. Employers must enforce the policy that each worker needs to wear adequate safety gear at all times, especially by construction workers who are using grinders.
Safety in Confined Spaces
Construction workers are often required to work in confined spaces such as underground vaults, storage tanks, process vessels, bins, boilers, ventilation or exhaust ducts, sewers, tunnels, pipelines, pits, tubs, vaults, and vessels. Many of these confined spaces are labeled by the OSHA as “permit-required confined space”, which means that the space has the potential to contain a hazardous atmosphere or a material that poses a health or safety risk. Before any construction worker enters a confined space, the employer is required to brief the construction worker on any real or potential hazards they may encounter, such as toxic fumes, explosive pipes or utilities. All required safety equipment must be provided by the employer and proper training must be conducted.
If you or a loved one has been injured on a construction site, it is extremely important for you to confer with an experienced attorney. At Klemick and Gampel, we have the experience necessary to determine whether or not your injury was caused by negligence on the part of the contractor, developer, or any other responsible party. Contact our offices for a free legal consultation today.