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Risks Involved in Construction Site Accidents

While almost any type of workplace can offer unexpected accident risk, it is the responsibility of the employer to take action to keep that risk as low as possible. Construction sites may seem to be more hazardous than an office building or store, but accidents and dangers can be prevented by implementing rigid and enforceable safety practices at construction sites. For example, the general contractor and all subcontractors are required to provide a reasonably safe site, to warn of hazards inherent in the site and work, to hire careful employees, to coordinate job safety, and to supervise compliance with safety specifications. In addition, construction site workers should be properly trained in the operation of machinery and equipment. The construction site should also be properly managed according to legal standards to prevent construction site accidents.
Even with precautions and adherence to safety practices, construction site injuries can still occur due to the inadequacy of these provisions. Accidents involving defective or collapsing scaffolds can result in construction site accident cases; falls off of or through roofing structures; electrocutions; falls off of ladders; defective machinery such as cranes, hoists, conveyors, tractors, and forklifts; malfunctioning tools and other construction equipment; and the collapse of floors or walls. These types of construction site accidents can often result in serious injuries or death. In fact, thousands of construction workers are injured or killed in construction site accidents each year.
Construction Site Accidents and Workers' Compensation
Virtually all significant injuries suffered in construction site accidents give rise to workers' compensation rights. The Workers' Compensation Act provides benefits to workers who are injured on the job. Unfortunately, Workers' Compensation alone may be insufficient compensation especially in the case of very serious and catastrophic personal injuries which happen often in construction site accidents. The rights are dependent on the interpretation and application of several complicated laws and individual circumstances of the construction accident.
However, these limited workers' compensation rights may be supplemented by legal actions against others who have responsibility for various activities on a construction site including construction managers, general contractors, subcontractors, equipment manufacturers, etc. When a construction site accident occurs, the owners, architects, insurance companies and manufacturers of equipment can be held responsible for inadequate safety provisions.
As an example, in many construction undertakings, several different contractors are involved. Full damages can be recovered if any contractor other than the direct employer has responsibility for the injuries. Likewise, if a defective tool, machine, or other product causes injury, an injured worker can be fully compensated.
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