Thousands of construction workers are injured or killed in construction site accidents each year. Construction companies must inspect each site with safety engineers and provide safety programs, but unfortunately accidents still occur due to the inadequacy of these provisions.
When a construction site accident occurs, the owners, architects, insurance companies and manufacturers of equipment can be held responsible for inadequate safety provisions. 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.
Third Party Negligence
Manufacturers of construction equipment are responsible designing and maintaining safe products. Defective or dangerous products may include the following: scaffolding, cranes, power tools, derricks, hoists, conveyors, woodworking tools, ladders, winches, trucks, graters, scrapers, tractors, bulldozers, forklifts, back hoes, heavy equipment, boilers, pressure vessels, gas detectors and other types of construction equipment.
Third Party Negligence Continued
It is often possible to find liable third parties in the event of an accident or injury. Since most sites involve many subcontractors, it is very common to locate several potential third party Defendants. The lawyer may also consider claims against the general contractor, who may be responsible for supervision and my be contractually responsible for the injury. In more complex cases, the legal principles of Agency and analysis of Corporate law may lead to sophisticated determinations as to who is technically an "employee" and who the "third parties" are in a given situation.
What About Workers' Compensation?
Workers' Compensation law is designed to help injured workers as well as employers in dealing with the problems of health insurance. The Workers' Compensation Act provides benefits to workers who are injured on the job or suffer an occupational disease arising out of and in the course of employment. Unfortunately Workers' Compensation alone may be insufficient compensation especially in the case of very serious and catastrophic personal injuries. As indicated above it is necessary to look for a negligent third party such as the manufacturer of a dangerous or defective product,