Construction work is among the most hazardous jobs in the U.S. Some of the more common risks include:
- Excavation work/cave-ins
- Exposure to dust
- Excessive noise
- Power tools
- Collisions with equipment
- Crushing injuries caused by equipment
- Excessive heights/falls
- Confined spaces
- Exposure to lead
- Exposure to asbestos
- Falling objects
- Contact with electric current or wiring
- Inhalation hazards
Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; U.S. Department of Labor
Approximately 6.5 million people work at more than 252,000 construction sites across the U.S. on any given day. When it comes to occupational hazards, construction workers toil away in some of the most dangerous conditions in the country.
Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, know construction sites contain all manner of fall hazards, heavy equipment dangers, motor vehicle perils, chemical and machine risks, harmful substance exposure threats and the potential for structure collapse.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in 2014, construction workers had an occupational injury rate of 12.9 per 100,000 full-time workers. That was No. 3, behind farming/fishing forestry workers, who had an injury rate of 24.8, and transportation and material moving occupations, which had a rate of 15.2.
Florida in particular has a high number of fatal occupational injuries incurred by construction contractors. Between 2011 and 2013, there were a total of 158, or an average of about 53 a year. It’s second only to Texas.
Of construction fatalities in 2013, there were 23 attributed to falls or slips and trips, 11 attributed to transportation incidents, nine associated with exposure to harmful substances and seven attributed to contact with objects and equipment.
Nationally, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration has identified the “Construction Fatal Four,” which are the top causes of construction deaths annually. These are:
- Struck-by Object hazards
- Caught-in/between dangers
Addressing these hazards could save 470 lives and tens of thousands of injuries every year.
Our construction injury attorneys are adept at handling workplace injury claims, including those that occur on construction sites. We understand federal and state regulations specific to these cases, and we are prepared to help you recover damages for your losses.
Often, issues of liability on construction sites are complex due to workers’ compensation law, contractor liability statutes and third-party negligence guidelines.
Among the potential types of Florida construction accident claims:
- Bridge Collapse
- Construction Design Negligence
- Construction Site Falls
- Contractor Negligence
- Crane Accidents
- Dangerous, Unsafe or Defective Equipment Accidents
- Defectively-Designed and Maintained Pools
- Electrical Shock
- Electrocutions/ Electrical Accidents
- Equipment Accidents and Failures
- Fire and Explosion Accidents
- Forklift Accidents
- Job Site Incidents
- Nail Gun (Explosive and Pneumatic) Accidents
- Negligent Supervision
- Retaining Wall And Trench Collapses
- Run-Over by Equipment
- Scaffold Collapse
- Scaffolding Accidents
- Road Construction Accidents
- Structural Failure/Building Collapse Accidents
- Welding/Brazing/Cutting (Torch) Accidents
- Workers’ Compensation
- Serious Injuries and Workers’ Comp Immunity
When workers are injured on a construction site, there are a number of potential claims they may be able to pursue, with the help of an experienced injury lawyer. These include:
- Workers’ compensation. In most cases, employees can’t bring a lawsuit against their employer for work-related injuries because the law entitles them to workers’ compensation benefits instead. Florida workers’ compensation law allows almost all workers injured in the scope and course of employment to collect benefits, regardless of whether the worker or employer was negligent. Companies will sometimes improperly label workers as independent contractors in an effort to avoid paying workers’ compensation insurance, but a lawyer can help establish employment status, regardless of how the company labeled it.
- Personal injury. In order to bring a personal injury lawsuit in a construction accident case, the worker has to prove a third-party was in some way negligent, and this negligence resulted in injury. Third parties may include property owners, other contractors, municipal entities, careless drivers and others.
- Product liability. In these cases, workers have to show their injury was the result of a defective product. For example, if a crane fails on a construction site, resulting in injury, the injured worker may be able to recover damages from the designer of the crane, its manufacturer, its wholesaler and its retailer.
- Wrongful death. If a loved one is killed at work, family members may be able to recover damages for wrongful death. There are also workers’ compensation death benefits, and the latter will be the only type available from an employer and that company’s insurer. However, third-party wrongful death claims may yield additional compensation.
Although companies are generally granted immunity from liability for work injuries under Florida workers’ compensation law, there are a number of other entities that may be held responsible. These include:
- Construction site owners.
- General and sub-contractors.
- Prime contractors.
- Engineers and architects.
Contact Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights. There are no fees or costs unless we win. Offices in Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Naples and Port Charlotte.
Call 800-646-1210 for a Free Consultation