Construction workers face many dangers that can lead to personal injury every day. Some potential hazards include falling tools, dangerous scaffolding, and equipment malfunctions, just to name a few. In many cases, construction workers suffer serious injuries because of the dangerous nature of the job. While accidents do happen, many could be avoided simply through the diligence of other workers and the enforcement of rules and regulations by construction companies.
In an incident which occurred on May 23, 2013, one construction worker was seriously injured and another killed in a construction accident that took place at the Westfield Montgomery Mall in Maryland, when a concrete section of a parking garage collapsed. The concrete slab, which weighed 55,000 pounds and was part of the third floor parking deck, fell onto the second floor, trapping the two men. Furthermore, rescue efforts were hampered when the concrete section moved while the man was still pinned under it. The Montgomery Department of Permitting Services Director, Diane Schwartz Jones, declined to comment when asked if the contractor was in violation of orders or had been cited during the project.
Of the structural collapses from 1990-2008 that were investigated, construction errors were a contributing factor in 80% of incidents, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. These errors can include excessive loads, foundation failure, poor planning, faulty construction, defective construction materials, and bad design. Furthermore, these incidents are preventable in most cases. There are a number of parties that can be held liable in many construction injury cases, including the construction firm, architect, engineer, and building owner.
In order for a construction worker to protect his or her rights, there are certain steps that should be taken after an accident. First, the injured person should always receive adequate medical attention. Next, the injury should be reported to the construction site’s manager or employer. In addition, a record of the report should always be maintained, witness contact information should be obtained, and any evidence should be preserved including photographs of the work site, relevant equipment, and the actual injuries. Individuals who were injured or lost a loved one in a construction accident should contact an attorney immediately to explore their legal rights and options in filing a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.