Construction Communication Breakdown Resulting in Injury

Philadelphia keeps growing and that means construction workers will continue to clock-in every day.  Construction, unfortunately, remains one of the most dangerous professions in America.  You may be surprised to know, one of the most effective tools in keeping a workplace safe isn’t some new device.  It’s simple communication.

The act of talking and educating about safety on the job can make a profound difference on carelessness in the work zone. A construction company and its supervisors are held accountable by law for this important duty to communicate with all employees.

Construction Accidents when Safety is Forgotten

If a worker gets injured in an environment where safety protocol isn’t discussed often enough and implemented, then an employer may be responsible for the consequences of that injury. The victim may have gotten hurt in a preventable accident had safety rules been preached and followed. In these cases, it may be possible to file a claim against a company that continues to be negligent in worker safety.

A Philadelphia Construction Accident Attorney like Edith Pearce at the Pearce Law Firm, who knows state laws that apply in these cases, can greatly increase a victim’s chances of winning a claim against his or her employer.

Breakdowns in Communication

Many construction companies run safety awareness campaigns year-round, but the accidents still hit high levels. The Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health found the U.S. construction workforce reports more than 200,000 non-fatal injuries and 900 fatal incidents each year.

Their study found that low accident numbers and safety communication were related.  Those sites where crews acted as a team and openly monitored and discussed safety concerns fared notably better.

A construction company is responsible for making sure every employee is engaged in safety matters.  Some of the situations that decrease awareness are listed here:

  • One Person In Charge of Safety – In cases where one foreman is in charge of filing safety paperwork, other workers are often left disengaged from the process.
  • Unsupportive Environment – Workers may feel safety monitoring or discussion is frowned upon and decide to stay quiet.
  • Few Safety Meetings – We all hate meetings, but when injury prevention isn’t brought to workers’ attention often, they forget the safety goals.
  • Differences in culture, gender, and language proficiency can keep managers and coworkers from communicating important safety information properly.
  • Communication Between Shifts – First Shift may know of a potential hazard and forget to pass it along to the second shift.

All of these obstacles to a safe work environment are the company’s responsibility to prevent.  If a management firm doesn’t address communication issues and a worker is hurt, then the company can be liable for that accident.

Common Construction Injuries

If the court finds that the construction site owner didn’t do what a reasonable owner would do to keep the area safe, then the law can compensate the injured person for their financial losses. Some of these common losses that can be awarded are:

  • Medical Bills
  • Rehab Treatment/Equipment
  • Travel
  • Lost Time from Work
  • Future Lost Time from Work
  • Permanent Disability/Disfigurement
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Loss of Consortium (Intimacy, affection, etc.)

Frequently Asked Questions:

If I get hurt at a construction site, who do I sue?

The legal doctrine called premises liability holds the owner/operator of a property liable for any dangerous hazards on the site. A dangerous hazard can be just about anything including equipment and tools. The property might be leased or the construction site might be run by a sub-contractor or construction company. An experienced attorney will investigate all of those parties to determine who to file a claim against.

Do I need an Attorney?

You aren’t required to have legal representation to file an accident lawsuit, but there are many reasons to consider hiring an attorney for your case. The insurance company is experienced with these cases and will try to pay out as little money as possible for your injury.  They also have money to spend on the best defense attorneys. Premises liability law is complicated, and there are many pitfalls including filing deadlines and service requirements.

How much can I get for a construction accident injury?

Pennsylvania law requires anyone who negligently injures another person to pay for all injuries and financial losses related to the injury. Most construction sites will have large liability policies as required by state law. Each case is different, and the amount will be determined by the severity of the injury, any permanent disability, the amount of lost time from work, and other factors allowed by law.

Contact a Philadelphia Construction Accident Lawyer

If you were in a construction accident caused by the unsafe environment at your worksite, contact a highly rated Philadelphia Construction Accident Lawyer such as Edith Pearce. Unlike the huge firms with dozens of attorneys, with many different attorneys handling your case, Edith Pearce is personally involved in every case that we handle. She genuinely cares about her clients and you will not be treated like just another case or file.