Construction workers provide the heavy lifting that keeps Philadelphia ever-growing and expanding. If they are going to put their bodies on the line every day they deserve to have worksites geared for maximum safety.
OSHA Guidelines and Construction Accidents
There are guidelines in the United States intended to protect workers from workplace hazards. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) mandates certain precautions every company must take for their employees. As many workers will attest, these requirements are not always taken seriously.
The violations can be ignored until a worker is injured in a tragic site accident. A construction worker can find themselves with debilitating injuries from a hazard that a construction company had every opportunity to spot and correct. The worker may face an extended time away from work and mounting medical bills. At some point, they will have to consider filing a claim against those who were liable for the accident.
If you find yourself a victim in a construction accident a Philadelphia attorney like Edith Pearce with the Pearce Law Firm, P.C., can help you determine if an OSHA violation or any other unsafe practice may have contributed to your accident and if you have a claim.
Construction Site OSHA Violations
OSHA violations can cost a company 13,494 dollars a piece when they are discovered. A company can also be charged 13,494 dollars every day they don’t fix the problem after being made aware of it. The penalties only go up from there. You’d think those amounts would make management do everything they can to meet these basic considerations to keep workers safe.
Unfortunately, the financial incentive to getting a project done as soon as possible can sometimes tempt a company to ignore some guidelines and put a worker at risk.
The types of hazards OSHA fines construction firms for the most are usually the same hazards that most commonly cause injuries. Here are just a few of the top offenses OSHA inspectors find:
- Fall Protection Violations: This is the number one danger on job sites and the most common violation. Any job that’s off the ground puts a worker at risk. This can also include protection from falls into holes in the floor and walls.
- Scaffolding Violations: This comes under fall protection, but scaffolding is giving its own category because of how many workers depend on it for a sturdy work environment. Violations can include hazardous mistakes in how scaffolding is assembled.
- Training Violations: Proper training on several safety concerns must be provided and offered in a language the worker understands. This includes safety training for working at great heights and training for those working with and around hazardous chemicals.
- Control of Hazardous Energy Violations: Energy sources including electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical, thermal, or other sources in machines and equipment can be hazardous to workers. This can include a short in a piece of equipment’s wiring and scalding steam from a pipe.
- Eye and Face Protection Violations: Eye and face protection must be provided whenever necessary to protect against chemical, environmental, radiological, or mechanical irritants and hazards.
Construction Site Injury Compensation
A construction site company and others involved in the project, like a supervisor, are legally responsible for following OSHA Guidelines all day, every day. If they are found at fault, state law allows the injured worker to recover certain financial, physical, and emotional losses. Financial compensation can be recovered for many hardships suffered during recovery:
- Medical Bills
- Rehab treatment/equipment
- Lost time from work (Including the expected future lost time)
- Permanent disability/disfigurement
- Pain and mental anguish
- Loss of consortium (Being without the support of a spouse, partner, family member, etc.)
Construction Accident Liability
Construction Injury cases can be complicated and challenging to pursue because often there are multiple defendants (the property owner, the general contractor, various sub-contractors, the developer, investors, etc.), multiple insurance companies, and multiple attorneys involved.
A construction accident may be reported as only a workers’ compensation injury, which limits your recovery to only wage loss and medical expenses. There is no recovery of pain and suffering and other damages under workers’ compensation.
Although you may only be able to recover workers’ compensation against your employer, in the right circumstances there may also be a claim for negligence against other persons or companies.
An experienced construction accident attorney will be able to tell you if you’ve got a claim beyond workers’ compensation. This can be an important decision to consider because it will determine if you get all of your hardships covered after an accident or if you’re limited only to workers’ compensation.
Contact a Philadelphia Construction Accident Lawyer
After any accident involving a serious injury, contact a highly rated Philadelphia Construction Accident Lawyer such as Edith Pearce. Unlike the huge firms with dozens of attorneys and many different attorneys handling different aspects of 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.