Construction workers face a wide range of accident risks and hazards on the job. Chief among construction site hazards are fall risks. Construction workers have some of the highest rates of fall injuries and fatalities among all professions. Here are three of the leading reasons why construction workers have fall accidents on the job.
Unprotected Fall Hazards
Many construction sites are filled with unguarded and unprotected holes in the floor or ground, open walls, or unguarded platforms or landings. Unfortunately, unguarded fall hazards are an unavoidable part of working in the construction industry. To protect construction workers from falling through unguarded hazards, companies should use fall protection equipment such as temporary guardrails where practical, safety nets, or fall arrest systems. If workers are in precarious positions where the risk of a fall is high, construction companies should use harness systems and ensure workers are properly trained to use such equipment.
Improper Ladder Use
Portable ladders are frequently used around construction areas. However, the safe use of portable ladders requires proper positioning of the ladder on a flat, stable surface with the ladder propped up level against a building. Ladders should also be placed away from live electrical wires or power lines. Construction workers should also avoid other unsafe practices while up on ladders, including trying to carry heavy equipment or tools while climbing a ladder, overreaching, or using a ladder while it is wet and slippery.
Construction companies should also frequently inspect and maintain portable ladders and dispose of any ladders that become worn or broken. Construction workers should also be trained by their employers on how to safely use portable ladders
Scaffolding accidents are another top cause of falls on construction sites. Improper construction and maintenance of temporary scaffolding put construction workers at risk of accidents. Scaffolding companies should use due care when erecting scaffolding, including ensuring that the scaffolding foundation is placed on level, steady ground, and is firmly secured to the building it is placed up against. Proper scaffolding should also have guardrails and other fall protection such as safety nets. Finally, construction companies should regularly inspect scaffolding for signs of dangerous wear and tear, including rust, sheared nuts and bolts, or rotting support boards.
What Are Your Rights If You Suffer a Fall Accident on a Construction Site?
If you are a construction worker who fell and was injured on the job, you may be entitled to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits from your employer. Workers’ comp benefits may include:
- Medical benefits, which cover the cost of reasonable and necessary treatment and rehabilitation of a work injury
- Temporary disability benefits, which provide partial replacement of your average weekly wage if you miss time from work while recovering from your work-related injuries
- Permanent partial disability benefits, which pays financial benefits based on the type and severity of a disability or impairment that does not completely render you unable to work
- Permanent total disability benefits, which continues wage replacement for as long as you remain unable to return to the workforce
When a construction site fall accident is caused by a third party’s negligence, such as the property owner or a scaffolding company, you may also be entitled to file a personal injury claim against that negligent third-party in addition to seeking workers’ comp benefits from your employer.
Contact a Pittsburgh Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Construction Accident Case in Pennsylvania
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a construction accident in Pennsylvania? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Matzus Law represent clients injured because of construction accidents in Pittsburgh, Butler, Cranberry Township, Washington, and throughout Pennsylvania. Call (412) 206-5300 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 310 Grant St., Suite 3210, Pittsburgh, PA 15219, and another office in Pittsburgh, PA.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.