Although most any type of workplace offers the risk of unexpected accidents, employers must ultimately take responsibility for keeping that risk as low as possible. As far as work environments go, construction sites may seem more dangerous than other job settings, however accidents and hazards can be circumvented by utilizing firm and implementable safety practices. Examples can include: general contractors and all subcontractors being required to provide a reasonably safe job site, clear warning of all dangers inherent in the job site and the work, hiring of careful workers, coordinating job safety, and supervising compliance with safety specifications. Additionally, construction site workers must be trained properly in the operation of all machinery. The construction site must be adequately managed according to any legal or ethical standards to ensure no construction site accidents occur.
Even with precautions and adherence to safety practices, construction site injuries can still occur due to the inadequacy of these provisions. Accidents involving defective or collapsing scaffolds can result in construction site accident cases; falls off of or through roofing structures; electrocutions; falls off of ladders; defective machinery such as cranes, hoists, conveyors, tractors, and forklifts; malfunctioning construction equipment or other tools; and the collapse of floors or walls. The kinds of construction site accidents often result in serious injury and can sometimes even result in death. In fact, thousands of construction workers are injured or killed in construction site accidents each year.
Construction Site Accidents and Workers' Compensation
Virtually all significant injuries suffered in construction site accidents give rise to workers' compensation rights. The Workers' Compensation Act provides benefits to workers who are injured on the job. Unfortunately, Workers' Compensation alone may be insufficient compensation especially in the case of very serious and catastrophic personal injuries which happen often in construction site accidents. The rights are dependent on the interpretation and application of several complicated laws and individual circumstances of the construction accident.
However, these limited workers' compensation rights may be supplemented by legal actions against others who have responsibility for various activities on a construction site including construction managers, general contractors, subcontractors, equipment manufacturers, etc. When a construction site accident occurs, the owners, architects, insurance companies and manufacturers of equipment can be held responsible for inadequate safety provisions.
As an example, in many construction undertakings, several different contractors are involved. If any contractor other than the direct employer has responsibility for the injuries, full damages can be recovered. Likewise, if a defective tool, machine, or other product causes injury, an injured worker can be fully compensated.
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