A wet surface on a construction project is no longer a minor detail when the lives and safety of those working on the site are at risk. Details are important in workspaces where risky activities are performed, such as hanging in a harness, working at a high height, and working with combustion, electrical devices, and sharp instruments, among other common elements in construction sites.
A fall in this environment could generate a chain of unfortunate events. From bringing down entire structures to dropping objects that could strike co-workers in a lower area, such as areas that are part of large excavations, where the ground is being flattened so that a building or some other type of construction can be erected. In these environments, work is performed meters above ground level, which makes any tool that falls from a great height a mortal danger.
But why is it that wet surfaces are left behind, or adequate safety measures are not taken in construction projects? It is good to point out that omissions to the rules in this sector are usually the exception to the rule, as there are heavy fines and penalties for contractors who are not in compliance with the legal framework that governs the New York area and affects the city of Brooklyn.
However, prevention measures to avoid slip and fall injuries on construction sites are not always perfect or fail to be followed to the letter, as negligence or injurious behavior on the part of work team members may arise, resulting in unfortunate events that often include injuries of all kinds, as well as criminal liability for those responsible.
How should we act when faced with this type of event? Should a construction worker report possible irregularities in their job site? The moral obligation indicates that yes. In addition, by ignoring the red flags observed by a worker in this area, one could indirectly be an accomplice to a fatal outcome.
The best thing to do is always to detect in time the vulnerabilities that exist in these workplaces and to be able to develop contingency plans, as well as prevention plans so that these events do not develop if the construction project works with the proper safety.
Do you work in construction and feel that you are not getting the right equipment to perform your duties without risk? Do you feel that you have not been provided with adequate training for the tasks to be performed?
Perhaps the lighting was not enough? Suddenly, the weather that day warranted postponing operations, but you were negligently ordered to perform your duties? Did you suffer a fall as a result? Was the surface wet from the rain? Did water flood any electrical circuits, and did you suffer burns of any kind? All these facts deserve an objective and unbiased investigation. The truth always deserves to come out.
If you identify with any of these questions, consider contacting our professionals to move forward with a construction site slip and fall lawsuit and get a free initial evaluation to determine if compensation is something you may be able to obtain through the legal path we design for your case. We need to know the details of what happened, as well as whether you are injured or unable to work as a result of the accident.
Once we have the details, we can explain the alternatives in your case and what type of relief you may be eligible for based on the facts you have described to us.
At The Ward Law Group, we work with a comprehensive approach. We take into account our legal expertise but also our sensitivity to relate humanely to our clients. We have seen hundreds of cases over the past 20 years. Our professionals understand each stage of the process, know how to anticipate deadlines and save time by introducing the necessary documents to move from one stage to another.
Don't make the mistake of going it alone in a case like this. You could have all the makings of a David vs. Goliath situation. However, with The Ward Law on your side, your chances of success will be greater, and you will be closer to obtaining justice for any damages caused.
Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents on Construction Sites
We have already provided some details about the possible causes of these unfortunate accidents. In reality, many times, the causes are found in small details, such as wet surfaces, or in human errors, such as not taking into account the recommendations suggested by the law.
Having witnessed a myriad of causes of slip and fall accidents at construction sites, our professionals have compiled a list of the most common of them all:
- Uneven Surfaces: Construction sites often feature uneven surfaces, such as unfinished walkways, changes in elevation, or abrupt transitions between different materials. These irregularities can catch workers off guard, leading to trips and falls.
- Wet or Slippery Surfaces: Due to outdoor exposure and the use of liquids like paint, cement, or cleaning agents, construction sites frequently have wet or slippery surfaces. Workers can lose their footing when walking on these surfaces, especially during adverse weather conditions.
- Lack of Proper Signage: Adequate warning signs are crucial in construction zones to alert workers and visitors to potential dangers. When signage is lacking or unclear, individuals may not recognize the hazards, increasing the risk of accidents.
- Poor Lighting: Construction sites may have dimly lit areas, such as basements or tunnels, where workers can't see hazards clearly. This lack of visibility can result in missteps and accidents.
- Loose Debris: Loose materials like gravel, dirt, or debris scattered across walkways pose significant tripping hazards. When not promptly cleared, these materials can lead to accidents.
- Missing Handrails: Staircases or elevated walkways without proper handrails can be particularly hazardous. Without handrails to provide stability and support, workers are more likely to fall.
- Improperly Stored Tools and Equipment: Construction tools and equipment should be stored safely and securely when not in use. When left scattered around the work area, they can obstruct pathways and become trip hazards.
- Inadequate Training: Workers who lack proper training in construction site safety are more vulnerable to accidents. They may not be aware of best practices for avoiding common hazards that injure construction workers.
- Neglected Maintenance: Poorly maintained equipment, machinery, and facilities are more likely to malfunction, which can lead to accidents. Regular maintenance is crucial to prevent such issues.
- Weather Conditions: Adverse weather conditions like rain, snow, or ice can create slippery surfaces and reduce traction, making falls more likely.
- Unsafe Ladders and Scaffolding: Ladders and scaffolding must be set up correctly and regularly inspected for safety. When these structures are improperly erected or damaged, workers are at risk of falling.
- Electrical Cords: Exposed or inadequately secured electrical cords can be a tripping hazard. Workers may accidentally trip over cords and sustain injuries.
- Inadequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Workers who lack essential PPE, like slip-resistant footwear, are more susceptible to slip and fall accidents, particularly on slippery surfaces.
- Overcrowded Workspaces: Construction sites with too many workers or excessive equipment in a confined space can create congestion and increase the likelihood of accidents.
- Negligence: Ultimately, negligence on the part of construction site supervisors, contractors, or property owners, such as failing to address known hazards or implement safety measures, can significantly contribute to slip and fall accidents.
Construction Site Safety Regulations and Compliance:
Regarding the regulations referred to in previous lines, which are sometimes unfortunately omitted by certain contractors or companies seeking to reduce costs. This is certainly a negligent act. We want to share some regulations so that you can be a more informed citizen and identify the rights you are entitled to in your workplace.
OSHA Regulations for Construction Site Safety:
OSHA mandates a safe workplace free from hazards. Regulations like 29 CFR 1926 (Construction Standards) specify safety requirements, including fall protection, hazard communication, and scaffolding, among others.
Employers must establish and maintain a safe work environment. This includes providing safety equipment, conducting inspections, addressing hazards promptly, and complying with OSHA regulations.
Compliance with OSHA Standards:
Ensuring compliance with OSHA standards is crucial to prevent accidents and injuries on Brooklyn construction sites.
Construction Site Safety Training:
New York Labor Law Section 220-h mandates OSHA-approved safety training for construction workers, with specific courses for entry-level and supervisory roles.
Safety Training for Workers:
Entry-level workers are required to complete a 10-hour OSHA training course, while supervisors and advanced workers must take a 30-hour course.
Employer Responsibility for Training:
Employers are responsible for ensuring that their employees receive mandatory safety training, enhancing awareness of construction site hazards and safety practices.
Types of Injuries in Construction Site Slip and Fall Accidents:
Dedicating oneself entirely to the field of accidents implies seeing and understanding, even though we are not doctors, all types of injuries resulting from these events. Our professionals have spoken with specialists in the field of medicine, who have trained them in the most common injuries and the recovery time they would take.
You may ask, why would a group of lawyers dedicate themselves to studying injuries in a scientific manner? Well, the answer is that the compensation you seek will be linked to the type of injuries you have sustained.
If those injuries have caused you certain damage, the consequences of that, such as not being able to work, not being able to take care of your children, or not being able to leave your home for a period of time, will be evaluated. All these elements can be considered as aggravating factors when requesting compensation according to your needs. It is curious how at this point the medical and legal aspects are intertwined to favor the course of justice.
- Head Injuries: Falls from construction sites can result in severe head injuries, including concussions, traumatic brain injuries, or skull fractures. These injuries can lead to cognitive impairments, memory loss, or long-term neurological issues.
- Spinal Cord Injuries: Slips and falls at construction sites often lead to spinal cord injuries, which can result in paralysis or significant mobility limitations. Victims may require extensive medical care, rehabilitation, and adaptive equipment.
- Back Injuries: Construction slips and falls frequently cause back injuries, such as herniated discs or vertebral fractures. These injuries can lead to chronic pain, limited mobility, and the need for surgery.
- Fractures: Falls at construction sites can result in various bone fractures, such as broken wrists, arms, legs, or hips. Fractures often require surgeries, immobilization, and physical therapy for proper healing.
- Sprains and Strains: Muscle sprains and ligament strains can occur from the impact of a fall. These injuries can cause pain and swelling and limit a person's ability to work or perform daily activities.
- Contusions and Bruises: Construction site falls frequently lead to painful contusions and bruises on various parts of the body. While they may not be life-threatening, they can still be quite painful and require medical attention.
- Cuts and Abrasions: Sharp construction materials or debris can cause cuts and abrasions during a fall. These injuries can lead to infection if not properly cleaned and treated.
- Internal Injuries: Blunt force trauma from falls can result in internal injuries to organs like the liver, spleen, or kidneys. Internal injuries can be life-threatening and may require emergency surgery.
- Joint Injuries: Falls can damage joints, leading to issues like dislocated shoulders or knees. Joint injuries often necessitate surgical intervention and extensive physical therapy.
- Soft Tissue Injuries: Damage to soft tissues, such as tendons and ligaments, may require surgical repair. Recovery can be lengthy and may involve physical therapy.
- Facial Injuries: Slips and falls can cause facial injuries, including dental damage, facial fractures, or eye injuries. Facial injuries can require multiple surgeries for reconstruction.
- Psychological Trauma: In addition to physical injuries, construction site slips and falls can lead to emotional trauma, pain, and suffering, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and anxiety disorders.
- Wrongful Death: In tragic cases, fatal injuries may occur from construction site slip and fall accidents. Surviving family members may pursue wrongful death claims.
- Permanent Disabilities: Some injuries sustained in construction site falls can result in permanent disabilities, affecting a person's quality of life and ability to work or enjoy daily activities.
- Secondary Infections: Open wounds sustained during falls can lead to secondary infections if not promptly and properly treated by medical professionals.
Contact The Ward Law immediately to understand the alternatives your case offers and the worker's compensation benefits, and do not let yourself be overwhelmed by so many things alone. We will be your best allies in this painful event. It will be a matter of time to obtain together the justice he deserves. The truth is on our side. Join us to discover the process. Schedule a free consultation with us right now.