FindLaw KnowledgeBasePublished: 2010-01-27
As many tradesmen are aware, there are many opportunities for disaster to occur while working on a construction site. These opportunities may arise in many different forms. For example, co-workers may not be adequately trained and cause injury to you through the improper use of machinery and tools, open pits may not be adequately marked and can cause a falling hazard.
Many sites require the use of scaffolds and ladders, which can create numerous hazards in and of themselves. Scaffolds and ladders must be erected properly to ensure they are stable. Scaffolds that have inadequate flooring or railings can create both falling hazards to the user, as well as falling hazards of objects to those working below. Ladders must be securely footed and extend a minimum distance above the roof line to ensure they are erected properly. Contractors must also ensure that ladders are maintained properly and remain in good working order.
Fortunately, for those who regularly work at construction sites the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, a federal agency, has promulgated rules and regulations that regulate safety at construction sites. Unfortunately, these regulations are voluminous in nature and some contractors find them difficult to follow. Regardless of the complexity of these regulations, each contractor is held to these safety standards. The overall responsibility for site safety belongs to the general contractor. It is thus essential for the general contractor to carry general liability insurance with sufficient policy limits to protect themselves from claims.
Injuries at a construction site can range from relatively minor cuts and bruises to devastating life changing injuries and even death. As can be imagined, a tradesman who relies upon his physical well-being to do his job must be able to physically do the job. If one cannot climb, stand, or lift due to an injury of the construction site, that person may suffer enormous loss of income and may actually be faced with a career change. The financial losses may be devastating.
Those injured on a construction site will generally have worker’s compensation to assist in lost income and medical treatment. Worker’s compensation does not last forever however, unless you are found to be permanently disabled from all forms of employment. If a person is injured due to the negligence of another, that person may also have a claim for pain and suffering, loss of earning capacity and permanent disability. When losses are so great, all avenues of recovery must be evaluated.