Written by Faith Anderson on July 30, 2013
While many aspects of the construction industry pose dangers for construction workers, work on a construction site that involves erecting or demolishing a building, or restoring buildings that have fallen in disrepair put workers at an even greater risk, with one of the biggest concerns being building collapse. Building collapses can result from a number of factors, including faulty construction, bad design, foundation failure, unexpected failures or extraordinary loads. Regardless of what causes a building collapse however, the consequences can be devastating, as victims may fall from the roof of the building, or be injured, crushed or killed as materials, tools and debris fall around them inside the building. If you or a loved one was injured in a building collapse on a construction site, contact a construction accident attorney today for legal help.
Injuries Caused by Building Collapses
When construction workers are working in or on top of a building, especially a building at risk of collapsing, it is imperative that adequate safety precautions are taken to protect the workers from harm. If a building on a construction site should collapse, workers working on the roof may be at risk of falling from the building, which could result in back and neck injuries, head injury, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, or wrongful death. Workers inside the building may also be at risk of serious injuries, including broken bones, crush injuries and wrongful death.
When employers and supervisors take the appropriate steps to protect the safety of workers on construction sites, including providing workers with proper safety equipment, shoring up sections of buildings where employees are working, and adequately examining the building being worked on to determine its risk of collapsing, unnecessary injury and death can be avoided. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the main concern of those in charge on construction sites.
OSHA Regulations to Prevent Building Collapse Injuries
The main duty of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is to establish federal guidelines for employers, general contractors and supervisors to enforce on the job site, in an effort to protect the safety of construction workers. When OSHA guidelines are ignored or side-stepped to save time and money, the consequences can result in life-altering injuries and tragic loss of life. If a building collapse does occur on a construction site, it is the responsibility of OSHA to step in and perform an investigation into the causes of the construction accident. If the agency determines that, for example, employees working on the roof were not provided with adequate fall protection, or that the employer or general contractor failed to instruct workers on how to recognize threatening conditions, further action may be taken against these parties.
Liability for Building Collapse Construction Accidents
Determining liability for building collapse on a construction site is an important step in seeking the financial compensation you deserve for your injuries. While it isn’t necessary for injured workers to prove the employer’s fault when pursuing workers’ compensation benefits, if the building collapse was caused by a third party not employed by your employer, you may have grounds to file a third-party liability claim as well for additional compensation. If this is the case, you may be entitled to reimbursement for more than just your medical bills and lost wages.
Contact a Construction Accident Attorney for Help
Workers in the construction industry are put at risk of some of the most devastating accidents on a daily basis. One of the most tragic aspects of construction accidents like building collapses is that the resulting injury and loss of life could have been avoided in many cases. Unfortunately, when employers are driven by profit, or when supervisors ignore safety protocol to save time, construction workers are put at an unnecessary risk. If you were injured in a building collapse at a construction site, or if you lost a loved one in a building collapse, contact a construction accident attorney to discuss your legal options. An experienced construction accident lawyer can help you file your workers’ compensation claim, and can help you navigate the sometimes complicated process of filing a third-party liability claim, if appropriate. With the help of a qualified construction accident attorney, you can protect your legal rights and pursue fair and timely reimbursement for your injuries