Construction work is no easy feat. There are many risks of working in construction, and workers have to take many precautions to stay safe.
If those precautions are not followed to the letter, workers face serious injuries in a variety of different ways. Even a simple slip and fall and turn deadly. Just look at what happened in Fort Lauderdale last month.
Three-Story Fall Causes Life Threatening Injuries Despite Harness
A construction worker in Fort Lauderdale took safety precautions, including wearing a harness, before moving materials three stories off the ground. Still, when he fell, the man sustained life threatening injuries.
Currently, OSHA is investigating the accident, but we don’t have much more information. What we do know, however, is that this type of fall has already killed construction workers in Florida this year.
Another notable headline from the year so far includes Florida construction workers left dangling from building after scaffolding collapsed underneath their feet.
What is causing all of these accidents?
One possible answer may be lack of training. Even though the man in Fort Lauderdale took precautions to be safe, there are no reports about his training in the field.
Some construction workers in Florida say that proper training can prevent most of these accidents. Christopher Morrison, the state training coordinator for the Florida Carpenters Regional Council, says “there are only two things that will make a scaffold collapse: improper erection or one of the parts and pieces being damaged.”
South Florida is currently booming with construction, which often puts pressures on employers to get workers started on projects without the proper training. While this might not seem like a big deal, it’s bad for everyone involved. A major accident or death not only impacts any workers involved, it puts all eyes on the employers, and end up being very costly.
Common Construction Accidents in Florida
While falls are one of the most dangerous and common accidents in construction, Florida construction workers have to deal with many other dangers while they are on the job. Some of the daily risks for construction workers include:
Exposure to Asbestos, Lead, Etc. Tearing down older buildings often leads to lead paint or asbestos exposure. Both of these substances can cause major health risks later on in life. Workers may not even know that asbestos or lead were present at a job site until it is decades too late.
Falling Objects. A yellow helmet may prevent head injuries from many falling objects, but unfortunately there are certain items and materials that can cause serious injuries no matter how strong your helmet is. In fact, 90 construction workers were killed in 2015 after being struck by an object.
Electrical Accidents. Electric work is certainly not a job for the untrained worker. Even on the job site, only certain workers are allowed to install electricity. Electrocutions are one of the top causes of death in construction work.
Collapsing and Crushing Objects. Getting crushed by a collapsing building, scaffolding, elevator, is one of the most serious construction accidents a worker can experience. Not only is it a top reason for construction worker deaths, workers also face losing limbs or other serious bodily injuries from getting crushed.
What to Do If You Have Been Injured
For those who are lucky enough to survive a serious construction accident, the pain doesn’t stop with physical symptoms. You may lose the ability to work and earn an income, at least temporarily, and medical bills add up quickly.
However, if you did not receive proper training before you set out on the job site, your injuries may not be entirely your fault. This goes for any other construction workers who were on the job with you as well.
For example, if a new guy didn’t receive proper training before setting up the scaffolding that you fell from, you may be able to ask for compensation from your employer because they were negligent in providing employees with the necessary training.
This is just one way that the negligence of others can lead to a construction accident. There are countless others.
After an accident, you may be approached by a lawyer or an insurance company that offers you a settlement outside of court. Or you may face having to deal with an employer who refuses to take responsibility for your accident and tries to leave you high and dry.
Don’t just accept your fate – contact a knowledgeable construction accident lawyer. You may be afraid to speak out due to your employment status, but even if you were not working legally, you still have a right to compensation from a negligent employer.
You need to act fast, though. As we speak, lawmakers are trying to change workers’ compensation laws, and your ability to get compensation may be at risk.
Start fighting for your family and your future today by reaching out to a South Florida personal injury lawyer.
About the Author:
Jeffrey Braxton is a trial lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who has devoted his career to the practice of personal injury law. As lead trial attorney for The South Florida Injury Law Firm, Jeff has litigated thousands of cases and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an exclusive group of attorneys who have resolved cases in excess of one million dollars.