The construction industry is a dangerous line of work throughout Charleston, South Carolina. A construction accident can take many forms, causing serious or fatal injuries. Examples of types of construction accidents include:
- Fires and explosions at construction site
- Electrocutions from using tools that are not grounded or double insulated
- Exposure to toxins in chemical solvents, paints, pesticides, industrial cleaners
- Trench or excavation collapses
- Equipment or tool malfunctions
- Falling from scaffolding, roofs, ladders or unguarded platforms
- Being struck by trucks, tractors or forklifts
- Being struck by falling debris.
Many of the construction accidents that we hear about are preventable. Despite being heavily regulated and mandated to follow safety policies, the close proximity of workers to heavy equipment often leads to accidents. Workers must follow guidelines and policies to protect themselves, and construction companies must provide safety equipment, educate employees about hazards on the job, and help workers avoid accidents. If a construction company is negligent, they may be liable for injuries that occur. Injuries from a construction accident can be severe. In addition to trauma injuries, construction workers suffer injuries like chemical burns and electrical burns. Thermal injuries may result from being in proximity to steam, fire, scalding wire or flammable materials.
If you’ve been hurt in a construction accident in Charleston, attorney Mark Bringardner is here to help you protect your legal rights and fight for the fair compensation you deserve.
OSHA’s Fatal Four: Identifying Top Four Construction Hazards
Occupational Safety Health Administration (OSHA) is the federal agency of the United States that regulates workplace safety and health. Their mission is to assure safe and healthy working conditions, and their inspections have been proven to reduce injury rates and injury costs. On their website, OSHA.gov, they’ve identified the top four construction hazards, sometimes referred to as “The Fatal Four”: Falls, Struck-By, Caught-In/Between and Electrocutions.
Who is Responsible for a Construction Site Accident?
Determining liability for an accident can be complicated, as there can be multiple contributing causes and multiple liable parties. A thorough investigation and review of work agreements may be necessary. An initial review will evaluate the details of the accident, and identify potentially liable parties. Some of the factors that will be looked at include:
- Where did the accident occur? Who had control of the property?
- What were the conditions on the worksite? Was the worksite being property maintained?
- What equipment was used on the job? Was the equipment in good condition and properly maintained
- Were employees trained in how to use equipment? Was the equipment being used for the manner intended?
- Was your employer responsible for your injuries? Could there be liability in a third party personal injury claim?
Potentially multiple different parties could be responsible for a construction accident :
- Owner of the Construction Site: If the owner of the property has not released control to a contractor or outside party, they may be liable. If the property owner knows of dangerous conditions and hazards, he or she may have a duty to warn workers of the hazard, or take action to fix it.
- General Contractors and Subcontractors: It is the responsibility of the general contractor to create a safe work environment and comply with OSHA regulations, including warning employees of potential hazards. A trade-specific subcontractor brought in by a general contractor may be liable. If any of these parties hire an irresponsible employee, they may be liable for that employee’s negligent or reckless actions.
- Manufacturers of Construction Equipment, Machinery and Tools: If an accident involves heavy equipment like a backhoe, bulldozer, skid steer loader, front end loader, aerial lift, boom or crane, the manufacturer of the company could be liable in a third-party lawsuit. Manufacturers of construction equipment like Caterpillar, John Deere, Bobcat, Komatsu, Volvo and ASV have all been involved in construction accident lawsuits when their equipment have been found to be defectively designed or manufactured. A prompt investigation following an accident is necessary to determine if a defect in the manufacturing of the equipment caused it to fail. If so, a product liability claim may be necessary.
- Architects and Engineers: Design professionals are responsible for creating projects that are safe, and meet safety codes and standards. If plans were drawn that created unsafe or dangerous conditions, an architect could be liable for an accident and injuries or deaths. For example, if a general contractor relies on plans prepared by an architect, the architect may be liable for a foreseeable personal injury that later occurs.
Contact Charleston Construction Accident Lawyer Mark Bringardner Today
We are here to answer your questions and provide legal guidance and no cost to you. To learn more about your rights following a Charleston construction accident, contact Mark Bringardner today. As part of our contingency fee agreement, we will not charge any legal fees for your case, unless we recover money for you, either at trial or in a South Charleston construction accident settlement. Our fee is a percentage of the amount recovered at the conclusion of your case. If we accept your case, it is because we believe we will be successful in recovering money for you.