Articles Posted in Construction Accident

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Man-lift-accident-300x149You see man lifts at construction sites, malls, scaling the sides of tall buildings in order to wash the windows. WFSB News reported that a tree worker in Ledyard, Connecticut, sustained serious injuries and was hospitalized when the orange man lift he was using suddenly tipped over into a family home that was nearby. That man lift was extended to its maximum length before the entire truck it was attached to flipped over.

In Massachusetts, operators of mechanically powered machines that have temporary elevator cars or are used for hoisting building materials are required to obtain a license or temporary permit to operate. Pursuant to M.G.L. c. 146, § 53, anyone who will operate derricks, cableways, machinery used for discharging cargoes, and temporary elevator cars used on excavation work or used for hoisting building material, when the motive power to operate such machinery is mechanical and other than steam, including but not limited to excavators, backhoes, front end loaders, uniloaders, skid loader, skid steer loaders, compact loaders or similar devices, lattice cranes, derricks, cranes with or without wire rope; all fork lifts, powered industrial lift trucks, overhead hoists (underhung), overhead cranes, underhung cranes, monorail cranes, lifting devices, cableways, and powered platforms, or any other equipment that has the minimum capability of hoisting the load higher than 10 feet, and either the capability of lifting loads greater than 500 pounds or the capacity of the bucket exceeds 1/4 cubic yards must hold a license from the Department of Safety.

To receive a license to operate, a person must take and pass the hoisting operator examination, which tests the operator’s knowledge of the machinery as well as safety practices. To learn more about operating licenses, visit Hoisting License and Operators FAQs. Pursuant to M.G.L. c. 146, § 54A, whoever violates § 53, which necessitates licenses for operators, shall be fined not less than five hundred dollars ($500) and not more than three thousand dollars ($3000). Under this statute, any person that allows an unlicensed person to operate a hoisting machine shall be fined not less than one thousand dollars ($1000) and not more than three thousand dollars ($3000), or by imprisonment for not more than three (3) months, or both.

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accident-construction1-300x1561,000 construction workers are killed every year due to accident on the job. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) attribute the bulk of these accidents to the “fatal four.” The fatal four are falls, electrocution, workers being struck by objects, and workers getting caught between objects on the job. Falls are the most common of the final four that result in death of workers. In 2015 364 out of 937 construction site deaths were a result of a workers falling. This correlated with the most common OSHA violation given being lack of fall protection. This violation states that an employer must provide guardrails, harness, and ropes to protect their employees from failing from heights 6 feet or higher. Although these rules are in place, they are still violated which leads to workers being hurt on the job.

When an employee is injured, on the job, they can bring forth a workers compensation claim against their employer to help pay for medical bills and lost wages. A worker’s compensation claim is one of no fault, which means there is no need to prove who caused the injury. A worker’s compensation claim substitutes as a law suit against your employer. This means that an employee may not bring suit against their employer for pain and suffering after they have filed for worker’s compensation. If an employee has a worker’s compensation claim against their employer, then they must bring their lawsuit against a third party (not their employer) whose negligence caused their injury.

Architects, engineers, general contractors, or a supplier of materials are some of the third parties that an employee might be able to bring a civil suit against, as long as this third party caused the employee’s injury. If a claim is brought against the third party, then the employee must show that this third party had a duty to act in a reasonable and safe manner, that they failed to perform that duty, and as a result of their failure the employee was injured.