1,000 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.