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Identifying Equipment Faults That Could Lead to Accidents at a Construction Site

Construction activity can be very dangerous to workers and other people on or near a site. Working with heavy machinery, power tools and other potentially dangerous equipment can lead to serious injuries.

New York has laws that place a responsibility on property owners and contractors to maintain a reasonably safe worksite for workers and others legally on the premises. This includes making sure equipment is maintained and is functioning within accepted safety standards. If the responsible parties fail to meet these safety requirements or to exercise reasonable care, they can be held liable for accidents that occur on the worksite and be subject to administrative fines from federal, state and local building authorities.

There are several types of construction accidents that often can be prevented or minimized if property owners, contractors and safety managers take proper precautions:

  • Slips, trips and falls — Workers are constantly moving around the worksite, going up and down a building as it is being framed and installing flooring, windows, ceilings and other components. Construction debris that might constitute a tripping hazard must be removed from ramps, stairs and platforms. Temporary stairs and ramps must be constructed properly and be sufficient to withstand the foot traffic they will undergo during the construction project.
  • Falls from heights — A major cause of catastrophic injury or death at a worksite is falls from high structures to the ground. Property owners and contractors are required to make sure scaffolding, ladders, hoists and other equipment are properly constructed and maintained. They must remove or fully repair any equipment that has been damaged or is not up to standards.
  • Falling debris — Even small objects, when falling from several stories high, can become dangerous to people below. Tools, construction materials and supplies being raised or lowered can become deadly projectiles. Site operators are required to install catch platforms and/or netting throughout the construction site. Notices should be placed and workers should be cautioned to not leave objects on the edge of temporary platforms or uncompleted floors, where they can inadvertently be made to fall below.
  • Heavy machinery accidents — Trucks, bulldozers, forklifts and front-end loaders are examples of heavy machinery that can injure workers. Accidents can happen for a host of reasons, such as mistakes by operators, clothing getting caught in the machinery or material falling from a crane or forklift. These vehicles and machines must be subjected to regular inspection, maintenance and repair.

The Licatesi Law Group, LLP represents construction site accident victims and their families, pursuing fair and adequate compensation for them. To arrange a free consultation with one of our experienced New York attorneys, call us at (516) 227-2662 or contact us online at our Garden City or Brooklyn office.

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