Construction site accidents and injuries are more common than one can imagine. Occupational fatalities are frequent in construction workplaces everywhere. Irrespective of safety precautions, construction sites are extremely dangerous and accident-prone. It is highly recommended to know the local rules and regulations of construction for those who want to invest in the real estate sector.
On the other hand, one can enlighten oneself on construction law and procedures of getting compensation to help one’s other family members, friends, and loved ones working at an established site.
Possible Reasons for an Accident at a Construction Site
Any work that involves physical activity has a risk of getting injured. A construction workplace involves lots of heavy machinery and expensive materials, which require accurate handling of these tools. So the risk of damage involves both humans and expensive construction tools.
According to previous and current records and reports, the most common reasons for construction catastrophes are exemplified below:
- inadequate safety measures for laborers in high-rise buildings
- Missing nets or poor shields to catch falling objects
- Inappropriate safety ropes for workers
- Using untrained personnel to operate sensitive and complicated types of equipment
- Forcing to utilize faulty appliances and machines
- Not providing safety drills to employees in the event of a fire or other hazards
- Lack of safety steps while working on and near electricity lines
- Not following construction site protocols prescribed by the concerned authority
Though most construction companies try their best to avoid any unfortunate mishap, workplace tragedies will not disappear soon. Most real estates have a full-time legal advisor to manage these recurring misfortunes smoothly. However, workers and other victims of unexpected construction disasters do not have a full-time lawyer. Thus, the best option is to appoint a lawyer to resolve damages that cannot be compensated instantly.
Types of Various Construction Site Accidents
The above reasons can produce devastating consequences on construction sites.
Some top catastrophic cases are listed below:
- Tunnel mishaps
- Slip and fall from leakage or debris of materials
- Highway construction accidents
- Manoeuvring catastrophe
- Lifting injuries
- Explosion & Burnt
- Trench collapses
- Run over by an automobile
Alberta Construction Site Laws
Being aware of the regional law and regulations can benefit the party claiming compensation in a workplace accident in a construction project. Similarly, it also reduces the burden and fines of employers of the projects.
For highway builders, they can consult and revise standard specifications for highway construction. For example, 3.5 Asphalt Concrete Pavement (EPS), Re: Quality Control Testing Using Maximum Specific Gravity Testing of Hot Mix Asphalt.
In recent years construction project managers have been careful about environmental protection and preservation of wildlife and nature. Almost every other year, the local administration revises and reviews the existing law. In addition to the act’s amendments, the court also uses instances of former cases to resolve the existing issue.
As most real estates appoint a full-time legal exponent, they do not need to burn extra calories to adjust and update their operation procedures. If your construction firm does not currently have a full-time lawyer, it is strongly recommended to hire one.
Liability in Construction Site Accidents
According to the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act, Regulation, and Code, the company or the employer is identified as a self-employed person who, simultaneously, offers placement(s) to one or more people. Under the OHS Act, an employer is entitled to ensure a safe work environment for the employer and the employees.
Here is some crucial information from the OHS Act that outlines the liabilities of the employer:
- It is the employer’s prime responsibility to identify and assess all existing and potential risk factors at the worksite
- The employer must bring these risk factors to the attention of labourers who may be exposed to them.
- The patron has to take action to eliminate, control or reduce the risk factors
- The patron must acknowledge his workers adequate and appropriate safe working procedures
- The employer has an obligation to ensure his workers get appropriate and adequate resources, equipment, and appliances to undertake the work activities safely.
- The recruiter must make sure his employees are adequately trained to operate tools and equipment along with their limitations, maintaining safety at the workplace.
- The recruiter must enlighten the workers of their responsibilities and rights under the OHS Act, Regulation, and Code.
- The employer, thereby, has to make sure that there are sufficient and appropriate facilities for a fast response in the event of an accident
The OHS Act, Regulation, and Code are effective and applicable all across Canada. It also is applicable for construction businesses as well.
Apart from this, the employees also have liability in the workplace to ensure a safe working experience. Each employee should obey assigned responsibilities. That entails them to:
- An employee has to take necessary steps to protect his/her health and safety as well as his/her fellow teammates in the workplace.
- A workforce member has to cooperate with the employer to protect his/her health and that of other workers and persons present on the site.
- An employee must refrain from carrying out any task if, on the logical and probable ground, they consider there is an imminent accident to themselves or anyone present at the worksite and shall notify the concerned chief/supervisor or the employer on the matter.
The worker has the ultimate right to decide whether a task is safe to perform or not. The Act covers the procedures to be followed by both the employee and employer on the refusal of undertaking a task by the worker on the logical and probable ground of it being dangerous.
How Construction Lawyer Helps the Client?
A construction lawyer has in-depth knowledge of the legal system and how it relates to personal injuries. To get fair compensation in the event of a workplace catastrophe, individuals lacking sound knowledge in related laws and acts should hire a lawyer immediately after an injury at a construction site. For most workers, the formal language of the legal narratives is confusing and enigmatic. A lawyer can also explain the jargons used in Acts and regulatory documents to the everyday employees and other related individuals.
A construction lawyer primarily does the following when hired:
- Identifies the incident as an accident in the light of existing laws and regulation
- Determines the fault
- accelerate the process of obtaining financial compensation
- Negotiates efficiently with other parties involved (if necessary) while ensuring maximization of the client’s interest.
Sometimes, many employees do not get fair compensation for not getting help from a specialized lawyer, despite having insufficient knowledge of legal issues. So it is always better to handle matters professionally rather than based on personal instincts.
Claiming compensation being at partly fault for your construction accident is possible in some context. A construction lawyer specializes in identifying that situation and assists the victim in reporting the claim. Usually, this type of claim is
Understanding Third-Party Claim Process at a Construction Accident
Third-party claims are legal claims brought against — not the employer — but another third party who was fully or partially responsible for your accident. An instant can simplify the matter. Take, for instance, both the recruiter and the employees are following prescribed precautions and safety protocol on a highway construction site at one’s best. But a vehicle hits one of the workers. In this case, the automobile driver is a grid party responsible for a construction site accident.
In such scenarios, compensation granted from a third-party claim is rewarded in addition to the reimbursement given through worker’s compensation. Other possible third-parties are:
- Property owners
- The producer of malfunctioning equipment or machine
Holding these third parties accountable requires a piece of powerful evidence exposing negligence. Getting a construction accident lawyer is vital in a third-party claim to build a strong case.
To deal with the complexities of claiming construction accident compensation, hiring a lawyer is the best option. It saves the injured or victim from suffering any extra mental pressure on what to do next after a construction accident. To lessen your hardship, do not think twice! Just contact the experienced and expert lawyers in your area.