Whether a construction project is in the planning phases or has begun construction, safety is paramount. It helps ensure that the workers are protected as they face many risks throughout the construction of a structure. However, sometimes some safety essentials are overlooked. When safety equipment is not provided or fails, this could result in a serious injuries or even death.
According to recent reports, three construction workers were fatally injured in a construction accident in Austin. The accident resulted in OSHA instituting penalties against four contractors for safety violations that related to the recent scaffolding accident.
Reports indicated that the support scaffold that employees were working on collapsed. This resulted in the workers falling more than 100 feet to their deaths. It was purported that if the scaffolding parts had been inspected and replaced or repaired, it is likely that this fatal construction accident could have been avoided.
The accident resulted in an investigation by OSHA, resulting in the company that employed the deceased workers to be cited for three serious violations. This includes failing to develop and implement a safety and health program and failing to ensure a competent person inspected the scaffold prior to usage. Additionally, the company was cited for two repeat violations, which included failing to provide adequate fall protection systems and failing to adequately train it workers to recognize scaffolding dangers.
Civil action following a construction accident
When an employer or contractor is negligent and is the cause of a work accident, it is likely they will face consequences for any health and safety violations. Additionally, injured workers or surviving family member of deceased workers have the ability to take action following a construction accident. This could come in the form of a personal injury action or wrongful death claim; however, a workers’ compensation action may be a suitable step to take.
Depending on the details of the matter, a certain civil action may be more beneficial than the other. Thus, it is important to fully understand your options, what they entail and how they can address losses such as pain and suffering, medical bills, funeral costs, lost wages, loss of companionship and other damages.