I Got Hurt at Work – Construction Site Edition

Construction work is one of the most classic occupations in the United States. Every town and city was built on the hard work of industrious people willing to put their well-being on the line to get the job done. Unfortunately, from time to time, accidents occur and deeply effect the lives of workers and their families.

The most important thing to remember about construction site accidents is the broad range of damage that can be dealt. Injury can be something as mundane as repetitive stress to something as serious as death by explosion. Construction workers have to keep their eyes and ears open for an extremely wide variety of hazards.

This article is here to explore the most common ways people get hurt in the construction industry, the kinds of stresses they have to deal with post-accident, and what can be done legally to get the proper compensation.

Discussing Common Workplace Accidents:

Let’s analyze some of the most common accidents that occur on the construction site.

* Falling Accidents. When it comes to construction, there are often scenarios where workers need to negotiate elevated locations. Some examples include scaffolding, girders, building structures, and building exteriors. Falling from even a modest height can result in serious injury or death.

* Falling Objects. It’s not always the person that falls – many times it’s objects. During construction lots of material is being broken, put together, and moved around. This breeds a lot of opportunity for unsuspecting workers to get an unpleasant surprise from above.

* Equipment/Vehicle Incident. Most jobs involve more than simple hand tools. Complex construction equipment and vehicles provide a constant challenge for workers to both get a job done on time, but to also do it safely. As equipment gets older, the risks tend to increase.

* Exertion Injury. Construction work is often synonymous with manual labor. Any time extreme amounts of physical exertion are in play there is a possibility for injury. Examples often include lifting strain, repetitive stress disorder, tendonitis, and general body wear-and-tear.

* Chemical Incidents. Spills, exposure, and other unpleasant interactions with chemicals are a serious concern for many construction workers. There are often harsh cleansers, lubricants, and other chemicals involved in the overall construction plan of a job, and overexposure is not terribly uncommon.

* Fire/Explosion. Sometimes related to the chemicals cited above, fire and explosion is another reality of the construction site. High pressure equipment and volatile material can cause serious burns or worse to workers how are caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Results of Construction Accidents:

Just as unfortunate as the accident itself is some of the results that occur afterwards. Many people either do not see some of these issues coming, or don’t know how to handle them. Let’s analyze a few examples:

* Extensive medical bills from various injuries occurred on the job.

* Missed shifts and time at work, resulting in loss of wages.

* Reduced ability to perform work at the same level as before injury.

* Usage of personal days / sick days beyond those available.

* Negative pressure from bosses, coworkers, etc to either hide injury or report it in fraudulent ways.

* Shift work from full-time to light duty or reduced responsibilities.

Problems after an injury end to pile up, and it can be extremely difficult handling them, especially from a legal perspective.

Securing Proper Legal Counsel

It is important to get legal counsel so that you aren’t susceptible to the wims of insurance companies and construction firms. Unfortunately, general practice lawyers are rarely equipped to deal with the complexities of the large construction industry. Therefore it is important to locate a skilled construction law specialist.

It’s even better if you can find one in your area to reduce the costs of long distance representation (if it is even an option).

Arizona’s Road Construction Projects Create Dangerous Driving Conditions

Road construction zones often present shifting traffic patterns and uneven surfaces for car and truck drivers to navigate. Often, there is little notice of these dangerous conditions. On an average day, 11 automobile accidents take place in Arizona road construction zones. According to the Arizona Department of Transportation (DOT), these accidents have accounted for over 80 deaths and more than 11,000 injuries in the past five years. Drivers and their passengers account for the vast majority of the people hurt in these accidents.

Car Accidents in Construction Zones

Construction zones are a common sight on Arizona roads these days. Many major construction projects, such as those currently underway on Interstates 10 and 17, Highway 93 and State Routes 92 and 179, are expected to extend to late 2009 or 2010. These projects cause general upheaval that can result in hazardous road conditions, including:

• Poorly marked or unmarked construction areas
• Improperly installed or missing guardrails
• Inadequate lighting
• Uneven road surfaces
• Potholes
• Gravel and debris on the road
• Sudden lane restrictions
• Unexpected traffic congestion
• Sudden speed limit changes

In combination with the disruption of normal traffic patterns, these kinds of conditions frequently turn road construction zones into the sites of serious auto accidents.

Studies conducted by the Arizona DOT report that the most common type of road construction zone crash is a rear-end collision. This type of crash accounts for approximately half of all accidents. Many collisions also involve fixed objects, such as barriers and stationary construction equipment.

Common injuries in car crashes include broken bones, spinal cord injuries and brain damage. Death can also occur, and fatal accidents are often the result of single vehicle crashes.

Legal Issues to Consider

Several important factors affect the legal claims of those injured in vehicle accidents in road construction zones. Carefully documenting the conditions that led to an accident is an important first step in preparing for a lawsuit. Arizona law (A.R.S. § 28-650) requires that proper warning signs and barricades be maintained for the duration of all road construction. This applies to both municipal workers and private contractors. Engaging an attorney to thoroughly analyze the accident report and interview eyewitnesses is essential to preparing for a lawsuit and improving your chances of recovering fair financial compensation.

It is also vital to identify the party responsible for the accident. If the Arizona Department of Transportation or other governmental entity controlled the road construction zone when the accident occurred, certain types of legal immunity may come into play. An attorney can determine whether the state or local government can be held liable for injuries or other damages caused by their employees or contractors. Other potentially responsible parties include private contractors, subcontractors, construction companies, engineers and surveyors that were involved with performing the construction work, maintaining the road construction zone and designing the highway or bridge. Government immunity does not shield these private parties.

Timing is a third important issue. An injured party must serve a notice of a claim involving government employees or entities within 180 days of the accident (A.R.S. § 12-821.01) and file a lawsuit within one year (A.R.S. § 12-821). Claims against other parties must be made within two years. Accident report analyses and interviews can be time-consuming, and delays, especially in the time period immediately following an accident, can be costly. In general, it is best to contact a lawyer as soon as possible after a road construction zone accident to ensure that your interests are protected.

Road construction zones often present shifting traffic patterns and uneven surfaces for car and truck drivers to navigate. Often, there is little notice of these dangerous conditions. On an average day, 11 automobile accidents take place in Arizona road construction zones. According to the Arizona Department of Transportation (DOT), these accidents have accounted for over 80 deaths and more than 11,000 injuries in the past five years. Drivers and their passengers account for the vast majority of the people hurt in these accidents.

Car Accidents in Construction Zones

Construction zones are a common sight on Arizona roads these days. Many major construction projects, such as those currently underway on Interstates 10 and 17, Highway 93 and State Routes 92 and 179, are expected to extend to late 2009 or 2010. These projects cause general upheaval that can result in hazardous road conditions, including:

• Poorly marked or unmarked construction areas
• Improperly installed or missing guardrails
• Inadequate lighting
• Uneven road surfaces
• Potholes
• Gravel and debris on the road
• Sudden lane restrictions
• Unexpected traffic congestion
• Sudden speed limit changes

In combination with the disruption of normal traffic patterns, these kinds of conditions frequently turn road construction zones into the sites of serious auto accidents.

Studies conducted by the Arizona DOT report that the most common type of road construction zone crash is a rear-end collision. This type of crash accounts for approximately half of all accidents. Many collisions also involve fixed objects, such as barriers and stationary construction equipment.

Common injuries in car crashes include broken bones, spinal cord injuries and brain damage. Death can also occur, and fatal accidents are often the result of single vehicle crashes.

Legal Issues to Consider

Several important factors affect the legal claims of those injured in vehicle accidents in road construction zones. Carefully documenting the conditions that led to an accident is an important first step in preparing for a lawsuit. Arizona law (A.R.S. § 28-650) requires that proper warning signs and barricades be maintained for the duration of all road construction. This applies to both municipal workers and private contractors. Engaging an attorney to thoroughly analyze the accident report and interview eyewitnesses is essential to preparing for a lawsuit and improving your chances of recovering fair financial compensation.

It is also vital to identify the party responsible for the accident. If the Arizona Department of Transportation or other governmental entity controlled the road construction zone when the accident occurred, certain types of legal immunity may come into play. An attorney can determine whether the state or local government can be held liable for injuries or other damages caused by their employees or contractors. Other potentially responsible parties include private contractors, subcontractors, construction companies, engineers and surveyors that were involved with performing the construction work, maintaining the road construction zone and designing the highway or bridge. Government immunity does not shield these private parties.

Timing is a third important issue. An injured party must serve a notice of a claim involving government employees or entities within 180 days of the accident (A.R.S. § 12-821.01) and file a lawsuit within one year (A.R.S. § 12-821). Claims against other parties must be made within two years. Accident report analyses and interviews can be time-consuming, and delays, especially in the time period immediately following an accident, can be costly. In general, it is best to contact a lawyer as soon as possible after a road construction zone accident to ensure that your interests are protected.

Construction Phase Health And Safety Plan: Why Are They Important?

During the construction, maintenance, refurbishment or demolition of a property there are numerous hazards to health that needs to be accounted for by the principle contractor and the client. It is the contractor’s responsibility to be prepared for any unfavorable circumstances and to maintain a safe and healthy working place. Meeting with safety and legal obligations can be a bit of a tiresome task, especially if one tries to take the amateur approach. However, the construction phase health and safety plan is a valuable document and has to be prepared properly and while following all legal compliances.

A construction phase health and safety plan is set apart from other documents due to the fact that it must give the user information as to how the construction process is going to be carried out safely. It will have to signify how the principle contractor plans on securing a safe and healthy site. Although this document is of high legal importance when it comes to coordinating a construction project, its preparation is sometimes neglected. This is mainly due to the fact that contractors in an attempt to draw the construction phase health and safety plan by themselves, often end up doing so in an unacceptable format and not having followed all the legal technicalities and the HSE regulations.

The traditional approach would have been seeking legal advice and it would have undoubtedly cost you an arm and a leg. For contractors who are interested in running a cost efficient operation there are more cheaper and effective methods available. They could buy a template online which has been designed by engineers with experience in construction safety management. Consequently they do not make the mistakes that you could have made as it is their job to be up to date with all the legal formalities and the Health and Safety regulations. This template is relatively easy to use and enables you to input the necessary data with the greatest of ease. It becomes easy to draw up a construction phase health and safety plan within a very short period of time.

Once purchased, this template can be used as many times as necessary. Hence, drawing up proper safety plans at the minimum cost will not only ensure that your firm is efficient and making more profits, it will also ensure that you have an unscathed reputation with the HSE. You can pay for this software by means of a credit card and also through PayPal. You can live up to your firm’s legal obligations while at the same time; give it an edge to have the upper hand over your competitors.