Construction Site Accidents
Over 30 years of experience. Over $100 million recovered for clients.
New Jersey Construction Site Accident Attorneys
Construction workers do some of the most dangerous work around. Despite the multitude of safety regulations and required personal protective equipment, construction workers sustain injuries at alarming rates. Construction site safety is important, but it is not always given the respect it deserves.
At the Todd J. Leonard Law Firm, our New Jersey construction site accident attorneys understand the impact construction site accidents can have on injured workers. When you are injured, it puts your body out of commission, meaning you will be unable to perform the demanding work your income depends on for the duration of your recovery. If and when accidents do occur, you need the experienced catastrophic injury and wrongful death lawyers at the Todd J. Leonard Law Firm to fight on your behalf. We can help you recover compensation for your medical costs, lost wages, and other injury-related expenses.
We work with investigators and experts to uncover OSHA violations, previous safety warnings, and other factors that may have been responsible for your injuries. We have extensive experience with all kinds of construction accidents and can help you through the recovery process.
Types of Construction Site Accidents
- Scaffolding accidents and falls
- Scaffolding failures and collapses
- Falling objects
- Forklift accidents
- Crane accidents
- Defective equipment
- Contractor safety violations
- General or sub-contractor liability
Heavy cranes are mainly used for lifting heavy objects and transporting them from one location to another. Cranes use one or more simple mechanisms in order to create a mechanical advantage, thereby moving heavy loads beyond the normal capabilities of man. They are generally equipped with a hoist, wire ropes, or chains and sheaves, all which are used to lift and lower heavy materials and to move them horizontally.
Were you injured in a crane accident?
In September of 2006, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) issued an alert warning people about how construction and industrial workers were being injured or killed when working on or in the vicinity of mobile cranes as a result of tip-over, boom collapse, and uncontrolled hoisted loads.
NIOSH pointed out that a number of workers may not be fully aware of the hazards involved in working near or in mobile cranes. One of the major causes of crane tip-over is when the crane is operating beyond the manufacturer's recommended lifting capacity. Boom collapse commonly occurs when the crane is overloaded, rigged, or disassembled improperly. When a crane tips over or when a boom collapse occurs, nearby workers can be struck by uncontrolled hoisted loads, or by falling objects.
According to the Census of Fatal Occupations Injuries (CFOI), a data system managed by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), from 1992 to 2002, mobile cranes were the primary or secondary source of fatalities. The NIOSH reviewed CFOI data and gathered information on a total of 719 cases from 1992 to 2002. The investigation revealed that in 40.3% of crane fatalities, the victim was struck by an object from an uncontrolled hoisted load or from part of a mobile crane. In 24.1% of the fatality cases, the victim was killed due to an electrocution injury from the crane coming into contact with an overhead power line or from another electrical source. Another 12.2% died from falling from a crane structure or the cab, and 10.6% died from moving a crane from one site to another. Lastly, 10.2% of the fatalities were from being caught in the moving parts of the crane.
Cranes present incredible danger and their assembly and operation should never be taken lightly or without strict adherence to safety regulations. Injuries from crane collapses can be devastating and have lifelong consequences. Speaking with a New Jersey crane accident lawyer from the Todd J. Leonard Law Firm can help you get the compensation you need to counteract these consequences and get your life back on track.
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Types of Cranes Used in the Industry
Cranes are frequently used in the construction industry to move heavy materials and in the transport industry for loading and unloading freight. They are also used in manufacturing for the assembling of various types of heavy equipment. Cranes come in a variety of different forms and sizes, each tailored for a specific use; they range from small cranes used inside workshops to tall tower cranes used in the construction of skyscrapers.
Overhead cranes, or bridge cranes, use a type of hook-and-line mechanism that runs along a horizontal beam on separated rails. This type of crane is generally used in a long factory building and runs along rails along two of the building's walls. There are also large floating cranes, which are used to construct oil rigs and salvage sunken ships, and mobile cranes that consist of a truss or telescopic boom mounted on a mobile platform.
Falling Object Accidents
Construction workers are continuously at risk of falling objects, particularly when they are beneath cranes or scaffolds or when overhead work is being performed. There is also a danger of flying objects from power tools or other activities, such as pulling, prying, or pushing, all of which may cause objects to go airborne.
The construction site is a fast-paced environment where there are many workers working at different heights. When a worker makes a mistake, an object can fall downwards, striking workers down below. The falling object can be a hammer or another tool, or it can be falling lumber, bricks, mortar, hoist, steel, buckets, bolts, debris, power tools, or anything else that can fall from above.
The nature of construction work makes it all too easy for a worker to be injured by a falling object or falling debris, and even when the best precautions are taken, workers can still be seriously or fatally injured from falling objects, especially when the objects weigh hundreds or thousands of pounds.
Construction Sites Can Be Chaotic
As a construction worker, you are aware that the construction site can be a chaotic environment where virtually anything can go wrong. While objects fall at construction sites for a number of reasons, falling objects can usually be traced back to a negligent error or safety violation of some sort. Objects don't just fall by themselves; somebody has to help them along. Whether a co-worker lacked proper safety training, a worker simply made a careless error, an inexperienced worker lacked proper supervision, or a subcontractor committed an error, the possibilities for injury are endless.
If you've been hit by a falling object on a construction site, you may be able to seek compensation for any injury you have sustained. Learn more by calling (973) 920-7900.
Injuries from Falling Objects
Objects can fall in cases where a manager or a subcontractor failed to take into account the weather that day. Unfavorable conditions, such as wind, rain, or ice can make objects slippery, which can cause objects to fall from scaffolds or platforms and other places. Perhaps a worker was tired, distracted, or under the influence of alcohol, and he failed to follow the safety rules or failed to follow OSHA regulations. There are so many possibilities, it's virtually impossible to nail the causes down to a short list, but almost always the falling objects are a result of negligence or rule-breaking.
Falling objects can cause a host of injuries, including but not limited to:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Spinal cord injuries (leading to temporary or permanent paralysis)
- Broken bones
- Amputation injuries
- Internal injuries
OSHA Promotes Safety Tips
As a construction worker, you are at risk of being struck by a falling object or from flying debris. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has developed safety guidelines for people working in the construction industry. In order to avoid hazards, OSHA says to wear hardhats on the construction site, stack materials to prevent sliding, falling, or collapse, and to use protective measures, such as debris nets and toe boards.
When you are using power tools or machines, be sure to use safety glasses, goggles, and face shields where machines or tools that cause flying debris are in use. Also, be sure to inspect tools, including saws and lathes, to make sure their protective guards are in workable condition. When using cranes and hoists, avoid working underneath loads that are being moved, and do not exceed the lifting capacity of cranes and hoists. Be sure to inspect cranes and hoists to ensure all components, such as the lifting hooks and wire rope and chains, are in good condition.
When you are engaging in overhead work, secure tools and materials in order to prevent them from falling on workers below; barricade hazard areas and post warning signs; use toe boards, screens, or guardrails on scaffolds to prevent objects from falling; make use of debris nets, catch platforms, or canopies to catch falling objects.
A forklift is a powered industrial truck that is used to lift and transport large and heavy materials. The modern forklift was developed in the 1960's by a number of manufacturers, including Clark and the hoist company Yale & Towne Manufacturing. Since the 1960's, the forklift has become an indispensable piece of equipment that is relied heavily upon in manufacturing, shipping, and warehousing operations across the globe.
While early developments of material handling equipment can be traced back to the mid-1800's, by the post-war era more efficient methods for storing and moving products in warehouses were being implemented. Warehouses needed more mobile forklifts that could reach even greater heights. In response to this need, newer forklift models were designed to fit the mold. By 1956, Toyota had introduced its first forklift model, the Model LA, in Japan, and they ultimately sold their first forklift in the United States in 1967.
Preventing Forklift Injuries
According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), forklift overturns are the leading cause of fatalities involving forklifts and represent about 25% of all forklift-related deaths. OSHA discusses how powered industrial trucks and forklifts are used in many industries, primarily for the purpose of moving materials. They are also used to raise, lower, or remove large objects or a number of smaller objects that rest on pallets, boxes, crates, or other containers.
While forklifts are necessary tools, there are a number of hazards associated with operating them. For instance, a sit-down, counterbalanced, high-lift rider truck is more likely to be involved in a falling load accident compared to a motorized hand truck because the sit-down rider truck lifts loads much higher than hand trucks. Additionally, certain workplace conditions present greater hazards; for example, retail establishments pose additional challenges because workers have to be vigilant about pedestrian safety.
Workers can also become injured when:
- They inadvertently drive a lift truck off a loading dock
- Lifts fall in between docks and an unsecured trailer
- The worker is struck by a lift
- The worker falls while they are standing on elevated pallets and tines
While forklifts are vital pieces of machinery used at construction sites, shipping yards, dockyards, and large retail establishments and warehouses nationwide, workers who use and work around forklifts on a daily basis are at risk of suffering serious injuries if they are involved in a forklift accident. Employers are responsible for ensuring each powered industrial truck operator is competent enough to operate a powered industrial truck. According to OSHA, it is a violation of federal law for anyone under the age of 18 to operate a forklift if they are not properly trained and certified to do so.
If you have been injured in a forklift accident, you are urged to contact our New Jersey forklift accident attorneys from the Todd J. Leonard Law Firm right away.
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Contact a New Jersey Construction Site Accident Lawyer
If you have been injured in a construction site accident, we urge you to contact the New Jersey construction site attorneys at the Todd J. Leonard Law Firm right away. For 30 years, our firm has been helping workers file workers' compensation and third party claims so they could receive the medical care and compensation they need after suffering injuries on the job.