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Working in the construction industry can be dangerous. Contractors, subcontractors and laborers are generally working on tight deadlines, and safety concerns often take a back seat to simply getting the job done. However, when corners are cut, workers are more likely to suffer injuries and need workers’ compensation. A recent Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) report shows the four types of accidents that result in the highest instances of death specifically related to the construction industry. Sadly, one out of five work-related deaths in 2013 was in construction. There were 775 of those deaths specifically in the construction industry. Of those, 435 involved what OSHA refers to as the “Fatal Four.” Those included:

  • Falls: Responsible for 278 deaths
  • Being struck by an object: Responsible for 78 deaths
  • Electrocutions: Responsible for 66 deaths
  • Being caught in between objects: Responsible for 13 deaths

As you can see, the number of falls that resulted in death are more than the others in the “Fatal Four” category combined. Fall hazards are the most common OSHA violations. It’s a serious issue and one that can often be prevented simply by taking the time to make sure that OSHA requirements are being followed. Providing personal fall restraint systems for workers at heights of 6 feet or more, installing guardrails or cover holes, reducing clutter and debris, illuminating workplaces and marking spaces that are hazardous can prevent these types of accidents. Sadly, many construction companies simply don’t abide by OSHA regulations. When employers fail to provide required safety equipment for workers, they should be held accountable.

Who’s Liable When You Suffer an Injury?

Georgia workers’ compensation law generally prevents injured workers from suing their employers or co-workers. However, determining whether liability can be assigned to a third party is an important aspect of a personal injury case, as it may be a viable option. Possible defendants in these types of cases might include:

  • Construction companies. Construction companies might be at fault if they fail to provide safety equipment or perform safety inspections on the equipment provided.
  • Contractors / subcontractors. Contractors and subcontractors might be at fault if they fail to inform laborers of on-site dangers.
  • Manufacturers / material suppliers. Manufacturers and material suppliers might be held responsible for injuries caused by a variety of defective products, such as power tools, cranes, hoists, conveyers, ladders, winches, trucks, scaffolding, graters, woodworking tools, scrapers, derricks, tractors, boilers, bulldozers, forklifts, pressure vessels and gas detectors.

The bottom line is that construction companies, contractors, subcontractors, manufacturers and material suppliers in Georgia have a duty to make sure that construction sites, equipment, tools or materials are safe. When they don’t, and an injury or death occurs, it’s always in your best interests to contact an experienced attorney who can review your situation so that you can make an informed decision about what’s best for you and your family.