In construction, a contractor typically refers to a company that is hired to build, remodel, repair, restore, or demolish a building. Along with the people who own the construction site, they are the ones primarily responsible for ensuring that it is safe to go forward with construction. Thus, they are also often one of the primary culprits when something goes wrong, and someone gets hurt. Here are seven signs a construction contractor may have been negligent when someone is injured on a construction site:
- Lack of protective gear
- It is the duty of construction contractors to provide their workers with protective gear, such as hardhats, insulated gloves, protective goggles, and other gear which is necessary to prevent injury when working on a construction site. When they fail to provide this gear to their workers, it increases the risk of accidental harm from falling objects, corrosive chemicals, exposed wires, and other common hazards.
- Broken or defective equipment
- Another important duty of contractors is to ensure that any construction equipment is in good repair, and to repair or replace any equipment that is not working properly. This includes ensuring that all power tools have appropriate guarding and removing equipment whose safety features are not working properly. Failing to do so can increase the risk of an injury to any workers that attempt to use the broken or defective equipment.
- Lack of fall protection
- Many construction projects require workers to work from far above the ground, where one slip can result in a dangerous fall onto whatever, or whoever, is below. Contractors are supposed to ensure that fall protection, such as safety nets or personal arrest systems, are properly in place to prevent these kinds of accidents. When there is no fall protection, falls become much more likely and much more deadly, both to whoever falls and to whomever they may fall onto.
- Unsecured scaffolding
- Construction often involves working from elevated platforms known as scaffolding, which can either be secured to the ground or against the side of a building, or which can be suspended from above. Contractors are supposed to ensure that all scaffolding is appropriately secured to prevent tilting, swaying, or collapse, which makes it less likely workers will fall or drop items from the platform. Workers should thus be wary of contractors who do not take appropriate time to ensure scaffolding is secured, due to the danger it poses to them.
- Inadequate signage
- You cannot prevent or protect against all hazards on a construction site, but you can at least warn workers when a hazard is present. Signs warning of the presence of flammable materials, caustic liquids, exposed electrical wiring, or potential cave-ins all help workers avoid some of the worst possible injuries on a site. When a contractor fails to post adequate signage of present hazards, all kinds of injuries become more likely, since workers may not take adequate caution without that warning.
- Missing or out-of-date inspections
- Almost every piece of equipment on a construction site needs to be inspected before it can be used in the construction process. These inspections are tedious and costly, however, which means many contractors allow construction to go forward with out-of-date or missing inspections. Their unwillingness to due their due diligence means that workers often pay the price when they are forced to work under unsafe conditions.
- Lack of training
- All these safeguards and protective measures mean little if a contractor does not take time to ensure their workers are adequately trained in using them. And unfortunately, many contractors simply do not take the time to train their workers in safety protocols to protect them from harm. As a result, they are much more likely to fail to adhere to safety measures, increasing the risk of injury to themselves and everyone around them.
The personal injury attorneys at Georgaklis & Mallas, PLLC are experienced in representing clients who have been seriously injured, and the surviving family members of those who have been fatally injured, as the result of construction accidents. The firm’s accomplished personal injury lawyers strive to secure full and fair compensation for their injured clients. With law offices conveniently located in Brooklyn and Manhattan, their personal injury lawyers can vigorously represent clients throughout the metropolitan area, including, in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Staten Island, the Bronx, Queens, and New Jersey. For more information or to schedule a free consultation, please call (718) 238-2400 or fill out our contact form.