When talking about legal liability in the construction industry, the focus is often placed on construction contractors, the companies that are responsible for undertaking the project itself. However, construction site owners also have several essential duties they must fulfill to avoid liability in the event of an accident. Here are just some of the responsibilities construction site owners have during a project:
Providing surveys that will be used to plan the construction
- Before any construction project can go forward, the site owner is supposed to provide up-to-date survey information to the contractor. This will help them to plan out the construction, and sets out the parameters for the entire rest of the project. A site owner who fails to provide these surveys, or who provides incorrect ones, can cause serious problems for the project as a whole, and potentially put construction workers at risk if the project goes forward.
Obtaining all necessary permits for the project
- Another important responsibility of construction site owners is getting all necessary permits for the project. This process, while often tedious, is important for determining whether the project meets all regulatory requirements to go ahead. Attempting to go forward with construction without the necessary permits not only risks significant legal problems, it also increases the chances that a safety issue will go unaddressed until it is too late.
Disclosing known hazards
- Construction site owners are also responsible for disclosing any known hazards on the property. This includes known areas at a high risk of a cave-in, places where falls are likely, and any known hazardous materials on the site. Failure to disclose a known hazard can make a site owner liable if someone is injured due to the undisclosed danger.
Protecting the site from intruders
- In addition, construction site owners are also responsible for securing the site against intruders. At minimum, this means putting up a fence to keep out people who might otherwise wander onto the site, but it can also mean putting up security cameras or hiring guards. Failing to secure a site increases the risk of harm, not only to workers but also to anyone unfortunate enough to be injured while walking onto the site.
Minimizing risk to pedestrians and other non-workers
- Finally, construction site owners have a responsibility to protect pedestrians and others who come on, or near, the site. This is more of an issue in places like New York City, where construction often occurs adjacent to, or even right above, pedestrian walkways. Without taking steps to protect these passers-by, a construction site owner might be held liable if someone gets hurt.
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 serious 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.