The Serious Danger of An Elevation Related Construction Site Accident Demands Serious Attention
A construction site accident and elevation related accidents can have deadly outcomes – literally. The truth is, the likelihood of an accident having a more serious result if it occurs at a construction site or from a height is greatly increased. Lawmakers, safety officials and workers are all aware of this reality. It is one reason why the New York Labor Law (241(6), 240) has put the onus of the responsibility of worker safety on owners of accident site properties and contractors.
Accidents on the Rise
It is somewhat difficult to fathom that a problem that has such potential for life-changing consequences hasn’t seen improvement. One doesn’t need to go that far back to see the scary and ugly trend surrounding accidents of this nature. A story published from just last year highlighted this dangerous trend.
According to that story, the number of fall-related accidents nearly doubled from 2014 to 2015. Consider this, the report cited 433 accidents – that was only for New York. Contemplate that number throughout every state in the country…that is a serious problem! We shouldn’t be quick to forget either, that these aren’t numbers these are human lives.
More than Statistics
It is easy to get caught up in the talk about the burden of safety requirements imposed, where the liability falls or what legislation is doing to help. At the end of the day people lose husbands, wives, children and siblings. In that particular story three victims around the city of New York were mentioned. All three died at different accident locations, they were 27, 22 and 37 years of age. One of those unfortunate souls was simply walking past a site when they were struck in the head by a piece of plywood.
Maybe that human element should play a more significant role in the intricacies of defining, determining and delivering justice, in addition to the liability aspects and safety prevention of accidents. If only we could think in terms of people first, not dollars and cents or statistics. Of course, if we lived in a perfect world then we wouldn’t even be having this discussion.
The Liability Question
Here in the real world, there has been an ongoing debate about the how much and who of the responsibility topic. This is where it requires some talented navigational skills to handle some of those New York labor laws. An example of this is in the wording of Section (241(6)) written toward building owners and property agents that states:
“…shall be so constructed…equipped…operated and conducted as to provide reasonable and adequate protection and safety to the persons employed or frequenting such places.”
That quote was pulled from a story late last year that is discussing this ongoing tug-of-war between owners and construction contractors. Another quote that seemed considerably more inclusive that is found in Section (240(1)) of those same New York labor laws within that aforementioned story reads:
“…owners, contractors and managers are liable for gravity-related accidents that happen at the property.”
The fact that this doesn’t specifically proclaim responsibility upon either the owner, contractor or manager leaves the door open for what is now happening. A move by owners and those managers has created some confusion and another set of legal issues regarding liability.
New Clauses Introduce New Questions
That move is in the form of a clause that essentially shifts responsibility and the liability of safety-related accidents onto the contractor. The multitude of different directions this current scenario could go is anyone’s guess. What the recovering victim or surviving family of those victims need to know is how this affects them.
Hopefully you have never had to face circumstances that involve the ones mentioned here. Try to imagine dealing with a spouse who is in the hospital and can’t work, bills piling up and children, work – you get it. This isn’t a scare tactic, this is life, the imperfect one we live in. In one of those fatalities in New York, manslaughter charges were filed.
Justice and Accountability
Don’t be mistaken, this isn’t a witch hunt but if someone or some company’s negligence is at fault for the harm of a loved one? It is called justice and holding people accountable, especially when it causes harm to another. This is exactly why getting counsel, advice and even legal representation should be a decision carefully considered.
You aren’t expected to attempt to discover if there was a fault involved, or who is liable. The legal realm has a verbiage, processes and structure that makes it foreign to most. The majority of us aren’t equipped to know how to use the legal system for our good nor do we have the resources necessary to do so. It isn’t that uncommon for accident victims to be unaware that someone made a mistake that resulted in their misfortune.
The good news in the midst of chaotic and painful situations like these is that there is help. There are people who specialize in the investigations process, the legalities of liability and who understand the hardship of these types of events. Sometimes just knowing someone cares, understands and has the means to help can change everything.
If you are in a place where you think legal counsel or representation could benefit you, then don’t hesitate to contact us now. It is too much for one person, even one family. Our professional, experienced and compassionate team look forward to helping you. Not only to find justice and recover compensation for your loss, but to help you get back to your life.
These are serious problems, they deserve serious attention and you deserve the kind of assistance that is serious about helping you.