Building construction work may be considered inherently dangerous. Workers are by the nature of their jobs exposed to large-scale mechanical equipment and vehicles, heavy and sometimes potentially hazardous materials, and must sometimes work high off the ground. Even though most construction companies are diligent in looking out for worker safety, it still only takes a seemingly minor act of carelessness or lack of foresight to lead to a construction site accident.
A North Carolina construction worker who was participating in erecting a multi-story building died recently when a piece of wood fell from a height of 60 feet, striking him on the head. The worker was wearing a hard hat, but the falling wood fell with such force, it did not save him.
The circumstances that led to the accident were apparently a combination of strong winds and a failure of the construction contractor to adequately assess safety risks at the site. The wind evidently dislodged a piece of plywood from an upper level of the building and became a lethal projectile on its way to the ground.
The construction contractor and a subcontractor have been cited for serious violations of safety laws in connection with the accident. It is not yet clear whether either of those companies plans to appeal the findings against them.
A construction worker accident is often preventable. But when one happens, systems are in place to assist injured workers or the families of workers who are killed on the job. These include workers’ compensation, and if necessary the civil legal system. For either of these two remedies, working with an attorney can help to expedite claims and to increase the likelihood of securing the best outcome for the victims.
Source: Lexington Herald-Leader, "Construction companies cited for safety violation in death of worker at UK dorm," Linda B. Blackford, June 24, 2014