Safe Construction Workplace: Still an Impossible Reality?

In 1908, the Workers’ compensation insurance law was enacted to give assistance to the growing number of employees, mostly construction workers, who get injured during work or who develop work-related illnesses. Construction workers are the ones most prone to job site injuries due to the danger they are faced and surrounded with, such as great heights and big, powerful equipment necessary to perform their job. These dangers can easily be prevented, though, if safety standards implemented by their state and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) are strictly observed.

More than a thousand construction workers are injured on the job every year. Some of these injuries are due to the employer’s failure to properly train workers in the operation of machinery, implement safety standards or inspect and repair construction equipment, which include cranes, bulldozers, backhoes, derricks, cherry pickers, drilling machines, trucks, earth moving equipment, power tools, power saws and nail guns, welding equipment, concrete pumps, scaffolding and aerial work platforms. Another reason, however, which makes construction sites more dangerous and accidents more deadly, is equipment failure due to defects.

The website of Levinson Axelrod, P.A., states how employees reasonably believe that any equipment purchased by their employers will function without risk of accident or injury, so that any fault in design or manufacturing which leads to injury, is a clear betrayal of the trust given to manufacturers.

Defective construction equipment or suspicion of defects on equipment ought to be reported to superiors immediately; these tools or machineries ought to be tagged properly too and removed from the work area due to the danger of being picked up or used by an unaware co-worker. Failure to do so can lead to an accident which can severely injure or even take the life of someone.

Defective equipment are usually due to poor design or manufacturing means not in accordance with the design (proper warning labels should also inform the consumers and users of the products’ risks if used incorrectly). Manufacturers have a great responsibility if their defective products end up injuring someone and, through the help of a knowledgeable and determined personal injury lawyer, bringing the liable party to justice and filing for compensation due to your injuries are concerns you should never back away from.

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Philadelphia Building Collapse Continues to Puzzle

A Philadelphia crane operator with a lengthy criminal history has been charged with six counts of involuntary manslaughter after an accident in early June. Sean Benschop, 42, was operating an excavator to demolish a four-story building when one wall collapsed and crashed down on a nearby Salvation Army store, killing four shoppers and two employees. Police toxicology reports found marijuana in Benschop’s system, and indicate he may have been high at the time of the accident.

Benschop has an incriminating history–he has been arrested at least 11 times and charged with 16 traffic violations. In addition, two of his numerous arrests were drug-related. Benschop’s lawyer, Daine Grey Jr., said Benschop should not be held liable for any of the six deaths. “This was an accident, but Mr. Benschop is not responsible,” Grey said. “He has worked for a number of contractors throughout the region [for 13 years]. All of the contractors have found him professional and found that he did his work with the highest regard for the safety of those around him.”

Grey argued that Benschop is not responsible, and that authorities have made him “into a monster” and a scapegoat when the company and inspectors are at fault. Less than a week after the building collapsed, 50-year-old building inspector Ronald Wagenhoffer, who inspected the faulty structure, committed suicide, leading investigators with more questions.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident caused by faulty manufacturing or misuse of heavy machinery, you may be able to gain compensation for your loss. Seek immediate medical attention and consult a qualified, experienced attorney to discuss the details of your case.

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