Colorado Springs Construction Accident Lawyer
Helping Injured Construction Workers in Parker & Pueblo
Construction is innately dangerous, but many construction accidents are
avoidable. If you or a loved one was hurt in a construction accident,
you may be able to recover compensation for medical expenses and non-economic
losses through a
personal injury claim or lawsuit. At Clawson & Clawson, LLP, our personal injury lawyers
in Colorado Springs believe careless and negligent construction companies,
employers, and employees should be held responsible for the
workplace accidents and
injuries they cause. That's why we are dedicated to helping our clients collect
the money they need and deserve.
Call our office to learn about our construction accident representation.
Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act (CWHSSA)
The Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act (CWHSSA) applies to federal
and federally assisted construction contracts that are worth more than
$100,000. In short, CWHSSA prohibits subcontractors and contractors from
underpaying employees for working over 40 hours per week. But the CWHSSA
applies to more than construction worker pay – it also requires
contractors and subcontractors to provide hazard-free, safe, and sanitary
work environments for their employees. A violation of the CWHSSA may result
in employee injury, sickness, or
wrongful death. If you suffered a serious injury because a contractor or subcontractor
failed to provide an adequate work environment, a Colorado Springs personal
injury lawyer may be able to help you obtain financial compensation such as
workers' compensation or personal injury damages.
Common Construction Accidents: "Struck-By" Hazards
According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, "struck-by"
accidents are one of the most common causes behind construction-related
injury and death. There are four types of struck-by accidents: falling
object, flying object, swinging/slipping object, and ground level. These
types of accidents are one of the four leading causes of construction
worker death in the United States. OSHA reports that 504 struck-by reports
were filed in 2007. In the same year, 311 American construction workers
were killed. 26% of these deaths were caused by struck-by hazards; and
10% of all occupational deaths in the United States were the result of
Recognizing Struck-By Hazards – A struck-by hazard occurs when a construction worker is in danger of being
hit by a moving object. For example, working below an elevated work platform
creates a struck-by falling object hazard. When a crane lifts heavy materials
overhead, workers are subject to the same type of accident. To avoid struck-by
falling object injuries, employees should avoid walking below work platforms
and never store heavy materials improperly overhead. Other struck-by hazards
- Using power tools to pry, push, or pull materials
- Grinding materials (creating flying object hazards)
- Using highly-pressurized machinery, etc.
- Using cranes to lift loads
- Moving machinery and vehicles
Fall Injuries & Construction Hazards
OSHA identifies four primary types of construction accidents. These accidents
are called "The Big Four Construction Hazards" and include fall
injuries, electrical accidents, struck-by injuries, and caught-in accidents.
Fall accidents are preventable through safety training and equipment.
Construction workers who work on scaffolding, ladders, or roofs that are
elevated more than six feet above the ground are at risk of suffering
a fall injury.
If a job requires workers to use ladders, etc., the employer should provide
adequate fall protection. For example, different types of scaffolding
should be used for different construction jobs. If an employer provides
the wrong type of scaffolding, workers could suffer serious, often
catastrophic, fall injuries. Other elevated jobs might require harnesses and other
"Caught-In" Construction Injuries
A caught-in injury occurs when a worker becomes trapped between two objects.
According to OSHA, 192 construction workers died in caught-accidents in
2007, equaling approximately 16% of all construction-related deaths. 5%
of all work-related deaths are the result of caught-in accidents. Simply
put, a caught-in hazard occurs when a construction worker is in any danger
of becoming trapped between two objects. Typically, this type of accident
involves heavy equipment. To avoid caught-in accidents, workers should never:
- Work within the radius of a crane
- Work in-between a piece of equipment and another object
- Work in close proximity to heavy machinery
Caught-in accidents can also occur when a workers body part becomes trapped
in smaller piece of machinery. Workers can avoid this type of injury by
enabling disable guards on equipment. Workers should never place their
hands, arms, or other limbs near moving parts of a machine. If the worker
is wearing long sleeves, loose clothing, or jewelry, he/she should be
aware of potential caught-in accidents. Employees should never use equipment
or machinery that is missing safety guards or any protective feature.
Common Injuries: Electrocution Accidents
Electrocution accidents are another common source of construction accidents,
injuries and death. As part of the "Big Four Construction Hazards,"
electrocution is responsible for a nearly 4.5% of all deaths in the United
States in 2006. According to OSHA, 124 construction employees died from
electrocution in 2006. Electricity enables construction employees to work,
but it also poses a serious threat to employees' safety and wellbeing.
Simply put, electricity flows through metals, waters, soil, the human body,
and other conductors. When power tools and other machinery are working
correctly, the work will not come into contact with the electricity. However,
damaged machinery can short circuit and cause the electricity to travel
through the worker's body. Many electrical injuries are the result
of damaged insulation, exposed electrical equipment, faulty wiring, improper
grounding, power lines, and wet conditions.
To avoid this type of injury, construction workers should use personal
protective equipment (such as gloves) to prevent electrocution injuries.
Workers should always ground electrical circuits properly and avoid using
broken tools, wiring, and electrical systems. Additionally, employees
should always close electrical panels and use flexible electrical cords.
If an employer provides employees with old or broken electrical equipment,
he/she could be held responsible for employee injuries and death.
Preventing Construction Accidents
Construction accidents can be prevented. According to OSHA, workers with
positive and cooperative attitudes can help prevent construction accidents.
To avoid accidents, construction workers should plan their work as a team
and look for potential accident hazards. Every construction project has
different hazards. Because of this, employers and workers must plan ahead
for a safe work environment:
- Always wear a helmet if any type of overhead hazards exist
- Safety glasses and face shields can protect workers from flying hazards
- Reflective vests help vehicle operators see ground-level workers
Helmets, safety glasses, face shields, and reflective vests are all types
of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). PPE should be used whenever a
safety hazard occurs. Additionally, construction materials should be stored
so that they do not fall on workers. All storage areas should be kept
neat. Before moving materials from the storage area, workers should inspect
rigging and secure the cargo. Additionally, crane operators should never
lift a load of materials that is heavier than the machine's lifting capacity.
Contact a Construction Accident Attorney in Colorado Springs
Our firm offers comprehensive legal guidance and representation to clients. After
an accident, you may feel overwhelmed by medical expenses, missed wages,
and noneconomic losses. We can help. Our team of construction accident
attorneys can provide the aggressive and effective representation you
need. We have more than 120 years of combined legal experience. In this time,
our lawyers have recovered millions of dollars for accident victims. We are ready
to put our experience to work for you: give us a call and let us fight
for the compensation you deserve!
To see what Clawson & Clawson, LLP can do for you, fill out a
free case evaluation form or call (719) 602-5888.