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Construction Accident Claims
In the event that you’ve been involved in a building site accident that was not your fault, Smith Jones Solicitors are here to help you with the rehabilitation & care you’ll need. We’ll help you get access to the best treatment as well as guide you through the process of making a construction accident compensation claim.
Working on construction sites still remains amongst the most dangerous occupations in many countries around the globe. Based on reports by the Health and Safety Executive, there are around 5% of employees that work in the construction industry in the UK, however, that relatively small percentage accounts for about 31% of the fatal injuries reported and 10% of serious accidents.
There are many reasons behind the huge number of accidents, with the use of potentially harmful and heavy equipment being among the top reasons, alongside working at height. There is also the risk of construction workers falling ill due to their working conditions, for instance, diseases that are related to asbestos or chemicals.
In addition to that, you find that hearing loss and vibration white finger can result from using the incorrect personal protection equipment (PPE) or being exposed to harmful conditions or substances. Due to the nature of working on a construction site, there is an overall increase in the risks of injury. We have assisted a vast array of workers with making a claim for compensation.
- Crane Accident Claims
- Electric Shock Claims
- Scaffolding Accident Claims
- Fall from Height
- Trips or Slips
- Manual Handling Injuries
- Being Hit by Falling Object
- Hit by Vehicle
There are a lot of illnesses and injuries that can come from working in the construction industry. Each of these illnesses and injuries could be of differing levels of severity, but what they have in common is that they have the potential to bring about disruption in your life. It does not really matter the manner in which you’ve been injured or how you got sick while working on a building site – as long as it was because of another person’s negligence, you have a right to make a compensation claim. Even in situations where the accident was partly caused by your own failings you may still have a right to claim (subject to a reduction in the overall damages due to your contributory negligence).
If you or a loved one have been injured in a building site accident within the last 3 years, we would recommend contacting us on freephone 0800 195 95 90. We will ensure that you get the best outcome possible in making construction accident claims for the suffering and pain that the injury has caused you. We will also assist you in the recovery of all the costs that could have been incurred as an outcome of your injury.
What Should You Do If You’re Injured?
In the event that you find yourself involved in an accident that wasn’t your fault, these are the steps that you could take in order to ensure your legal protection is not in jeopardy:
- In case of any injuries, you should seek immediate medical attention
- Do not admit to any responsibility before you have contacted and spoken to solicitors that you trust
- Collect names and other relevant details of any witnesses that were present when the incident occurred
- Ensure that the accident has been accurately recorded and reported in the Accident book
These are just the basic steps that you should take following an accident. It is vital for you to remember that the steps listed above are for guidance only and they should not be used as a comprehensive piece of legal advice. If you would like to us about an accident, feel free to contact Smith Jones Solicitors today. Alternatively, feel free to use our contact form, and we’ll call you back.
Common Injuries On A Building Site
There are always unique hazards and risks that accompany working in the building industry. By definition, these sites are a dynamic working environment. It is also important to remember that it can be difficult to separate worker access and vehicle access, therefore increasing the probability of an accident occurring.
In regard to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) there are some types of accidents that occur more commonly in the construction sector than others. These kinds of accidents include falls, trips and slips, and the types of accidents that involve manual handling.
The other serious types of accidents that occur in the construction sector are as a result of being struck by falling or fixed objects. Moving vehicles such as dumper trucks, diggers or earth moving equipment, cranes, heavy goods vehicles, work platforms that are mobile and also those that are elevated are also significant causes of construction accidents.
Excavations and trenches could also collapse due to failure in the reinforcement of the sides and in the process cause accidents. Workers that are doing their jobs from extreme heights could fall from their scaffolding or ladders which more often than not causes serious injuries. There is also a likelihood of an accident happening when workers accidentally drop a heavy item onto a colleague. These falling items could also cause serious injuries when they come into contact with other people such as passers-by or members of the public that are visiting that particular building site.
Cranes and other types of lifting equipment often incorporate several people in their operations. In the event that there is some kind of miscommunication or misunderstanding while operations are in progress, there is a high likelihood of an accident.
There are many more construction accidents that happen because of incorrect use of equipment, vehicles and tools. This goes hand in hand with a failure to perform inspections, as well as poor maintenance practices that turn equipment into hazards – accidents waiting to happen.
Who Can Make A Construction Accident Claim?
It is important to remember that it’s not mandatory for you to be an employee in order to claim compensation for a construction site claim. You could be an agent, self-employed person, or even a contractor and still have legal grounds for compensation. The main condition is that the accident that you were involved in occurred while you were working on a site that owes you a duty of care and that you weren’t to blame.
Who Is Responsible?
The subcontractors and contractors all have legal duties in ensuring that your safety is protected whilst at work. There are strict regulations and rules that have been imposed by The Health and Safety Executive on the people that are charged with overseeing the constructions taking place in building sites. These regulations and rules are primarily meant to ensure that a safe working environment has been put in place.
The main contractors that are on site and their fellow subcontractors should all cooperate with each other and also with the employers and employees to come up with a fool-proof and safe method of working. The lead contractors that are on site should also step up and take the head role in regard to this, and ensure that the safety concerns of everyone on the site are adequately met. Warning signs of hazards, covers and protective barriers should be placed in the necessary locations on the construction site.
Other on-site safety precautions such as fencing, designated accesses, and safety lighting should all be provided and planned for. They must ensure plenty of life-saving equipment such as harnesses, protective footwear and hard helmets and other protective clothing are available for workers to use, in order to ensure their safety.
We do understand that some employees find it hard to begin construction accident claims against their former employers or even their current one. However, you should take heart in the fact that an employer has a legal obligation to have insurance policies already put in place. These insurance policies should cover any illness or injury that occurs on site. This should assure you that you will be doing nothing that the law has not accommodated for you as a construction worker, so you shouldn’t worry. In addition to this, most employers urge their employees to pursue their much-entitled compensation.
By virtue of being a construction worker, your employer has a duty of care to ensure that you are safe from accidents and injuries that could occur on site. In addition to this, there are precise health and safety regulations that European law has put in place to protect you. Some of them include:
Regulations For Working At Heights
There are laws that are specific to the manner in which jobs should be done as well as how safety equipment should be handled. It should be shown in your job description if you are required to work higher than ground level. This may involve the use of a ladder, working on roofs or on scaffolding among many other places. Ladders, for example, should be secure and properly footed as to prevent wobbling that might lead to a fall.
Risks of Falling Objects
Workers in construction sites should always be provided with protective equipment at any given time. One of the most vital elements of protective gear is hard harts which prevent injuries caused by falling objects.
Protection from Dangerous and Defective Premises
Areas like deep holes that are found on construction sites are what are referred to as dangerous and defective premises. In addition to the above, unstable structures that have not been fenced off or even had appropriate warnings clearly etched on them are regarded as defective and dangerous premises as well. Workers should be adequately protected when working in sites which have such areas.
Defective Work Equipment and Machinery
Employers are liable for accidents that occur, especially those that cause injuries arising from work with defective equipment. All that you need to do is prove is that the equipment provided by the employer was defective, regardless of demonstrations of the manner in which the defects were caused.
Manual Handling of Objects in Building Sites
There is a wide array of construction accident claims that arise from the handling of large and heavy objects. In the event that workers are needed to handle both large and small objects on a continuous basis, then such actions are classified in the category of manual handling. Your employers should have conducted a risk assessment of all the tasks that are required of you in order for you to do your job safely.
Injuries that are caused by manual handling require the tasks at hand to be subjected to further risk assessments. Your injury could be categorised as serious if you were absent from work for more than 3 days. A RIDDOR style report should be written up, and a notification regarding the same needs to be sent to the Health and Safety Executive. Read more about lifting injury claims here.
Excessive Exposure to Noise
It is common knowledge that construction sites can be very noisy. These may be single loud sounds such as those from collisions of large metallic objects or from handling explosives. Additionally, any continuous loud and excessive noise should also be taken into account. This refers to sounds that come from machines, power tools, large vehicles and diggers.
Such levels of exposure to noise could easily lead to industrial deafness. Health and safety regulations have indicated the maximum degree of noise level which is within a normal human being’s threshold. This helps to dictate the noise levels that employers should put in place so as to avoid risks of hearing injuries and to also know when they should incorporate noise reduction strategies.
Injury From Work Vehicles
There are a large number of laws that are specific to the safety and training of workers whose job description involves the use of work vehicles. Some of these vehicles include cranes, forklift trucks, lorries and diggers, among many others. Read More
The duty of care owed to the Public
Site operators normally have it in their list of duties to protect members of the public that are visiting or passing by they’re building. Despite this, the annual figure shows that about 200 members of the public sustained some injuries as a result of construction site accidents last year, with 3 of these injuries leading to a fatality.
There are legal frameworks that help in the protection of the public’s welfare and allow anybody that has been the victim of an accident to make a compensation claim against the company responsible. This, of course, is on the condition that the accident wasn’t their fault.
Taking Legal Action
As we’ve seen above, it is your employer’s legal duty to ensure that they have maintained high standards of health and safety on construction sites. However, there are plenty of cases of negligence in the construction industry. In the event that you’ve suffered an injury due to being involved in a building site accident, then we can get you the help you need – fast.
Remember – you only have 3 years to pursue a construction accident claim, starting from the day that the incident took place. However, there are some cases that are a bit different as sometimes the extent of an injury doesn’t become apparent until much later. In such instances, it is indeed possible for a time extension to be awarded to you. In this case, you will be able to start your claim once the illness or injury resulting from your construction site accident becomes apparent, whenever that may be.
Similar to other personal injury claims, there must be proof of your illness or injury being an outcome of another person’s negligence. The team that handles construction site injury claims at Smith Jones solicitors will assist you in doing this through exceptional collection and analysis of evidence. We will speak to any witnesses at the time of the accident and also approach medical firms and professionals to help cater for your illnesses or injuries for you.
Injuries could force you into taking some time away from work. This may mean financial loss as well as prevent the payment of suitable treatments, making adaptations in your home or transportation, and most importantly preventing you being able to recover fully from the whole ordeal.
Our team of specialist personal injury solicitors are well equipped in helping you to acquire the compensation that you deserve. We take pride in providing tailored services for our clients and in offering a personalised approach when dealing with your construction site accident claim. We are the best solicitors to help with your case and will work to ensure the whole process is smooth and hassle-free. We will also update you regularly on the progress of your claim.
If you wish to speak to us concerning a work accident claim, feel free to call our helpline (0800 195 9590) and see how we can help you. If you would rather leave a message, please use our online contact form and we will ring you back at a time that suits you.