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Construction Accidents Often Result From Lapses In Safety

Construction accidents have been all too common in Philadelphia this summer. Of course, there was the tragic June 5th building collapse in downtown Philadelphia that left six people dead and wounded more than a dozen, but there were numerous other accidents as well that you probably never heard about.

For example, on July 11, a construction worker was injured when a steel beam fell at a construction site at Temple University’s Science Education and Research Center. In another incident on July 29, a contractor suffered serious burn injuries when a gas explosion occurred at a South Philadelphia home that was under construction. Finally, this week a construction worker was injured in a fall at a Center City construction site.

A former inspector with the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) who now owns a consulting firm said construction accidents like these are often the result of people “rolling the dice with other people’s lives to save money.” In other words, safety is often compromised at construction sites in order to save a buck, and construction workers often pay the price.

The former OSHA inspector said that it is common for the lowest bidder to get construction jobs, but these are often the companies that are willing to sacrifice safety and put workers at risk. He added that “when people get killed in these kinds of accidents, they aren’t accidents.”

The former OSHA inspector is right. When a construction worker is injured or killed on the job his or her employer may be liable if the employer put the worker in harm’s way. If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in a construction accident and you think negligence was to blame, compensatory damages may be awarded in a personal injury lawsuit.

Source: Phialdelphia Inquirer, “The cost of safety,” Jane M. Von Bergen, Aug. 8, 2013