A construction accident July 21 marked the sixth workplace fatality in Broward County in just seven weeks.
The accident happened around 8 a.m. at a construction site where a car dealership is being built. It seems that a beam gave way, causing a domino effect that killed one worker and injured two others.
According to an eyewitness, a crane was lowering a joist into place when a support failed. The resulting collapse knocked over three men who were on a ladder. Fellow workers rushed to the scene and rescuers apparently attempted CPR on the victims. All three were rushed to the hospital, but one was pronounced dead. The other two men were listed in critical condition.
The construction team belongs to Miller Construction Company. The accident is under OSHA review.
Unfortunately, the accident is far from uncommon. Five other construction site deaths have happened since June 2. One of those is attributed to a lightning strike, but the others—which involved driving into water, being hit by a crane, being pulled into a wood chipper and being buried alive—were clearly preventable accidents that involved some level of negligence.
While construction is inherently a dangerous industry, its dangers are often portrayed as inevitable. In reality, most are avoidable, and many construction accidents reflect either a breach of a safety violation, improper use of equipment, poor engineering or undertrained workers. Given the nature of the machinery involved, these accidents easily turn fatal. Even when the worker survives, such preventable accidents constitute a failure on the part of supervisors or employers, who are responsible for ensuring that all workers know and follow safety rules.
The reason for the recent streak of fatalities is unclear. Summer is a time of increased construction activity generally, and the current economic boom means that there is a flurry of new construction. For many working-class families, construction jobs are seen as great opportunities because of the relatively high pay. Unfortunately, in a time when there’s a great demand for builders, inexperienced workers may be put to work with little training.
One thing is very clear however: victims of workplace accidents have rights. When a worker is the victim of an accident, they or their family are legally entitled to compensation. This financial compensation cannot undo the losses sustained, but it can help families struggling with medical bills or the loss of a breadwinner.
Unfortunately, construction companies are reluctant to pay everything they owe—and skilled at wriggling out of it. If you or someone you love was involved in a construction accident, don’t risk losing the compensation you’re owed. Call the skilled construction accident lawyers of Steinger, Iscoe & Greene and get your free consultation today.