Home / Blog / Who is at Fault for Falls on Construction Sites?

Construction workers can suffer falls under a variety of circumstances. Sometimes falls are genuine accidents, but more often they are the result of someone else’s negligence. The National Safety Council (NSC) reports that in 2020, 805 workers died due to workplace falls, and 211,640 suffered injuries that caused them to miss work. The NSC also says construction workers are seven times more at risk of injury or fatal falls than workers in other industries.

These workplace falls are often caused by improper training, malfunctioning safety equipment, or lack of appropriate signage overlooked by employers or contracted supervisors.

If negligence by your employer or another supervising party on a construction site leads to a fall, legal action by the victim may be necessary for recovering compensation. Consult with the Indianapolis workplace injury lawyers at Wagner Reese to help prove your construction site accident claim and get the restitution you need.

Lack of Warning Signage

Warning signage is a vital form of communication on construction sites. Workers are not expected to automatically know or recognize every hazard on a site, particularly with larger projects. Having proper signage to mark dangers involving electrical shock, toxic substances, fall risks, and other potentially deadly circumstances is required by regulators, including the Department of Labor.

Inadequate Safety Equipment Like Nets or Tethers

Unfortunately, not all construction firms prioritize their workers’ safety, and some workers often find themselves working without the nets, tethers, or guardrails that could save their lives in the event of a fall. Sometimes, employers may even instruct workers to forgo safety equipment to save time or money. This short-sightedness puts workers’ lives at unnecessary risk and leaves employers and contractors open to litigation from accident victims.

Besides negligent employers, safety equipment manufacturers can also be liable if the fall was caused by defective equipment. For example, substandard products made of poor quality materials may be more likely to break during use. If the manufacturer had reason to believe a product wasn’t up to acceptable standards but failed to recall the product, they can be held liable for injuries that product causes.

Improper Training

Employers must adequately train construction workers to avoid workplace accidents and injuries. Unfortunately, there are many examples of improper training on construction sites. For instance, workers may be given inadequate instructions on how to use equipment or may be asked to perform tasks outside their skill set.

Improper training for construction workers holding critical roles can jeopardize the well-being of not only that worker but also other workers on the site. For example, improper aerial lift operation, like when the lift is set on an uneven surface, can lead to falls and severe injury.

Another example of improper training that can lead to falls is inexperienced workers operating heavy machinery like cranes and excavators.

If your employer assigned critical construction work to improperly trained individuals, causing you to suffer a disabling fall, contact Wagner Reese Injury Lawyers to negotiate with the insurance company or pursue a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf.

When Should You Go for Workers Compensation or a Personal Injury Claim?

Deciding whether to file a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury lawsuit can be challenging, and it is crucial to understand the difference between the two types of claims.

Workers compensation, or workers’ comp, is insurance required for most employers that offers benefits to victims of falls and other work-related accidents while on the job. Workers’ comp benefits often include medical expenses, loss of income, and death benefits.

Personal injury lawsuits are civil cases brought by an individual against another party, typically an employer, to recover damages—including pain and suffering—for injuries sustained in the workplace. You can file a personal injury claim if your employer doesn’t carry workers’ compensation insurance, and in rare cases, if your employer maliciously caused your injury. You may also file a personal injury suit for damages from a third-party contractor or equipment manufacturer.

A knowledgeable personal injury attorney from Wagner Reese can help you navigate the legal process and consider which claim will get you the compensation you deserve.

Seeking Compensation for a Construction Site Fall

Falls that occur at construction sites can be particularly dangerous. The considerable heights at which construction workers work make construction site falls potentially life-threatening.

For those suffering from a construction injury, the personal injury attorneys at Wagner Reese can help you recover maximum compensation for falls on the job.

Call our law firm today to arrange a free consultation to discuss your case and develop a legal strategy that will maximize your compensation for your workplace fall injuries.