Questions about construction safety have once more been raised after a construction manager was injured during the recent demolition of a condo in Miami Beach. According to the Tampa Bay Times, 46-year-old Samuel Landis was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital after being struck by debris during the demolition. He is reportedly in critical condition.
Winmar Construction oversaw the demolition and had subcontracted with AlliedBean to bring the building down. No other buildings were damaged in the demolition, nor were any other people injured apart from Mr. Landis.
Mr. Landis’ injury is just one more in a long line of construction accidents. The industry has had to work hard to improve its safety so that it does not violate federal regulations and can retain talented workers.
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was formed to guarantee American workers a safe workplace. OSHA sets guidelines and regulations that construction companies must follow, and the agency regularly inspects buildings to make sure that they are up to compliance.
Among the most important OSHA regulations are:
- Maintaining tools and equipment so they are safe to use;
- Warning employees of potential hazards by using posters, labels, or other signs;
- Providing employee safety training in an easy-to-understand manner;
- Communicating to employees which chemicals are hazardous;
- Developing a safety plan for the jobsite;
- Keeping adequate records and reporting violations; and
- Posting OSHA citations.
To help enforce its regulations, OSHA periodically visits workplaces. It had inspected many of the construction sites for Winmar over the past year, finding three serious violations in the most recent inspection. Winmar ultimately paid a fine near $9,000.
OSHA regulators have also inspected one of AlliedBean’s demolition projects but found no safety violations.
Construction Safety Officers
To help companies comply with OSHA guidelines and regulations, many construction companies hire safety officers. Their job is to make sure that the project adheres to the current regulations. Construction safety officers inspect the construction site and check that employees are given adequate personal protection equipment. Safety officers also train employees on proper procedures.
Statistics show that companies reap the rewards of employing a safety officer. Specifically, companies have seen nearly an 80% reduction in employee turnover as well as a decrease in their workers’ compensation claims.
Should an accident occur, safety officers are also involved in the investigation. Depending on their findings, they can recommend additional safety procedures or policies that will reduce the risk of another accident occurring in the future. This safety officer also is tasked with submitting required disclosures on accidents and injuries to OSHA.
Injured in a Construction Accident? Contact Us Right Away
Injured construction workers have options for receiving compensation. Although the state’s workers’ compensation laws prevent you from bringing a lawsuit against your employer, you might be able to sue a third party, such as a subcontractor or the property owner.
To find out your options, contact Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein today. Our personal injury attorneys have decades of combined experience, and we have obtained numerous favorable settlements for our clients. You can schedule your free, no-strings consultation by calling 305-371-2692.