Construction work is one of the more hazardous occupations in the United States to perform. On the job injuries and illness happen across all industries, but most people recognize that construction poses a set of unique risks and safety issues for those in the field. One of the areas in which construction accidents can have significant injury and even fatality occurrences is in bridge construction.
According to the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) the U.S. has more than 614,000 bridges, and among those more than 50,000 need repair– meaning that bridge repair and replacement is a significant part of the construction industry today. Commuters and tractor trailers use bridges to the tune of hundreds of millions of trips daily and pass by those construction workers repairing them frequently.
The work provides inherent risks; safety practices and employee training are essential to keep workers protected. But even the best workplace safety culture and training regrettably cannot prevent all occupational injuries and illness in an industry like bridge construction.
In United States history, bridge construction accidents in the 19th and early 20th centuries led to improvements in safety standards and engineering design. Those who have traveled the majestic Brooklyn Bridge may know the infamous history of its 14-year construction in the 19th century, in which more than two dozen employees were killed and many more injured.
This led to a better understanding of how underwater bridge construction can lead to illness and death from changes in air pressure – and it resulted in new regulations and safety standards. Yet today, demolition, repair, and construction of bridges still results in injury and death for U.S. workers.
In many of these more recent situations investigations have found that better safety standards and regulation compliance could have mitigated or prevented the resulting injuries and deaths.
Some of the more recent bridge construction incidents show reasons for the collapse or the accidents that resulted in worker injuries and fatalities. Causes include defects in manufacturing, such as low-quality materials that are not able to bear the weight, and then collapse during construction.
In other cases, design flaws were at fault and were not caught during the review process. In yet other bridge construction accidents inadequate safety measures were responsible.
Bridge construction requires the use of large-scale equipment like cranes and heavy steel components such as beams and trusses. Therefore, safety training is one of the most critical aspects of accident prevention.
Equipment Safety and Compensation
As in other areas of the construction industry the equipment itself is also a key part of workplace safety practices. Equipment that is improperly maintained and fails can cause accidents, as well as equipment that is defective.
An injured worker has potential remedies, including filing a Workers’ Compensation claim at a minimum for coverage of medical costs and lost wages. Many serious injuries and fatalities may require determining liability for the accident apart from their employer, and getting the victim the maximum compensation they deserve.
Because of the complex aspects of finding the cause of a construction accident, an injured worker will benefit from the experience of a skilled Philadelphia construction accident lawyer in determining liability and representing their rights.
Philadelphia Construction Accident Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Help Those Injured in Bridge Construction Accidents
The Philadelphia construction accident lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC have experience representing clients injured on the job, including those in bridge construction work. We represent clients in Philadelphia, Delaware County, and Chester County, as well as across Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey. Please contact us for a free initial consultation at 215-569-8488 or complete our online form.