Construction work by its nature exposes employees to an array of risks and makes safety in the workplace an especially critical factor in this industry. Whether it is building a downtown high rise or putting an addition on a suburban home, various equipment can be used such as cranes, backhoes, forklifts, welding and mechanical cutting tools – but it also includes more standard items like ladders and safety harnesses. When equipment used in construction is defective, serious accidents can result and have disastrous effects on the health and livelihood of injured workers.
Equipment Safety and Defects
Construction often involves various types of heavy and mechanized equipment that has the potential to cause workplace injury. Any apparatus used in the construction industry if used improperly or without training can be the source of injury. Safety practices and regular worker training are essential parts of any ethical company’s work environment and can help reduce some accidents. But even with employee training and safety practices, workers can still be injured with the cause being the equipment itself.
Defective equipment can include equipment, mechanized tools, or vehicles that have an inherent flaw or design error that causes or contributes to an accident. Defective equipment can also be incorrectly maintained equipment that a trained employee is using properly but still results in injury. Most equipment has a recommended maintenance schedule that employers are responsible to comply with. In some injury cases equipment could have been used beyond its recommended useful life – making it unsafe – which is also considered improper maintenance.
Steps to Take When Injured by Defective Equipment
Injured employees’ first action should be to get all necessary medical treatment. Typically, an injured worker will also file a Workers’ Compensation claim. But if the injury was caused by defective or improperly maintained workplace equipment, the employee may need to seek other remedies to get the treatment and compensation they are entitled to. Before filing a Workers’ Compensation claim in these cases, it is important to know the cause of the injury for several reasons. This is an area where an experienced Philadelphia construction accident lawyer can provide critical guidance in determining the employee’s rights and assessing any possible third-party liability for the injury.
Workers’ Compensation coverage is required of most U.S. employers and is the recourse for many injured employees. However, Workers’ Compensation benefits are limited in scope and length of time. In the worst cases of severe long-term injuries or permanent disability requiring extended care and lost wage replacement, it will not cover the costs and treatment needed.
When injured on the job by construction or other equipment therefore it is also important following medical treatment to understand and document what happened. Just like in a car accident, at the time or as soon as possible afterwards, employees should document the accident. Often accidents require additional expertise to inspect the equipment and research product flaws or recalls as well as required maintenance schedules.
Philadelphia Products Liability Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Recover Compensation for Workers Injured by Defective Equipment
Contact a Philadelphia products liability lawyer at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC if you or a loved one has been injured by defective equipment on the job. We represent clients in Philadelphia, Delaware County, Chester County, Pennsylvania, Wilmington, Delaware, and New Jersey. Please contact us for an initial consultation at 215-569-8488 or complete our online contact form.