Determining liability in a construction accident

By both federal and state law, employers must make every effort to maintain a safe working environment for its employees. But some working conditions and environments, such as construction sites, are inevitably more hazardous than others and, as the saying goes, accidents happen. But some accidents are preventable, and often neglect or oversights by various or multiple parties led to conditions where an accident is more likely to occur. For workers who have been injured in a construction accident, where does liability fall?

Every situation is different, but often there are multiple parties who may be responsible and liable for a workplace construction accident. These could include the landowner;, the engineers and designers of the construction site;, contractors who are involved in the construction including the general contractor, prime contractor and sub contractors; construction managers and even suppliers of the supplies and equipment used on the site.

In determining liability, one must first look at how involved each party is at the construction site. In addition, determining factors include who controls the premises and specifically the degree of control they have over the worksite. Other factors include the duties and responsibilities of each party at the site, which will be a large factor in determining liability.

The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 was enacted to protect workers and to set guidelines for employers to follow to ensure a safe working environment for employees to prevent serious accidents. Following a workplace accident, OSHA will do an investigation which will help determine the cause and fault of an accident.

Source: By, “Construction Injury Overview,” Accessed Dec. 29, 2015