Whether the equipment is used to lift workers, transport supplies, demolish structures, or dig, most of these commonplace construction machines can be hazardous under the right circumstances. Construction equipment needs to be quite dense and large to support some of the larger materials and tools used on construction sites, and with that large size often comes a substantial level of risk and danger. If a machine malfunctions, or is improperly operated, workers or bystanders could suffer head injuries, loss of limb, spinal damage, broken bones, or other catastrophic damage.
According to OSHA, 1 in every 5 work-related deaths occurs in the construction industry, and within that industry, the most common causes include falls, “struck by an object” incidents, electrocutions, and “caught in-between” incidents. Unfortunately, many of these incidents are caused by heavy equipment accidents. In fact, OSHA claims heavy equipment issues cause nearly 75% of all struck-by-an object construction fatalities.
The common types of heavy equipment found on construction sites include:
- Cherry pickers
- Dump trucks
- Paving machines
- Road graders
When this type of equipment is involved, several things can go wrong. If the operator is poorly trained, inexperienced, unlicensed, incapacitated, or otherwise unfit, a user error could cause the machine to tip, roll, drop a load of materials, or crash. Likewise, mechanical errors or lack of maintenance might also pose a danger for heavy equipment operation, and could result in a serious accident.
Common heavy equipment accidents include:
- Collisions with stationary objects
- Collisions with other machines or vehicles
- Collision with power lines or water pipes
- Dropped loads
- Pinning or trapping workers or bystanders
Who Could Be Liable?
Determining liability after a serious construction accident is crucial, especially if you were injured or if you lost a loved one. To discover who was liable, you must consider how the accident occurred. If a miscommunication led a crane to drop its load in the incorrect spot, the site manager, property owner, or crane operator could be liable. Or, if a bulldozer malfunctions, harming nearby workers, the machine manufacturer could be liable for the vehicle defect, or the machine owner may be liable for failing to maintain the equipment properly.
Whatever the case, if you were injured by heavy equipment on a construction site, chances are the resulting damage was quite severe. Construction injuries are often very serious, and sometimes fatal, due to the nature of construction work, and accidents involving heavy machinery can be especially hazardous. If you or someone you love was harmed due to someone else’s negligence, our team is prepared to help.
Contact BD&J today to discuss your case with our experienced attorneys.