September 21, 2015 • Personal Injury
Many New York construction companies and related businesses pay a lot of attention to safety procedures on-site, in central headquarters and in working areas of the business, but not all of them apply the same scrutiny to jobs that happen “out in the field” in places where the company has less control.
When a company sends construction workers out to a job to renovate a building or work on an existing residential or commercial property, the company has very limited control of what those workers encounter. In fact, the business will only be involved in the life of a property for a very short time. It’s not like going to a new site and working from blueprints to thoroughly craft a new structure. There are a lot of realities already in place at existing sites.
So how do companies minimize injury risk in these types of situations? One rule is to check every job thoroughly and deal with any risk factors that exist.
An important aspect of checking every job involves assessing the environment of the site to prevent workplace injuries or the development of health conditions later. Asbestos is a major area of concern. This hazardous substance was put into many insulating materials and other parts of buildings throughout the last hundred years. Lead paint is another hazard that businesses should look for when renovating or doing construction on existing buildings.
At an old site, construction workers may be involved in renovating existing flooring surfaces or they may set up their own kinds of work surfaces, such as scaffolding or ladders. In either case, companies have to really look carefully at how to preserve even, accessible walking paths and surfaces for workers. They need to evaluate whether any types of uneven or improperly maintained floors can cause injury.
Another big issue with existing building sites has to do with the use of tools and materials in confined spaces.
Any time sight distance is compromised, injury is more likely. Companies need to evaluate how workers will bring in materials and equipment to a direct work site and how they will access parts of the building that might be filled with garbage, junk or random contents scattered across the floor, piled near a wall or even blocking an entrance or exit.
All of this is part of careful monitoring of workplace safety. It may not take an extremely long time, but if someone with responsibility comes in and checks sites ahead of time, there’s less of a chance of injury on the job. Personal injury lawyers look at these kinds of processes when they take a work injury case to assess the company’s commitment to safety and evaluate whether any third-party responsibility applies.
Injured on the job? Call Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff. Our lawyers have experience helping New York City residents pursue personal injury cases with respect to construction accidents and other workplace accidents. We help work injury victims get fair and equitable treatment in New York courts after an unfortunate workplace accident. Call us to talk about how to bring a personal injury case through local New York courts.