In 2015 in Manhattan, the safety coordinator of a construction project that was underway was tragically killed when the hydraulics on a crane that was being used malfunctioned. The worker was crushed between his flatbed truck and the boom. He was checking on mechanical problems with the crane when the boom fell on top of him.
Statistics from the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) show that this is just one example of the many types of work-related fatalities that occur in the construction industry every year. In New York, nearly 40 percent of all work-related fatalities happen to construction workers. In addition to getting caught-in-between as the Manhattan worker did, workers fall off of ladders and scaffolding, they get struck by objects and even electrocuted. Although not all accidents are caused by faulty equipment, many are.
Faulty Equipment Meaning
Faulty equipment refers to a piece of equipment that has something wrong with it; it is defective. When the defect is due to a manufacturing error of any kind, the manufacturer, and possibly the distributor, may be held liable and legally required to pay damages to the injured worker.
Equipment that has not been properly maintained may also be faulty and result in an injury. In cases like that, the injured worker may be able to bring a negligence action against the employer in addition to the workers’ compensation claim.
Examples of Injuries Due to Faulty Equipment
Some examples of the four most common construction accidents injuries due to faulty and defective equipment, or improperly maintained equipment, include:
- Falls: Falls are the most frequent type of construction accident. They are often caused by defective ladders, scaffolding, or faulty safety equipment. In early 2018, four San Diego construction workers were injured when the scaffolding upon which they were standing suddenly collapsed, causing them to fall to the ground. Even though the scaffolding was only 16 feet in the air, three of the four workers suffered serious and traumatic injuries.
- Being struck by falling objects: Although such an accident may sometimes be attributed to the carelessness of another worker, it is more commonly caused by faulty equipment. For example, an experienced Boston construction worker was killed when an overhead crane dropped a six-ton steel beam on top of him. The case is under investigation to determine why the crane malfunctioned.
- Electrocution: One worker was simply using a jack-hammer after a rainstorm. The man was not wearing the company-issued rubber boots when the frayed power cord came in contact with standing rainwater, electrocuting him. This is an example of the serious consequences that can occur when equipment is not properly maintained.
- Caught-in-between accidents: This happens when, as given in the first example of the Manhattan worker, malfunctioning parts crush workers who get “caught-in-between” equipment or objects. It is also fairly common in tight warehouses where forklifts are present. A personal can be struck and pinned in a forklift accident.
Third Party Lawsuits Against Manufacturers of Faulty Equipment
If you are a construction worker who was injured on the job due to faulty equipment, you may think that workers’ compensation is your only avenue for collecting for your medical bills and lost wages. Not true. When your work-related injury is due to a defective product, you may file a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the defective product in addition to your workers’ compensation claim.
Manufacturers of construction equipment have an obligation to make sure the equipment is safe for the workers to use. When they do not fulfill that obligation, they may be held legally accountable for their failure. Grounds for such a lawsuit are:
- A design defect resulted in the construction equipment being unsafe.
- An error occurred during the equipment manufacturing process that was not intended, rendering the equipment unsafe.
- Failure of the manufacturer to warn of a known defect in the equipment.
Long Island Faulty Equipment Injury Attorney
If you were injured by faulty construction equipment, or someone you care about was killed, our Long Island attorneys at Siler & Ingber, LLP, have the experience and dedication you need to pursue your claim for damages. We do our best to make sure you are fully compensated through both workers’ compensation and third party lawsuits against manufacturers and distributors of defective construction equipment.
The law has strict requirements about how long you have after an accident to file your claim for damages. If you miss the deadline, you will lose forever your right to file a lawsuit no matter how severely you were hurt, or how clear it is that your loved one died due to an equipment manufacturer’s negligence. Contact us as soon as possible. We offer a free case review.