Accidents on building sites

Construction sites are extremely dangerous places of work and require rigorous health and safety training and inspections to ensure it is safe to visit and work on. Unfortunately, the level of fatalities in the construction industry remains consistent with 3 fatalities in Ireland already reported for 2017. However, if you have suffered an injury as a result of an accident at work on a building site, then we will list out the things that you should do in order to help secure compensation for your injuries.

Employers, especially in the construction industry, are required by law to ensure that his/her employees are working in safe conditions as they owe you a duty of care. If you have suffered an accident on a building site due to the negligent actions of your employer then you are entitled to bring a claim for compensations against them.

Accidents that occur on a building site must be reported to an appropriate member of staff who must fill out an accident report form. This is important as it acts as evidence for you when pursuing a claim for compensation against your employer for the personal injuries sustained. There are number of ways to ascertain whether your employer has been negligent in contributing to any personal injury you sustained in a workplace accident. These can include:

Inadequate training for employees
Dangerous equipment that was not made safe
Health and safety checks not abided by
Lack of safety equipment such as goggles, glasses, hard hats etc

The above mentioned breaches of an employer’s duties of care are only a few that can contribute to employees sustained personal injuries on building sites. However, the key aspect to look for when determining if someone is at fault for your accident is if you carried out your duties in accordance with your training.

Below are some of the following duties and obligations that an employer on a construction site owes to his/her employees:

Regulations must be adhered to including safe passage to and from the site and to prevent any member of staff from falling whilst working at a height
Must ensure that proper scaffolding his provided and any objects that may have a risk of falling will not drop through fragile material
Must ensure that all equipment provided on the site is maintained and regularly tested in accordance with the health and safety regulations relevant
All employees must be provided with adequate training in line with the duties they are employed to carry out
Safety equipment is provided to each employee and is of an appropriate standard

Those who work on a construction site have to carry out a wide range of tasks daily and it can become quite hectic. Therefore, even if you feel that you may be partially to blame for the accident that caused you to sustain injuries you may still be able to claim compensation. If this happens there is a legal term called contributory negligence which may minimise the amount of compensation you obtain but allows you to nevertheless obtain some amount of compensation.

Below are some of the main types of accidents that occur when working on a construction site:

Falling accident – due to unsafe work equipment such as scaffolding, cranes etc
Lifting accident
Accidents resulting from machinery – this could be from faulty machinery, injuries from machinery due to a lack of training etc
Forklift accidents
Vehicle accidents

If you have been involved in an accident on a building site the most important thing to do is go seek medical advice immediately. This is for two reasons, firstly, to ensure that your health is looked after and secondly it provides evidence for your case when claiming compensation.

For more information on accidents at work, please review our Accidents at Work page. 

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