Construction work is a hard, dangerous and necessary profession, that construction workersdon't get enough credit for doing. If you're a carpenter, plumber or electrician you know job sites can be dangerous so you take every precaution you can. Sometimes, however, the deck is stacked against you when the company you work for plays fast and loose with safety.
On December 18th 2017 a man was killed in Chelsea when a piece of scrap metal fell off scaffolding ten stories up and struck him in the head. According to the Department of Buildings, the accident was "completely preventable" and the construction site had been cited numerous times for safety violations in regards to the scaffolding specifically. When safety is ignored at the top, it's the worker on the ground that suffers.
When looking at the aftermath of a construction accident like that, here are some important questions to think about:
Who is accountable for a construction accident?
Ultimately, when you are speaking about construction accidents and the loss of life, the responsibility falls to the owners of the building and the construction firm they've contracted. Safety regulations are often a standard part of a construction contract, and it is simple to backtrack who is responsible for safety on a site.
Why did the accident take place?
Many accidents in construction happen when people ignore the proper safety guidelines. Experienced workers know how to keep themselves safe, yes, but when management is lax about safety, it's hard not to follow suit and let essential safety practice fall by the wayside.
Is there anything I can do after an accident?
The first thing that should be done if you are in a construction accident is getting treatment. A construction worker's livelihood is, more or less, in their hands and making sure you can still do work is vital. If you are injured you may be entitled to workers' compensation and other benefits. If the injury is the result of negligence on the job, then you have other options on top of that.
Responsibility is not just yours
Every construction site has signs about OSHA and safety. Being serious about your safety will protect you most of the time, but accidents are not always avoidable. Take responsibility for keeping you and your co-workers safe, yes, but you can only control so much. It takes everyone from day-laborers to upper management to make a construction site as safe as possible.