Preventing Serious Injuries on Building Sites
Working on a building site involves many tasks that can be hazardous if they’re not properly managed, such as:
- Working at height
- Climbing ladders
- Working on scaffolding
- Operating machinery such as cranes, excavators and fork lift trucks
In England and Wales, there are strict regulations that employers, contractors and site managers must follow to keep you safe and prevent accidents at work.
If you’re injured on a building site, our Serious Injury Solicitors can use evidence of failure to follow and comply with building site and safety regulations as evidence that your employer or contractor is responsible for your accident.
We can apply for copies of construction site plan and safety records, accident reports and request the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation report to help prove who caused your accident.
We have years of experience of acting for people who have had an accident at work, including construction workers, and regularly act for:
- Forklift truck drivers
So if you’ve been injured on a building site and believe it could have been prevented, contact our Serious Injury Solicitors for a free claims assessment. We’ll be happy to discuss your situation with you and let you know if you have a good chance of claiming compensation. We often manage accident at work claims on a No Win, No Fee basis - ask us for details.
What Safety Measures Must Be in Place?
Strict regulations are in place to prevent and avoid the risk of injury on construction sites. For example, companies must:
- Draw up a site safety plan
- Carry out toolbox talks (short presentations to the workforce on a specific health and safety issue)
- Conduct risk assessments
- Undergo safety inspections
Health and safety regulations for the construction industry also provide job specific guidance to minimise the chances of someone suffering a serious injury, such as:
- Wearing hard hats and other personal protective equipment
- Marking out traffic and pedestrian routes on site
- Providing equipment to ensure safe working at height, including platforms, scaffolding, cherry pickers and footing ladders
- Regular maintenance and inspection of equipment
With a boom in the construction industry and many homeowners spending money they’ve saved in lockdown on their homes, there is high demand for home improvements including extensions and building conservatories.
To meet customer demand, there’s often a lot of pressure to get the job done quickly or without adequate resources, so now more than ever it is essential to keep construction workers safe.
Most Common Types of Building Site Accidents
We’ve handled many different types of construction site accidents, including claims involving:
- Slip and trip accidents on site
- Manual handling injuries
- Falls from height
- Being hit by moving or falling objects
- Being hit by a vehicle such as a lorry or forklift truck
What Should I Do I Have an Accident?
If you have an accident on a construction site, we strongly recommend you report this straight away, both directly to your employer and to the principal contractor on site. You should also go to hospital to get your injuries checked out as soon as possible.
It also helps if you can take photographs of the location of your accident if you or any witnesses are able to do this, and take notes of anyone who witnessed what happened.
Claims for accidents on building sites can commonly involve making a claim against two or three different companies, as several firms may be partly responsible depending on their part in the Construction Site Plan and their level of responsibility on site.
So claiming for a building site accident could involve claiming against your employer, the principal contractor and a subcontractor. Your Solicitor will work to establish who is responsible for what happened to you and approach the party we believe is at fault on your behalf.
How Common are Building Site Accidents?
According to the Health and Safety Executive, 81,000 new and long-standing construction workers were suffering from work-related ill health during 2019-20. Figures also showed there were 61,000 non-fatal injuries to construction workers throughout the year, and 40 deaths.
In fact, the fatality rate in the construction sector is four times higher than in any other industry, and almost half of deaths in the last five years have followed a fall from height.
The construction industry is tightly regulated by the HSE and local authorities who are responsible for enforcing health and safety legislation. In cases where serious breaches have happened, inspectors can serve improvement or prohibition notices on an employer and then bring a prosecution for breach of the regulations.
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Simpson Millar Solicitors are a national law firm with over 500 staff and offices in Bristol, Cardiff, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, London and Manchester.