Heavy vehicles, cumbersome machinery, scaffolding, workers working at great heights, holes in the ground and rubble strewn everywhere are familiar sights at many building sites across the UK. Each of these factors poses a certain risk by themselves and when put together at one location, that risk increases tremendously.
It’s not surprising then that building/construction site accidents are all too common. Unfortunately, with the type of risk factors prevalent at most sites, these accidents are very rarely minor. Falling from a height or getting hit by a heavy vehicle, dangerous machinery or faulty scaffolding can result in injuries that could be life altering. More often than not, the injuries sustained due to building site accidents prevent the victims from being able to continue working at the site or working anywhere else at all in their future.
Common Factors That Cause Building Site Injuries
- Large, powerful machinery: Most equipment used at building sites are large, powerful and often unwieldy. Proper training and experience are crucial for anyone assigned to operate these machines. Poor maintenance of the machines, inadequate training and insufficient experience can result in serious injuries.
- Falling Scaffolding: Scaffolding that is old or damaged, incorrectly assembled or carelessly inspected, can be a source of injury to one, or several people around if it breaks and falls off. Labourers working atop the scaffolding can get injured when they fall off and anyone working below runs the risk of getting struck by the falling parts.
- Strains & Sprains: Joints, muscles and bones can get strained by lifting things incorrectly or without using the appropriate heavy lifting equipment. Attempting to move just one item that may be too heavy or repeatedly lifting many items incorrectly, can both cause strains and injuries.
The Employer’s Responsibility At A Building Site
As with any other workplace, at a building site too it is the employer’s responsibility to make sure that all risks are eliminated or minimised. Employers have to ensure that all equipment on the site is properly maintained and in good working worker, that the scaffolding is correctly assembled and sturdy, that all of their employees working on the site have the proper training and experience in their particular line of work and that all staff have the equipment required to do their job.
Employers are also responsible for making sure that all employees are provided with the appropriate safety wear, including hard hats, safety goggles, dust masks, safety boots, ear guards, high-visibility jackets and safety gloves.
Failure to comply with any of the above can lead to accidents and injuries for which the employer can be held liable. If you have been injured because your employer failed in their responsibility you may be entitled to make a personal injury claim. You may even claim for compensation if your injury was caused by negligence of another worker at the site.
Three Things You Should Do After An Injury At A Building Site
Your health and safety should always get priority. If you have been seriously injured, getting your injuries attended to should take precedence over filing a compensation claim. To safeguard your health as well as your compensation, there are three things you should do in case of a building site injury:
1). Get a complete check up at the hospital’s casualty department and get a detailed written report of your injuries and the treatment that has been prescribed.
2). Record the details of the incident in the accident report book. All workplaces are required to keep an accident report book on site. This record will be used as evidence to support your case.
3). Keep all of the medical bills and any other incidental bills related to your injury or subsequent treatment. If the court rules in your favour, all of these expenses will have to be borne by the employer.
The most important factor in any building site injury claim is to be able to prove that the injury was in fact caused due to the negligence of your employer. This can often be tricky because your employer’s insurance company will do all they can to refute your claim. Your best shot at winning any compensation is by hiring a reputed personal injury solicitor to fight your case for you.