A crane collapse at Miami’s HCA Mercy Hospital killed one construction worker and injured four others. During a renovation project at the hospital, the 200-foot mechanical equipment fell onto construction workers according to City of Miami Building Director Asael Marrero. The Miami Police Department’s homicide and crime scene investigation units, OSHA, and the Miami-Dade Medical Examiners Department are conducting a multi-department investigation as of the writing of this post.
With its booming real estate and construction industry, Florida has become a hotspot for construction accidents, leaving workers, bystanders, and their families devastated. According to the Florida Department of Health, there was an average of 53 fatal construction accidents per year between 2007 and 2011.
Common Causes of Construction Accidents
The top four causes of construction accidents as listed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) are falls, being stuck between moving or fixed objects, being caught in a trench or excavation, and electrocution.
Construction accidents are often due to the failure to adhere to proper safety protocols and regulations. Employers have a responsibility to provide a safe working environment for their employees, but unfortunately, some cut corners to maximize profits. This can lead to accidents involving falls from heights, collapse of scaffolding or trenches, and equipment malfunctions.
Inadequate training and supervision also contribute to construction accidents. Workers who are not properly trained on how to use equipment or handle materials are at a higher risk of accidents. Lack of supervision can also lead to unsafe practices going unnoticed, increasing the likelihood of injuries.
OSHA Regulations and Safety Standards in Florida
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) plays a vital role in promoting workplace safety and enforcing regulations in the construction industry. OSHA sets standards that employers must follow to protect their workers from hazards on the job.
In Florida, OSHA regulations and safety standards are in place to ensure the safety of construction workers. These standards cover topics such as fall protection, hazard communication, electrical safety, and the use of personal protective equipment.
Employers are responsible for complying with these regulations and providing a safe working environment for their employees. They must conduct regular inspections, train workers on safety procedures, and maintain proper documentation to demonstrate compliance with OSHA standards.
However, despite these regulations, construction accidents still occur. It is essential for workers to be aware of their rights and protections in the event of an accident.
Construction Accident Statistics in Florida
The statistics surrounding construction accidents in Florida are alarming. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 76 fatal work injuries in the private construction industry in Florida in 2021. This accounted for approximately 24% of all fatal work injuries in the state.
In addition to fatal injuries, there were also numerous non-fatal injuries reported in the construction industry. These injuries ranged from minor cuts and bruises to more severe injuries requiring hospitalization and long-term medical treatment.
Steps to Take After a Construction Accident
In the unfortunate event of a construction accident, it is crucial for an injured person to take immediate steps to protect their health and legal rights. The following steps can help ensure a smoother process:
- Seek medical attention: An individual’s health and well-being should be the top priority. Seek medical attention for injuries, even if they appear minor. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent but can worsen over time.
- Report the accident: Workers should tell their employer or supervisor about the accident as soon as possible. Provide a detailed account of what happened and any injuries sustained. This creates an official record of the incident.
- Gather evidence: If it is possible to do so safely, gather evidence at the accident scene. Take photos of the area, any equipment involved, and injuries sustained. Collect contact information from any witnesses who saw the accident occur.
- Document injuries and medical treatment: Keep a record of all medical treatments received, including doctor visits, medications, and rehabilitation sessions. This documentation will be essential when filing a workers’ compensation claim or pursuing legal action.
- Consult with a construction accident attorney: It is crucial to seek legal representation after a construction accident. A skilled attorney can help navigate the complex legal process, ensure your rights are protected, and maximize your chances of receiving fair compensation.
Taking these steps after a construction accident can help build a strong case and ensure you receive the necessary medical treatment and financial support.
Workers’ Compensation for Construction Accidents
Workers’ compensation is a system designed to provide benefits to workers who are injured on the job. In Florida, construction companies are always required to carry workers’ compensation insurance for every employee, including contractors.
When a construction worker is injured on the job, they are generally entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits can include coverage for medical expenses, lost wages, and rehabilitation services. In the event of a fatality, workers’ compensation can also provide death benefits to the worker’s dependents.
In addition to benefits that may be available to an injured worker under the workers’ compensation system, the worker may be entitled to recovery from third parties that caused an accident. Injured workers should contact a construction accident attorney for consultation to see whether third parties may be liable.
Hiring a Construction Accident Attorney in Florida
Navigating the legal landscape after a construction accident can be overwhelming, especially when dealing with injuries and recovery. Hiring a construction accident attorney in Florida can provide the guidance and support needed to pursue a successful claim.
An experienced attorney will have a deep understanding of the laws and regulations surrounding construction accidents in Florida. They can help gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and ensure that your rights are protected throughout the process.
Call Panter, Panter, & Sampedro
At Panter, Panter & Sampedro, we are committed to helping those in need. If you have suffered a serious construction accident or injury on a work site in the Miami or South Florida area, we can help you. Find out what your legal rights are and what legal measures can be taken. To learn more about our successful construction accident verdicts and settlements, visit panterlaw.com/results. Then, call our experienced construction accident attorneys at 305-662-6178.