When people think about construction site accidents, the image that comes to mind is typically that of an injured worker. There’s good reason for this mental association. Construction work remains one of the most dangerous lines of work, with professionals in the industry risking falls, falling materials, electrocution, crushing accidents and machinery malfunctions every day. That’s why there’s often premium pay associated with skilled construction work.
Whether there is new construction going up or a total overhaul of a building, road or other infrastructure taking place, more than workers are at risk. Nearby drivers may be at increased risk of a collision due to distraction and sudden stops. Everyone who walks or bikes nearby could become the victim of a sudden accident.
Falling material and debris pose a real risk
Maybe you were enjoying a walk when you headed past the construction site. Perhaps you were going for a bike ride. Even people in cars can get hurt when passing a construction site. Many times, the outer edges of work areas are open or enclosed only with plastic sheeting. It only takes a second for a mistake or mishap to send debris or materials into the street or onto the sidewalk.
Someone in a machine could push the wrong button, releasing a load. They could also back up too far, pushing items over the edge of the building. Ropes or pulleys could break, sending heavy and dangerous items, like boards or bricks, tumbling down into traffic. There’s even potential for the same thing to happen with dangerous or caustic chemicals. Anyone traveling through or past a construction site should remain cautious and stay beyond the reach of the building, machinery or any overhangs.
Safety procedures should protect visitors and passersby
Construction companies are well aware of the dangerous associated with their profession. Generally, these companies have safety policies and special procedures in place to reduce the risk of an injury to a member of the public. From extending fence lines beyond the potential range of debris to requiring hard hats for visitors, these policies aim to reduce injuries to those not actively working on a construction project. Sadly, no matter how careful people may be, accidents do still happen.
Human error, inclement weather and machinery malfunctions can all play a role in a sudden and tragic traffic accident. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury as the result of an accident near or next to a construction site, you may have options for compensation. The construction company should carry a special insurance policy to offset the potential risk to non-workers close to the site. You may also need to bring a civil lawsuit if negligence led to the accident and your injury.