By: Brandon Stein, Esquire
As a Miami construction site injury lawyer who sues employers, I was saddened by the news that another construction worker was killed in the line of duty by a vehicle traveling on the highway.
News broke early Wednesday morning that the 63-year old man was killed while working at a construction site near Interstate 90 in Ohio. Authorities say that the worker was putting up tarps in the work zone just before the car accident occurred. Apparently two separate cars were involved in the crash that led to the construction worker’s death. The man had to be taken to a local Ohio urgent care center – where he ultimately was pronounced dead. It certainly is too early in the process to speculate whether any future lawsuit will be filed against the drivers of the cars or the construction worker’s employer. However, given the fact that this car accident involved the death of a construction worker, I am certain that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) will be investigating the incident.
For those of you that frequent my blog, Construction Site Injury News, you probably notice that many of the topics I address are often intertwined with OSHA regulations. OSHA is a government-based organization aimed to protect and ensure the safety and welfare of employees all around the country. When it comes down to it, all employees have the right to a safe workplace. Section 5 of the OSH Act of 1970 specifies that each employer must furnish a work environment that is free from hazards that cause or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to employees. Additionally, the OSHA Act mandates that each and every employer must comply with OSHA’s safety and health standards.
You, the employee, also have a right to ask OSHA to inspect your workplace, receive information and training about hazards and OSHA standards that apply to your particular job, and may receive copies of test results to determine whether hazards exist at your place of employment. For those of you that have never heard of OSHA, you are probably wondering whether or not your employer falls within OSHA’s jurisdiction. Well, if you are an employee in the private sector, state or local government, or federal government, then your employer most likely has an obligation to abide by OSHA safety regulations.
Many OSHA safety violations occur on construction sites. Naturally, the dangerous equipment and tasks that construction workers are required to perform on a daily basis certainly place them in harms way. It is vital that an employee of a construction company be knowledgeable of OSHA’s numerous rules and regulations. Perhaps, the most dangerous type of work a construction employee performs is roadway or highway construction work. No matter the task, a car accident involving a construction worker can happen in an instant – as was noted in the deadly highway construction accident that occurred Wednesday morning. As I have continuously seen in my practice, more times than not the employee is placed in a dangerous situation by his or her employer.
By no means am I asserting that the car accident involving the 63-year old construction worker was a result of improper conduct by his employer. As a Florida lawyer who sues employers, however, improper conduct must always be considered. It is very important for an injured worker’s lawyer to weigh every possibility and consider that a violation of OSHA regulations by the employer led to the accident.
The OSHA website has a plethora of information pertaining to workers’ safety, employer regulations, enforcement tactics utilized by OSHA inspectors, and much more. While an injured employee may be able to peruse through the site to try to pinpoint where his or her employer wronged them, this indeed would be a daunting task. So, if you are injured on the job in Florida, whether it is a construction site injury or something else, hiring a personal injury lawyer to guide you through the process of determining fault is a must.