Construction workers in North and South Carolina and nationwide face some of the most dangerous working conditions. Contractors, property owners, and other employers are responsible for taking action to ensure the safety of all workers on the site. In tragic accident last February, a North Carolina worker lost his life while working on a University of Kentucky construction project. Now officials have cited two private construction companies for serious violations of safety laws. According to reports, the companies will decide whether they are going to appeal the citation and affiliated penalties.
The companies will be meeting at an informal conference with state officials to determine next steps involving the resolution of the construction accident investigation. The tragic accident sheds light both on the dangers of construction work and the need to ensure safety conditions, equipment, and training. Our Greensboro workers’ compensation attorneys are dedicated to protecting the rights of our clients and in raising awareness to prevent worker injury. We are abreast of OSHA developments, safety training, and new legislation in favor of North and South Carolina workers. In addition to client advocacy, we are abreast of cases and legal developments that impact construction workers and their loved ones.
According to reports, the 24-year-old worker from North Carolina was killed on February 19th when a piece of plywood flew off the roof of Haggin Hall on the University of Kentucky campus. The wood blew off in winds at 30 miles per hour and fell, striking the worker in the head. Though he was wearing a helmet, the force of the wood caused severe traumatic brain injury and resulted in death. According to an investigation conducted by Kentucky’s Office of Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA), the construction companies failed to conduct an adequate hazard assessment of the work site. The companies also failed to take into consideration the dangerous weather conditions. These actions were considered “serious” violations, resulting in penalties against both construction companies.
Under OSHA regulations, employees must be protected against the risk of falling objects, even when weather conditions create a more dangerous work environment. State officials proposed a $6,300 penalty for Knife and $4,900 penalty for Bates Construction. The companies were working on behalf of a Memphis Based development company as part of a $500 million public-private contracting agreement to build new residence halls on the University of Kentucky campus. The development company wants to build the dorms and operate them under a long-term lease with the university. The construction contractors were hired directly by the development company.
Construction accident cases are complicated and often warrant an independent investigation. While OSHA and defendant companies may conduct an investigation, it is important to have your case reviewed by an experienced advocate. Though it is not necessary to prove fault in recovering workers’ compensation benefits, victims and their families may also be able to pursue third-party claims against negligent property owners and other individuals or entities. Families who have lost a loved one in a work-related accident should also consult with an experienced advocate to protect their rights.
For a free and confidential consultation, ,contact North Carolina worker’s compensation attorneys the Lee Law Offices at 800-887-1965.
More Blog Entries:
Top Risks for South Carolina Construction Workers This Summer, May 18, 2014, Greensboro Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Blog
Burley v. U.S. Foods – The Commission Isn’t Always Right, June 14, 2014, Charlotte Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Blog