What Duties Do California Construction Employers Have To Their Employees?
On April 26, 2017, a serious accident took place during the construction of a new Facebook building in Menlo Park. While working, a beam encountered a “catastrophic failure,” and seriously injured two ironworkers are lucky to be alive.
The other construction workers at the site who saw the accident reported that the two injured ironworkers were working at a height of forty feet on Facebook’s Building 21 when, around 5:30 PM, the accident happened. The two ironworkers were constructing the building’s steel frame when the beam fell twenty feet, crashing into other parts of the building and throwing the two ironworkers down towards the ground.
Luckily, both ironworkers were wearing safety harnesses which firefighters on the scene said helped stop them from falling to the ground. Both men were taken to the hospital with puncture wounds and low body pain.
The media coverage of this accident has caused many to question the duties California construction employers have to their employees in the realm of safety and personal injury. What, exactly, are those duties?
What Are Construction Employer Duties?
Every construction employer bears the responsibility of maintaining a reasonably safe work site. This includes warning of dangers that may not be obvious.
Liability can be more complicated to determine as the size of the construction project increases. This is due to the fact that more entities may be involved in the management of the project. Liability can rest in multiple parties, including:
- prime contractors
- construction managers
- property managers
- property owners
All of these entities must also adhere to California Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) standards. If any of these parties breach their duty, and this breach causes an accident, then they may be held liable to bystanders and construction workers for injuries sustained.
Can I Sue My Employer For My Construction Injury?
In most cases, the answer is “no.” In California, you may not sue your employer directly, but must instead file a workers’ compensation claim. If you are injured on the job, regardless of who was at fault, you have the right to bring a workers’ compensation claim. These claims can be complicated and there are rules in place that must be strictly followed. It is best to have an experienced construction accident injury attorney on your side to guide you through the process. Consult with an experienced construction accident attorney as soon as possible after your accident to protect your legal rights.