Heavy Machinery and Construction Site Accidents

Though construction accident numbers have declined over the past year, reports continue to roll out nationally and internationally regarding serious injuries or fatalities due to construction accidents. While many of these stories have involved workers in site-related accidents, such as building collapses, scaffolding failures, and falling from great heights, there seem to be an increasing number of reports of heavy equipment accidents.
Since construction projects, especially larger commercial and residential projects, typically use larger support structures and heavier building materials, heavy chicago Injury Attorneys machinery is often used to expedite the process of moving and sometimes installing these materials. These machines pose a unique threat to the safety of construction worker, as there exist several possibilities of malfunction that could potentially cause a construction accident.
Several current examples illuminate the possible hazards from heavy machinery. A skid steer, also known as a Bobcat or a front loader, is a common site on construction sites, being used to move large amounts of dirt or other heavy materials. Smaller than a backhoe or other earth-moving machines, it is a useful tool for larger construction sites. The operator of the vehicle could put his coworkers and himself at risk if this machine is used improperly. In three recent cases, these machines were responsible for serious injuries and in two cases a fatality.
In Alberta, Canada, two men were working excavating a basement when their skid steer toppled over and pinned them both to the floor. The men were soon rescued by emergency responders and taken to the hospital. In a tragic case here in the United States, a young boy who had gone to work with his father was killed when he fell out of his father’s lap while riding in a skid steer. Preliminary reports indicate that the child was thrown from the vehicle while his father backed up and was subsequently struck on the head by the large bucket full of dirt. In another accident involving a skid steer, a man fell seven stories inside one of the vehicles while participating in demolition work in Chicago.
These small and agile machines are most assuredly not the only vehicles involved in serious construction accidents. While not as common on smaller construction sites, cranes still play a significant role in assisting workers on the job with lifting heavy pieces of building material such as floor joists and beam supports. Crane accidents make up a significant portion of construction accidents. In a recent case in New York, a man was killed when the boom arm of a crane snapped off and crushed the operator as he was working on a bridge. Reports give no clear indication as to what cause the boom to collapse. Crane accidents could be caused by many different factors or malfunctions. In international news, reports of a crane collapse which killed seven men as they worked on a rail line in India were released a few weeks ago.
 

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