Faulty Safety Equipment Injuries inNew York
New York City Construction Accident Lawyers Fighting for Injured Workers
Did You Suffer an Injury Due to Faulty Safety Equipment?
Whether it’s a residential renovation, commercial high rise, or any other project, construction workers face higher risks of accidents and injuries at elevations compared to employees in other professions. Naturally, reducing those risks requires safety equipment, including various protective devices, guards, and other machinery that need to function as intended.
Modern advancements and a better understanding of construction-related risks mean workers today have access to protective gear and equipment laborers long ago did not. There are also now numerous workplace safety laws, including those enforced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the State of New York, which outline what safety equipment should be used, when they should be used, and how they should be provided, stored, and maintained by employers, general contractors, or even owners.
Unfortunately, even the most safety conscious workers who wear the right equipment and take the right steps to ensure they’re protected can suffer harm in construction accidents especially when equipment designed to keep them safe is faulty, defective, improperly maintained, or just downright the wrong equipment for the job.
Common Construction Safety Equipment
OSHA, the New York State Industrial Code, and the New York Labor Law contain many provisions regarding Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), safety equipment, and other workplace safety standards. These critical protections safeguard workers from potential injuries involving harmful or toxic materials, electrocution, falling objects, and sharp items, and are used for all types of workers and construction projects. Common examples include:
- Fall arrest systems
- Guardrail safety systems
- Safety nets for laborers who work from heights
- Head, face, foot, and hand protection
- Hearing and vision protection
- Trench shoring/trench boxes
- Equipment to prevent building collapse
- Safety glass on machinery or commercial vehicles
- Safety guards on bladed machinery
- Safety vests and safety warning equipment
- Hazardous material protection/preventative fire and explosion equipment
Defective Construction Equipment & Product Liability
Because workers rely on these types of protections to ensure their safety, equipment which is faulty, defective, or incapable of functioning as intended can put them at risk of suffering serious injuries or death. In matters involving faulty safety equipment, our construction accident attorneys in New York explore whether defects may have caused or contributed to our clients’ damages as a result of a product manufacturer’s negligence or failure to meet their legal duty.
Safety equipment may be defective for various reasons, including:
- Manufacturing defects made during the actual assembly of equipment, which may result from shoddy workmanship, the use of poor quality materials, a lack of oversight, and other factors.
- Design defects involving equipment which was inherently flawed from their inception, making them more likely to fail when used by workers, or unable to protect workers as they should.
- Failures to warn, or “marketing defects,” involving manufacturers that fail to appropriately warn users about potential risks associated with their products.
Construction accidents involving defective safety equipment can entail complex issues of product liability and can open the door to potential civil personal injury lawsuits that provide victims and families with the opportunity to hold manufacturers, distributors, and others involved in the creation or distribution of faulty products accountable. Unlike workers’ compensation claims, personal injury suits require victims to meet a burden of proof regarding fault in order to prevail and recover their damages, including their pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost wages, and more.
Other Issues in Construction Equipment Accident Cases
In addition to potential product liability claims against manufacturers that failed to meet their duty to provide safe products, construction accident cases involving safety equipment may entail other legal issues, including:
- Failures to provide safety equipment – Workplace safety regulations and other laws often outline when employers or others with legal obligations for protecting workers (or even passersby) need to provide and use safety equipment. Failing to do so can put workers and those near worksites at risk, and may result in injured victims being able to pursue compensation through civil claims, in addition to workers’ compensation.
- Improperly maintained equipment – Safety equipment may fail to work when it is not properly maintained, stored, repaired, or replaced as needed. Employers, property owners, and other parties responsible for equipment management may be held liable in cases where their negligence resulted in preventable injuries.
- Negligent third parties – Construction sites can be busy places erected in spaces that already exist or are still open for business. This means contractors, property owners, and other parties may have legal obligations to ensure the safety of those around them. Should their negligence, rather than the failures of a product manufacturer, result in the use of faulty safety equipment, a lack of safety equipment, and preventable injuries, victims may be able to recover damages through personal injury claims filed against those third parties.
Injured in a Construction Accident in New York City? Call (212) 577-9325
The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C. has been fighting for injured victims and workers throughout New York City since 1983. Over our decades in practice, we’ve earned a reputation for our work representing injured construction workers and their families, and handle more construction accident cases each year than many injury attorneys handle in their entire careers. The result is our expansive knowledge of workplace safety laws and critical issues involved in these cases, as well as the extensive experience, insight, and resources we leverage to help workers and other victims fight for the maximum compensation possible.