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OSHA Violations & Spinal Cord Injuries on Work Sites

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When most people think of spinal cord injuries, they think of football and other athletic injuries, however, many people do not realize that many spinal cord injuries occur each year on work sites.

Just reading about a recent $14.3 million judgment for a worker who fell from a two-story platform highlights the dangers of construction sites, specifically. In this particular incident, the injured worker tripped on a fiberglass ladder, causing him to fall from the second floor. He landed on his head and neck, causing his cervical spine to break, and his spinal cord to become severed. He is now a quadriplegic.

Sadly, there are often links between violations of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations, negligence, and someone getting injured. When these injuries involve spinal cords, many people end up permanently paralyzed or dead. Juries must allocate significant funds in these instances, mostly to pay for past and future medical treatment.

OSHA Regulations on Construction Sites

OSHA has very specific regulations that have to be followed in every state—including Florida. For the construction industry, these standards and regulations specifically apply to:

  • inspections
  • enforcement of safety and health standards
  • safety training and education
  • recording and reporting of injuries
  • personal protective and life saving equipment, such as head, hearing, eye, face, and respiratory protection, safety belts, safety nets
  • occupational noise exposure
  • fire protection and prevention
  • signs, signals, and barricades
  • materials handling, storage, use, and disposal
  • tools
  • welding and cutting
  • electrical, electric power transmission and distribution
  • scaffolds
  • fall protection
  • helicopters, hoists, elevators, and conveyors
  • motor vehicles, mechanized equipment, and marine operations
  • excavations
  • concrete and masonry construction
  • stairways and ladders
  • toxic and hazardous substances
  • cranes and derricks; amongst others.

Construction Site Falls Cause Spinal Cord Injuries

When these rules are violated, workers on construction sites can experience severe and debilitating injuries, including burns, eye injuries and vision impairment, electrocution, broken bones, neck, shoulder, and back injuries, and more. In 2015, almost six times the number of fatalities occurred in construction compared to other industries, such as manufacturing.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls remain the leading cause of work-related deaths in construction; accounting for approximately one-third of all of them in the entire construction industry. And sadly, falls are a significant cause of spinal cord injuries, and they have been on the rise over the last four years.

Florida Spinal Cord Recovery Attorneys

If an employer – such as a construction company – fails to follow one of OSHA’s rules and an injury results, a jury can find the employer negligent per se.

If you or a loved one has suffered a spinal cord injury due to a work site injury, contact our experienced personal injury attorneys at Friedland & Associates today. We serve clients in and around Fort Lauderdale.

Resources:

clarionledger.com/story/news/2017/12/02/judge-awards-injured-worker-more-than-14-3-million-dollars/915037001/

cdc.gov/niosh/construction/statistics.html

osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owasrch.search_form?p_doc_type=STANDARDS&p_toc_level=1&p_keyvalue=Construction

Fort Lauderdale Personal Injury & Criminal Defense

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