Common Causes of Demolition Accidents in Pennsylvania
Demolition work poses significant risks and can lead to severe work-related accidents. Therefore, it is crucial for demolition workers to be aware of the daily hazards they encounter on construction sites to avoid serious injuries.
How serious are demolition accidents? What are the causes behind these incidents? And what measures can construction workers and demolition companies take to prevent such accidents? Below, you will find answers to these questions and more.
If you sustain an injury in a demolition accident in Pennsylvania, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. However, obtaining these benefits can sometimes be challenging. That's why it is important to consult an experienced Pennsylvania workers' compensation attorney to review your rights and options.
How frequently do demolition accidents occur?
Demolition accidents at construction sites happen more frequently than many people realize. Each year, thousands of workers suffer severe injuries or lose their lives in construction accidents, including those involving the extraction or removal of building debris.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, on average, more than 160 out of every 10,000 construction workers sustain injuries annually in extraction-related work.
Specifically, across the country, over 200,000 construction workers on average suffer job-related injuries each year. This leads to 80,000 construction and demolition workers being unable to work and over 1,000 construction workers losing their lives in workplace accidents annually.
Why do demolition accidents happen?
Demolition-related accidents at construction sites occur due to various reasons, including:
- Being crushed by falling construction debris, such as concrete, bricks, and other materials often associated with building collapses.
- Slip and fall accidents resulting from unmarked hazards or unsafe working conditions.
- Falls from heights, particularly when demolition workers operate in tall buildings.
- Injuries caused by explosions, as demolition work at construction sites often involves explosive materials.
- Electrocution due to contact with live power lines or contact with demolition equipment.
- Long-term illnesses resulting from inhaling hazardous substances at construction sites, including asbestos found in older buildings, which is released during demolition.
- Unsafe working conditions, such as the absence of scaffolding or inadequate protective safety equipment (e.g., hardhats, respirators) designed to safeguard demolition workers.
Preventing demolition accidents
There are several measures that demolition workers and construction companies can take to prevent serious work-related injuries or illnesses. According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), these preventative measures include:
- Providing demolition workers with necessary safety equipment, including hard hats, protective eyewear, respirators, gloves, foot protection, and Personal Fall Arrest Systems (PFAS).
- Ensuring proper training for demolition workers on safe debris removal methods to minimize the risk of injury. Under OSHA Public Law 91-596, it is the employer's responsibility to provide adequate training.
- Conducting thorough inspections of work sites before demolition to identify and address potential hazards that could lead to accidents.
- Establishing clear plans, including evacuation procedures, before commencing demolition work to prepare for building collapses or other emergencies.
How can a Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorney help?
Ideally, injured demolition workers should have no problem obtaining the workers' compensation benefits they deserve. Unfortunately, that's not the reality, as many injured workers encounter difficulties at different points in the process.
Navigating the complex legalities and bureaucratic challenges of the workers' compensation system can be overwhelming, especially when you are already dealing with the physical and emotional aftermath of a demolition accident.
At Vellner Law, PC, we understand the struggles that injured workers face, and we are here to help. We have a deep understanding of the laws and regulations surrounding workers' compensation claims and can guide you through the entire process, from filing the initial claim to appealing a denial, if necessary.
We will work diligently to gather all the necessary evidence, medical records, and supporting documentation to strengthen your case. Our goal is to ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive the full benefits you deserve.
Don't let the complexities of the Pennsylvania workers' compensation system stand in the way of your recovery and financial stability. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with an experienced workers' compensation attorney. We have offices conveniently located in Bethlehem and Allentown and represent injury victims throughout Pennsylvania.