Florida Construction Injury Lawyer: The Importance of Near Miss Reporting for all Construction Companies

Brandon Stein

By: Brandon Stein

If you or someone you know was injured in an accident, contact our Aventura Construction Injury Lawyers today.

In South Florida, thousands of construction accidents occur every year, and many of them result in lawsuits filed by North Miami lawyers against construction companies. Typically, when a construction company commits a negligent or wrongful act in the workplace, it results in injury to an employee or the general public.  According to certain rules and regulations, these accidents must be reported.

Pursuant to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) guidelines, when an accident or injury occurs on a construction site, the company is required to report this incident to OSHA.  However, many times a construction company in Florida may commit wrongful acts that result in no injury.  Therefore, many construction companies believe that they may simply brush the near accident under the rug and act as though nothing happened.  Yet, this is not true, for companies must be cognizant of “near miss reporting.”

A North Miami construction injury lawyer that litigates personal injury cases against large construction companies must be aware of the “near miss reporting” requirement. Essentially, a “near miss accident” means exactly what its name indicates — an accident on a construction site that was avoided.  OSHA defines “near miss” as an incident where no property damage occurs or injury is sustained, but, where given a slight shift in time and/or position, damage and/or injury easily could have occurred.

In fact, OSHA has an entire section of its website dedicated to Safety and Health Management, and part of that section details the “near miss accident” and “near miss reporting.”  As a North Miami Beach construction injury lawyer, I have come to recognize that the supervisor of construction zones is often the person to direct partial, and sometimes full, blame for accidents occurring in the construction area.  So naturally, OSHA mandates that the supervisor or person in charge of the construction site has the responsibility of investigating all incidents or “near miss accidents.”

By conducting a proper investigation and inspection of all “near miss accidents,” the possibility of another incident or “near miss accident” from occurring is slim to none. Ultimately, OSHA stresses that “near miss reporting” is just as important as traditional accident reporting.  A suggestion for all South Florida personal injury lawyers that sue construction companies — when performing investigation and discovery, always tackle “near miss reporting.”

Florida Construction Injury Lawyer: Worker Dead After Being Run Over By Construction Truck

Brandon Stein

As a South Florida construction site injury lawyer, I constantly stress that the most important aspect of a construction project is work site safety.  9 times out of 10 I find that construction site injuries can be prevented through proper job site management and supervision.  Yet, injuries continue to occur — including fatalities.

In Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, a construction worker was killed after being struck by a dump truck.  The 73-year old was working as a consultant for a project at Highland Middle School.  Authorities report that the construction worker was on site when the truck accidentally backed over him.  The chief of police stated that the 73-year old construction worker was standing behind the dump truck and the driver did not notice the man before reversing over him.  According to a local resident, construction trucks working on this project fly down the road everyday — it is not shocking that a construction worker was injured and killed.  The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) is currently investigating this incident.

As I commented in my post from August 22, 2012, OSHA is a governmental agency responsible for the health, safety, and welfare of hundreds of thousands of construction workers throughout the country.  A key tool utilized by OSHA to achieve its goal of ensuring a safe work environment are safety inspections conducted without advance notice.  These construction site inspections are conducted by highly trained, highly sophisticated OSHA compliance officers.  But how can OSHA possibly inspect the 7 million plus construction sites in this country?  Inspection Priorities.

Naturally, OSHA strives to inspect the most hazardous and dangerous construction sites, thus placing a priority on those particular sites.  Accordingly, OSHA identifies six situations which ultimately warrant an inspection: (1) Imminent Danger Situations; (2) Fatalities and catastrophes; (3) Complaints; (4) Referrals; (5) Follow-ups; and (6) Planned Investigations.  Regardless of the reason for the inspection, OSHA requires its inspectors to do their homework on a particular site before going out for the inspection.

Prior to arrival at the construction site or job site, compliance officers must research the site’s inspection history using detailed processes and procedures so that they are fully prepared.  Immediately upon arrival on the site, inspectors are required to convey their respective credentials to those on site.  Additionally, the officer must inform the employer of the reason for the inspection and describe the scope of the inspection.  Every inspector on site must be accompanied by a designated representative of the construction company that is the subject of the inspection. Essentially, the inspector and the company’s representative does a “walk around” throughout the entire construction site so that OSHA may assess all possible hazardous conditions on site.  Upon completion of the “walk around,” the investigator holds a Closing Conference with the employer to discuss potential courses of action OSHA may take.  Nevertheless, should OSHA decide to issue a citation, that determination must be made available to the employer no later than six months from the date of the violation.

This is one of the many examples of how OSHA attempts to protect construction workers from hazardous conditions on their job site.  Ultimately, OSHA is in place to prevent construction site injuries from occurring.  Unfortunately, we do not yet know if the Beaver Falls tragedy explained above that resulted in a construction site death was due to OSHA violations.  What we do know is that OSHA will be sending out their inspectors to conduct a full investigation.

However, regardless of the results of the OSHA investigation, a lawsuit may quite possibly be forthcoming given the fact that this construction site accident involved a fatality.

If you or someone you know was injured in a construction site accident, please CONTACT US TODAY.

By: Brandon Stein

Florida Construction Injury Lawyer: Worker Injured After Hand Crushed in Piece of Machinery

This past week a construction worker was injured while working on a construction site in Newfoundland, Canada.  According to reports, the worker had been using a piece of equipment during the course of construction at an apartment complex when his hand got caught within the machinery.  The construction worker was reported not to have lost consciousness and was in stable condition before being transported to a local hospital.  At this juncture, it is unclear whether any safety violations were committed by the worker’s construction company, but authorities state that the investigation is ongoing.

As a Miami construction site injury lawyer, I frequently observe construction companies operating heavy machinery and high risk equipment in an unsafe fashion.  In the United States, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) is a government agency empowered to set down specific regulations for construction companies to abide by when operating construction sites.  Additionally, these regulations are aimed at protecting and ensuring the safety of our construction workers.

OSHA inspectors are charged with overseeing hundreds of thousands of construction sites throughout this country, including the enforcement of OSHA safety standards and regulations.  So, what happens if a construction company fails to follow these regulations?  An OSHA violation is slapped on the hands of the offending construction company.  Yet, a construction company can easily prevent this occurrence by participating and being active in OSHA’s training, outreach, and education programs.

OSHA offers a specific outreach training program for the construction industry as a whole. Construction workers are encouraged to attend these seminars on construction site safety, as well as other highly useful tools.  Not to mention, OSHA also offers separate courses for entry level construction workers in addition to courses offered for supervisors with safety responsibilities on job sites.

Ultimately, OSHA’s goal is to raise the awareness of construction site safety.  The first step to achieve this goal is to increase the knowledge of construction workers and place them on notice that their career choice is a dangerous one that could lead to significant life-threatening injuries, if not death.

Let me be clear that I am not asserting that the construction site injury mentioned above rises to the level of an OSHA violation had the construction accident occurred in the United States.  Construction site accidents happen and construction workers assume this risk the first day they step foot on a construction site.  But we can certainly avoid many construction accidents if OSHA safety regulations are strictly followed.

By: Brandon Stein

Florida Construction Injury Lawyer: The Importance of OSHA Regulations

As the inaugural post at Construction Site Injury News, I believe it is most appropriate to write a brief comment on the importance of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s regulations.  The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or “OSHA” for short, has a primary mission of ensuring the safety and health of construction workers on job sites.  If you, or someone you know works in construction, then please be sure to tell them about Construction Site Injury News, which is the leading source of construction site news.

State funded construction projects, which are mostly funded by either state or local government, are required to meet or exceed OSHA’s standards and regulations.  If you are currently working in construction, then I cannot stress the importance of reading up and gaining knowledge about OSHA.

For more information on OSHA regulations, please visit OSHA’s website at www.osha.gov.

By: Brandon Stein