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Who may be legally responsible for a construction site accident?

On Behalf of | Jan 30, 2023 | Firm News |

Different types of injuries and incidents can occur at construction sites, from slips and falls to electrocutions. Sometimes these types of incidents happen because of the negligence of those who are supposed to be ensuring workplace safety. It can be difficult to establish who may be liable because many parties, individuals and organization can play a role in maintaining safe environments at construction sites. For example, a construction project might require the services of different crews in different phases, depending on their specialties. Who are the potentially legally liable parties in a construction site accident? 

The property owner

Under premises liability law, a property owner could be liable for injuries to workers or authorized visitors at a construction site. Owners who directly oversee an ongoing construction project may bear the responsibility of ensuring the safety of workers if they are involved in training them and equipping them with gear like gloves, hats, reflective vests and harnesses. A property owner might also be required to post signs, barricades, tapes and cordons in dangerous areas to ensure that those approaching the area know about the condition and any potential hazards.

The construction company or contractor in charge

The property owner might not be legally responsible in a personal injury claim if he or she delegates the responsibility of handling the construction project to a company or contractor. In this scenario, a construction company or contractor might be in charge of hiring a competent workforce and upholding safety protocols.  

That entity or person might be responsible for equipping employees with the safety gear needed for protection and training workers on how to stay safe. 

Architects or engineers

Engineers and architects must ensure that the buildings they create are designed in a safe manner.  Because of this, they are required to make sure that a project adheres to all established safety codes. If a person is injured because the design of a building is flawed or unsafe, the engineer or architect could be held liable. 

Equipment manufacturers

Sometimes on a worksite, it is the equipment itself that causes people to be injured.  If design flaws and manufacturing defects cause that equipment to malfunction, the manufacturers or the company responsible for maintenance may be held accountable for negligence or product liability.