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Building and construction site accidents


Working on a construction site

Building and construction sites are dangerous places to be. There are strict rules and regulations covering the industry with safety standards that must be respected and obeyed by the main contractor on site and all subcontractors. Hazards on building sites include power tools, falling building materials, and scaffolding. The list goes on. The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work lists some of the injuries which are particular to construction and building sites. The most common include slip and trip injuries, falling from a height and injuries caused by machinery.

There are also occupational illnesses that are particular to the industry such as asbestos related illnesses, asthma and other breathing and dermatitis caused by chromium in cement. If you have an accident at work on a construction site you will be able to make a personal injury claim for compensation.


Rights of Building and Construction Site Workers

Employers have a responsibility to protect their employees, contractors and visitors from injury and harm on a building or construction site.

Employers must;

  • Carry out risk assessments and devise safe working methods and processes which have to be updated as the work progresses.
  • Check scaffolding and hoists and make sure they are safe.
  • Provide workers with the necessary machinery and tools for their work. They must make sure that the machines and tools are maintained to a safe condition.
  • Make sure that the workplace is kept in a safe and tidy condition all floor surfaces and corridors should be clean and free from hazards.
  • Provide workers with suitable workstations and chairs.
  • Ensure that doors and gates are not obstructed.
  • Provide training to all employees who do heavy lifting to make sure that they know how to do this safely.
  • Provide workers with any safety wear (Personal Protective Equipment) they need to do their jobs safely.

What to do

If your employer does not do the above, and you are injured at work then you may be able to make a construction or building site compensation claim.  You can make a personal injury compensation claim if your injury was caused by the negligence of a colleague.

You will be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay. Your right to sick pay should be in your employment contract or your terms and conditions of employment.

Do not accept compensation from an insurance company acting for your employer without taking legal advice. You may find that you have settled for less than you are actually entitled to.

You will need to prove that your injury, occupational illness or disease was caused by the negligence of your employer.

[ see Accident at work, How to win your personal injury claim ]


Personal Injury Pre-Action Protocol

You start your claim using the Pre-Action Protocol for Low Value Personal Injury (Employers’ Liability and Public Liability) Claims.  You must;

  • Identify the person, company or organisation to make the claim against.
  • Show that the person, company or organisation owed you a duty of care to avoid your accident and injury, and could have taken steps to avoid the situation.
  • Prove that your injury was caused by the failure of the responsible person or organisation to take reasonable steps to avoid causing your accident or injury.

Updated:18/02/2020

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