Construction sites have many dangers that can result in serious injuries to construction workers. Although the hazards on construction sites do not have to result in harm to workers— proper safety protocols and equipment can keep construction workers safe—various forms of negligence can lead to serious and deadly construction accidents and injuries. While certain types of injuries are more common than others, like falls and struck-by injuries, planned explosions on construction sites can also be extremely dangerous and can result in debilitating and fatal injuries if precautions are not taken. In New York, construction workers who are injured by fires and explosions may be able to file negligence claims against their employers under New York Labor Law.
Understanding Explosion Injuries on Construction Sites
Explosions on construction sites occur in various situations. In some cases, explosions are intentional and are part of the process of demolition on a construction site. In other cases, explosions result from problems involving underground gas lines, interactions with chemical tanks or other flammable or combustible materials, or improper use of blasting agents. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires construction sites to have a variety of protections for construction workers to prevent injuries caused by fires and explosions.
Causes of explosion accidents and injuries on construction sites have different proximate causes. Between 1992 and 2015, in which OSHA issues citations for 19 fatalities related to construction site explosions, those citations cited the following as the causes of the deadly injuries:
● Safety processes and distribution of safety information (27% of citations);
● Problematic or negligent operating procedures (20% of citations;
● Hazard analyses on construction sites (15 of citations);
● Mechanical problems (6% of citations); and
● Training issues (5% of citations).
About 27% of explosions causing fatal injuries on construction sites were listed as having “other” causes. Beyond the fatal injuries listed, thousands of workers are injured on the job every year as a result of explosions.
Seeking Compensation for Explosion Injuries
How can you seek financial compensation after an explosion accident on a construction site? First, you may be able to file a workers’ compensation claim in order to seek coverage for your medical costs, lost wages, and partial or total disability impairment. Given that many explosion accidents on construction sites are fatal, it is important for surviving family members to know that they can be eligible to seek death benefits through the New York workers’ compensation system, as well.
In addition to workers’ compensation benefits, an injured construction worker may also be eligible to file a lawsuit against a negligent employer under New York Labor Law. In particular, Section 200 of New York allows for general negligence claims against employers, while Section 241 allows injured construction workers to file claims based on negligence in demolition and related work.
Contact a New York Construction Accident Attorney
Do you need assistance with your construction accident lawsuit? One of the experienced New York construction accident lawyers at our firm can speak with you today about your case. Contact Leitner Varughese Warywoda PLLC to learn more about how we can assist you.