Earlier this month, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued several new citations to a construction company that was remodeling a building when it collapsed, killing one employee and trapping another inside the wreckage for several hours. According to an industry news report, the building collapsed back in December of last year, but OSHA’s investigation has only recently been completed.
Evidently, the company instructed employees to take down two load-bearing walls without specifying how to install a temporary support structure for the rest of the building. As the employees knocked down the walls, the building collapsed. One man was killed in the collapse, and another woman was trapped for several hours before emergency responders were able to free her.
In the most recent citations, OSHA claims that the company “willfully ignored precautions,” which directly resulted in the death of the employee. The OSHA report also indicates that the company failed to take necessary precautions in conducting an engineering survey prior to beginning the work. These citations were in addition to a previous round of citations that was issued earlier this year. The company was fined a total of more than $200,000, and it may face additional liability should the employees and their families file subsequent claims.
Construction Injuries in Georgia
In Georgia, construction is one of the most dangerous industries, with thousands of workers getting injured on the job each year. In most of these cases, employers have taken the necessary steps to ensure a safe workplace, and an accident resulting in a worker’s injury is truly an accident. However, sometimes employers take shortcuts in hopes of saving time or money.
In either case, an injured worker may be entitled to compensation while they recover from their injuries. The Georgia Workers’ Compensation Program does not require an injured worker to establish fault for their injury. This means that an injured worker may be entitled to benefits even when they are partially at fault for the accident resulting in their injuries. However, workers’ compensation is also the sole remedy for injured workers, meaning that in most cases an injured worker will not be permitted to file a personal injury lawsuit. There are exceptions to this general rule, and anyone injured in a Georgia workplace accident should consult with a dedicated workers’ compensation attorney to discuss their case and which options may be available.
Have You Been Injured in an On-the-Job Accident?
If you have recently been injured in a Georgia workplace accident, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits while you recover from your injuries. However, in too many cases, employers contest an injured worker’s eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits, delaying the process and potentially resulting in a denial of the employee’s claim. The skilled workers’ compensation attorneys at J. Franklin Burns, P.C. have decades of experience helping injured Georgia workers pursue the benefits they need and deserve. Call 404-303-7770 to schedule a free consultation with a dedicated workers’ compensation attorney today.