While there are countless reasons that construction accidents happen, one of the more common contributors to accidents is a lack of proper maintenance. Poorly maintained equipment can make accidents of all types more likely, from falls to electrocution to cave-ins. But what does it mean for equipment to be poorly maintained, and how does that lead to construction accidents?
Equipment Maintenance Standards
Both state and federal authorities place strict requirements on the condition of equipment in workplaces of all types, including construction sites. According to these regulations, any equipment intended to be used on site must be regularly inspected for potential defects, and must be repaired or replaced if any issues are discovered. This helps to ensure that all equipment used by workers is properly functioning, and has a minimal risk of failure.
When Standards Go Lax
Unfortunately, not every employer is as diligent about keeping their equipment well-maintained as they should be. They may not inspect equipment as regularly as they should, allowing issues to persist for much longer before being addressed. In some cases, they may be aware of potential safety issues but continue to use the equipment anyway. In either case, this results in equipment being poorly maintained, increasing the risk of harm to workers.
How Poorly Maintained Equipment Results in Accidents
When equipment is poorly maintained, it can injure people in a number of ways, including (but not limited to):
- Protective equipment may fail to defend the user from harm, resulting in accidental injury.
- Vehicles or other transportation equipment may fail to properly respond to hazardous conditions, failing to stop, slow, or react in time to prevent an injury.
- Containers carrying dangerous chemicals can begin to leak, which can poison, burn, or sicken anyone exposed to them.
- Scaffolding may fail to hold up to the weight it must support, causing it to collapse and result in a dangerous fall.
- Limbs may be crushed or severed by improperly shielded machinery.
- Loose or exposed wiring may make contact with a person’s flesh, resulting in electrocution.
Identifying Whether Equipment is Properly Maintained or Not
Any piece of equipment used on a construction site should have some kind of record indicating the last time it was inspected. Any equipment should be inspected at least once a year, with any equipment that carries personnel being inspected at least once every six months. If you see an inspection that is significantly out of date, it may be a sign that the equipment is not properly maintained.
In addition, you should keep an eye out for any potential defects, including damage to the equipment or any mechanical quirks. If you do not feel a piece of equipment is safe to use, do not use it. And if someone is injured while using this sort of equipment, you should contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
If you or a loved one have been injured due to someone else’s negligence, you should seek out the personal injury lawyers at Zlotolow & Associates. Our seasoned New York personal injury attorneys bring more than two decades of trial experience to your case. We serve all five boroughs of New York City, as well as Nassau and Suffolk County. Our aggressive personal injury attorneys always demand maximum compensation. We have helped thousands of clients recover through settlements and courtroom verdicts.