On a sunny October morning in 2003, the top five floors of a half-completed parking garage in Atlantic City collapsed, sending several workers plummeting to the floors below. Four workers were killed and over 20 more were injured, many of which had to be extracted from the rubble.

When a tragedy like this occurs, people deserve to know who is responsible for the loss of their family member. In this case, both the general contractor, Keating Building Corporation, and subcontractor, Fabi Construction, were fined by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OHSA) for safety violations, but many more parties could have played a part in the accident.

How to Discover Who Is at Fault for a Fatal Construction Site Fall

Falls are the biggest cause of construction deaths. As falls from a roof, ladder, or scaffolding are responsible for over a third of all fatal injuries on construction sites, construction companies have a duty to protect the lives of their workers by providing a safe working environment.

Here are a few precautions building companies should take to prevent serious fall injuries:

  • Portable ladders. Many workers have fallen to their deaths because of faulty or unsecured ladders. All portable ladders should be positioned with side rails that extend at least three feet above the landing, and side rails should be secured to a support at the top. In addition, all ladders should be checked before each use for cracked or broken rungs, steps, and locking components.
  • Scaffolds. There are many ways workers can fall from a scaffold, from a fall off of the side, to a fall onto a platform below. Contractors and building site inspectors have a duty to make sure all scaffolds have been constructed properly, including using guardrails along all open sides and ends of the platforms.
  • Floor holes. Half-finished floors and incomplete supports are created every day during the construction process, but that doesn’t mean employers cannot safeguard against danger. Workers should be instructed to cover or guard floor holes as soon as they are created during construction. Covers should support at least two times the weight of any workers or equipment that could be placed on them to avoid fall-through accidents.
  • Protruding rebar. The surface that a worker falls onto can make the difference between a serious injury and a fatal one. If steel reinforcing bars are left unguarded, workers can impale parts of their body on the rebar—causing internal injuries or loss of limbs. All protruding ends of steel rebar should be bent or capped to avoid impalement injury.

Want to know if the building company or contractor is responsible for your loved one’s death? We can investigate the circumstances of the accident and get you the justice and compensation you deserve. Fill out the short contact form on this page to tell us what happened, and we will tell you what steps to take next.

Manfred Ricciardelli
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Morristown Workers' Compensation Lawyer