When an accident occurs on a construction site in New Jersey, liability will need to be assessed. At times, heavy equipment can malfunction and in other instances, employers fail to adequately train their workforce. Power tools are another source of potential danger that should never be overlooked on a construction site, as the misuse of a power tool can result in loss of limbs, burns, electrocution and even death. When an injury has been caused by a power tool, liability can exist for employers, manufacturers or even retailers.
Power tools differ from manual tools as they are electric, hydraulic, pneumatic, powder-actuated or powered by liquid fuel. Occupational Safety Health Administration (OSHA) has listed the following power tools as those most likely to cause injury at a construction site:
- Electric saws
- Nail guns
- Air compressors
According to OSHA, power tool accidents like these and others result in nearly 400,000 emergency room visits each year.
Power Tool Injury Claims
Filing a Workers’ Compensation claim is a straightforward approach to staying financially afloat for those recovering from a construction accident. However, other injuries caused by a power tool as a result of another’s negligence can lead to legal action and more comprehensive compensation for a victim. Employers are required to ensure that power tools are operated only by laborers who have been adequately trained in their use.
Moreover, construction workers should only be asked to operate a power tool under controlled conditions, should be provided with appropriate safety gear such as goggles and gloves, and should always be properly supervised. Construction site managers face potential liability for their negligence if they expose their employees to unnecessary danger due to or in the presence of power tools.
Manufacturers and retailers, by contrast, are held legally responsible when a power tool malfunctions or is sold without sufficient safety mechanisms. To prevail on a product liability case, a plaintiff must establish that the manufacturer or retailer violated their duty to make and sell a safe product, fully functional and free of defects. Moreover, an injured party must establish a direct link between a defendant’s negligence, the faulty or defective power tool and the injury sustained.
Benefit of A Lawyer
Most construction workers understand the unique dangers posed by their profession, yet many do not realize they are entitled to an expectation of safety in the workplace. Power tools must be properly maintained and monitored, and should never be used by untrained personnel. If you or a loved one have been injured by a power tool while working in the construction industry, you may be entitled to compensation including actual and enhanced damages, lost wages and more.