For over 50 years, The Beasley Firm has fought to ensure workers injured or killed by negligence on-the-job at construction worksites received full and fair compensation for the physical, emotional and financial injuries they suffered. The construction accident lawyers at The Beasley Firm have experience in every aspect of construction accident investigation and litigation, from OSHA regulation, to falls prevention (such as scaffolding best practices), to aerial lift product liability, to electrical safety measures like lockout and tagging, to on-the-job motor vehicle concerns, to preventing forklift and loader collisions and roll-overs.
Since 1958, we have obtained over $2 billion in settlements and jury verdicts for our clients. Let us put our experience and resources to work for you.
“Safety Third” — The Underlying Cause Of Wrongful Deaths At Construction Sites
Last year, there were nearly five-thousand fatal work injuries in the United States and tens of thousands of catastrophic construction site injuries.
You know the saying: “Safety First.” The reality is unfortunately closer to what Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs said: “Safety Third.” We understand the mentality of the construction worksite. It’s rarely “safety first” — for the workers, it’s usually “we have a job to do,” and for the company it’s “how can we get this done more quickly and cheaply?” The “get the job done” mentality can build buildings and ensure everybody goes home safely at the end of the day, so as long as safety is always the priority when speed and costs are considered. If the mentality was “we have a job to do, but let’s make sure it’s done safely,” there would be far fewer injuries, far fewer workers disabled or killed.
Construction sites are strictly regulated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Usually, when a worker is fatally injured, it is because the worker’s employer or another contractor on the site failed to follow OSHA guidelines, like in the OSHA Construction Resource Manual. For example:
- Fall injuries are preventable but common: Despite detailed OSHA regulations and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) guidelines relating to fall prevention — including specifics on how to erect scaffolding, how to place ladders, and how to operate aerial lifts — falls from a height are the #1 cause of work-related construction deaths. In our experience, many construction companies and forepersons don’t understand that the strict OSHA requirements regarding proactive fall prevention like harnesses and guardrails start at six feet, not ten, or twenty, or thirty, or anything higher. A six foot fall can kill or cripple, and workers are entitled to the same protections at six feet as they would get at sixty feet.
- Electrical safety is unambiguous: OSHA requires that all electric equipment must be approved by an OSHA accepted laboratory or agency, that electric equipment operating at more than 50 volts must be guarded from contact by an approved enclosure or by other approved means, and that employers must provide either ground-fault circuit interrupters or an assured equipment grounding conductor program, and yet violations of all three happen every day in construction sites across Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. Many contractors don’t even take basic steps like ensuring extension cords are flexible, will give slack, and aren’t frayed, resulting in thousands of electric shock and electrocution injuries every year.
- Excavation and trenches must always be done carefully: OSHA requires the estimated location of utility installations (like underground sewer, fuel, electric, and gas lines) shall be determined prior to opening an excavation, and that the exact location must be found as the work approaches, many companies start digging and then try to figure out the location as they do.
The Relationship Between Workers’ Compensations And Negligence By Other Contractors And Companies On-Site
All construction workers in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware are or should be covered by workers’ compensation insurance purchased by their employer. Workers’ compensation is supposed to ensure employees are compensated for the full extent of their financial losses, but, even after months of difficult litigation to prove the full extent of medical bills and lost wages, it rarely does.
Workers, however, usually can’t sue their employer if they received any workers’ compensation. That’s why we investigate every single construction case to find other companies and insurers that are responsible for the accident, like negligent subcontractors or third-parties or the manufacturers or defective products used in the workplace. Electric shock and electrocution incidents, for example, are often caused by an electrician working for a different company failing to properly ground high voltage power lines, and so that electrician’s employer is liable to the injured worker even if the injured worker has received workers’ compensation. Similarly, many commonplace construction tools and machines, like aerial lifts, scissor lifts, forklifts and machine presses, are designed improperly or lack proper safety precautions, and so contribute to construction workers’ injuries.
Even “Minor” Injuries Can Be Disabling And Career-Threatening For Construction Workers
Construction work is hard, taking long hours and requiring physical fitness, endurance and dexterity. Thus, it doesn’t take a paralyzing injury to render a construction worker partly or completely disabled from working: even a “minor” injury like a broken ankle or wrist can keep a construction worker from working, and thus from bring money home for their families.
We understand that, and we work with the best therapists, care planners, and economic experts to present your full losses to the jury, to stop the insurance company from claiming that you can work, from trivializing your injuries, and from denying you full compensation.
Leaders in Injury and Accident Litigation Across Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware
For over 50 years we have been at the forefront of Philadelphia’s legal community, obtaining record-setting compensation for serious injured clients and for the families of wrongful death survivors. We have fought for the rights of those who have suffered financial, emotion and physical injuries, ranging from a sitting United States Senator to blue-collar workers. When we see an injustice, we fight tirelessly to fix it. In the past few years, we’ve represented, for example, a sitting judge in his suit against the Commonwealth and multiple former Assistant District Attorneys bringing claims against major media companies and government entities that tried to influence elections. A year ago, when a major medical clinic in Philadelphia saw that competitors were disparaging it online, it turned to The Beasley Firm — even though The Beasley Firm had recently sued that same clinic for medical malpractice. When they needed results, they knew where to turn.
Our attorneys obtained the first-ever million dollar verdict in Pennsylvania, and we’ve never stopped building on that record. Our law firm has obtained over 300 verdicts or settlements that were a million dollars or more, totaling over two billion dollars awarded to our injured clients.