Elevators help millions of people to get to where they want to go without having to walk hundreds of steps. It is estimated that there are 900,000 elevators operating every day in the United States.
While most people use elevators for the purpose of getting to their office, for some workers, elevators are their very job. They are responsible for the installation and maintenance of elevators. Additionally, construction workers commonly use elevators on construction sites in order to get from one site to another within a building being built. And while most people are able to use elevators frequently without incident, accidents do still occasionally occur and can result in rather serious injuries – some even fatal.
Those most at risk for elevator accident injuries are unsurprisingly roofers, construction workers, electrical power installers, and iron workers.
The Fatal Four
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the most common types of fatal injuries in the construction industry are falls, caught in/between, struck-by accidents, and electrocution. They refer to these at the “Fatal Four” types of construction accidents. It is important to recognize that any of these four types of injuries can easily occur when workers are installing or repairing an elevator:
- Falls can occur when there is a lack of signage that an elevator shaft is open and exposed, or when a platform gives way.
- Caught in/between accidents can occur when an individual is trapped between the elevator carriage and the shaft wall or between the elevator doors.
- Struck-by accidents can occur when the elevator cable fails and thereby crushes workers underneath the carriage.
- Electrocution can occur when wires in or around the elevator malfunction. This can also result in shock injuries and severe burns.
Because there can be many different causes of an accident, each situation is individual as to who is subject to liability. Negligence can not only be attributed to the building or property owner, but also to the repair company, manufacturer, or contractor or sub-contractor of a building site.
No Authority to Uniformly Regulate
The issue however is that the Consumer Product Safety Commission lacks the authority to regulate elevators or elevator parts. Therefore, elevators are not subject to federal accident inspection and recalls as are other products. There have been certain elevator brands that have had known defects and that have already been met with claims from injured plaintiffs.
Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. Help Those Injured in Construction Accidents
If you or a loved one has been injured on the job, it can have a profound impact on you not only physically, but also emotionally and financially as well. At Freedman & Lorry, P.C., we will work to help you obtain workers’ compensation benefits so that you have the means to get through during this difficult time – however long it should last. For a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 888-999-1962 today. Our experienced workers’ compensation lawyers in Philadelphia assist clients throughout Pennsylvania, including the areas of Delaware County. We also have offices in Cherry Hill, New Jersey to assist clients in South Jersey and in Pinehurst, North Carolina, to assist our clients to the south.