Elevator Accidents

Tennessee Construction Injury Law: Elevator Accidents

elevator accidents concept elevator mechanism of lift

The majority of construction sites in the U.S. necessitate the use of elevator hoists when working on floors of great height. Unfortunately, though, construction elevators are all too often not built with the same attention to safety as other elevators. At InjuryTN, we understand that most cases involve such heavy machinery not receiving the duty of care they’re owed in order to maintain a safe work environment throughout the entirety of a project. Similarly, other safety equipment like guard-railing and personal protective gear are often installed and used improperly.

Take into consideration a recent fatal elevator accident on a Nashville hospital construction site, where a 26-year-old Nashville Machine Elevators worker suffered fatal injury when he was stricken from the 10th floor by the elevator’s pulley system. Accidents such as this remind us just how important it is to strictly adhere to all rules and regulations set forth by governing bodies like the Occupational Safety & Health Administration. And while elevator accidents like this may not always be fatal, they are still all too common.

The employer in such situations typically cannot be held accountable for the accident, even if they have exhibited negligence in the past. This may be due, in part, to exclusive remedy provisions commonly held in workers’ compensation insurance policies. But with the help of an experienced personal injury attorney, third-party litigation can be pursued against contractors, subcontractors, and others in supervisory roles.

Construction Site Elevator Injuries

Reports from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics have shown that the use of elevators and escalators on construction sites bring about tens of thousands of severe injuries and nearly 30 fatalities annually. Up to 90% of such fatalities and over 50% of all severe injuries can be attributed to elevators. What’s more, nearly half of all yearly fatalities occur on or around elevators, this includes the installation, repair, and maintenance of elevator shafts. Some other possible causes may include accidents where construction workers on-site get caught between two of an elevator’s moving parts, are struck by an elevator or its counterweights, or are present when an elevator collapses.

Injuries also have the potential to be caused by workers getting stuck in between doors, asphyxiation, electrical shock, and even electrocution. On average, the Bureau reported installers and repairers of elevator systems had a fatality rate exceeding 29 deaths per 100,000 workers. This exceeds the fatality rate for all construction workers twofold. The most common types of injuries caused by elevator accidents in Tennessee includes the following:

  • Traumatic Brain Injuries
  • Broken or Fractured Bones
  • Facial Injury
  • Neck injury
  • Back and spinal cord injuries
  • Nerve Damage
  • Internal injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Fatality

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Dangers of Construction Elevator Shafts

An elevator shafts is essentially just a giant hole on a construction site, which places workers in danger of a serious fall. The majority of such falls often involve laborers who are performing construction, repair, or maintenance on the elevator, but an unattended elevator shaft which does not have the appropriate guard railing poses a serious threat to other workers on the site as well.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) routinely performs investigations into work-related fatalities under its Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) program. Recently, reports have shown that of all work-related elevator fatalities:

  • More than half involved falls into elevator shafts, and almost half of them happening when constructing or performing maintenance;
  • Almost 20% involved individuals being hit by elevator cars or their counterweights;
  • Nearly 10% of all deaths involved an elevator collapsing with a worker still inside or on the platform;
  • 7% resulted from electrocutions;

Talk to a Construction Elevator Accident Lawyer Today

Construction companies and their supervisors bear the responsibility of making sure everyone performing work on or around elevators are adequately equipped and trained for the job, and that appropriate safety systems are in place to help prevent accidents. In the event that a company has failed to safeguard their employees, our accomplished and committed team of Tennessee personal injury lawyers is ready to fight for fair compensation of those injured. Contact our office to schedule your free and confidential case evaluation with one of our experienced construction accident attorneys today. You pay no costs or fees until we win your case.

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