When Can Your Construction Site Be Liable for Third-Party Claims?

Liability insurance for construction workers is a necessity, especially when it comes down to third-party claims. Third-party claims happen when someone else is involved in a construction accident besides the worker and the management. While workers’ compensation generally covers the event of an accident (workers’ compensation today covers 140 million working Americans), sometimes it might not cover everything. Having extra coverage is important, especially for an employee trying to get back on their feet. While not every accident constitutes this type of claim, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Make sure you know for sure what’s going on as a business owner in construction.

But what constitutes the involvement of a third party that was fully or partially at-fault for your employee’s accident? It’s important to know what’s grounds for a third-party claim and when your construction site can be held liable. This is third-party claims and when your construction site needs to worry about them.

Who is Responsible?

It’s the job of a few people to keep employees safe on a construction site. There’s a janitorial crew, a ladder manufacturer and drivers. For the general daily process, there’s several companies or entities involved in day-to-day operations, planning and execution of various aspects of a construction project. Some third-party construction accident claims where your site could be held liable include:

  • Slips and falls
  • Falls from heights
  • Falling ceilings
  • Collapsing structures
  • Asbestos and other toxic poisoning
  • Defective hand railings or crumbling stairs
  • Improper lighting
  • Electrical wiring hazards
  • Auto accidents
  • Chemical burns and other exposure
  • Machine guarding
  • Etc.

The Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration (OSHA) has policies in place that are meant to protect your workers. But when all things fail and it falls onto a third party, it’s important to be aware of how these types of claims work. For example, if there’s a slip and fall accident caused by the janitorial crew company, then there could be a third-party claim leveraged against them. Other examples include if there’s defective equipment, which would fall on whoever made it. If you’re a subcontractor on the job site and your general contractor creates a hazard that leads to your injury, then the general contractor would be held liable for it.

Who Else Can Be Held Liable?

Some other common third parties on construction sites that can be held liable include:

  • Owner(s) of the construction site
  • Contractors and subcontractors
  • Engineers and architects
  • Equipment manufacturers

Liability insurance for construction workers is a given in this industry. But on top of that, it’s good to be prepared for any type of claim. Make sure your business is prepared for a third-party claim. You’ll never know when it’s going to happen.

About ISU / The Olson Duncan Agency

At ISU – The Olson Duncan Agency, our goal is to provide clients with a total solution, not just a quote or a contract. We provide businesses and individuals with insurance and risk management solutions, and we aim to provide real value and build trustworthy, long-term relationships with our clients. To learn more about our services, give us a call today at (310) 373-6441 to speak with one of our professionals.

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