Road Construction Worker Injured in Delaware County Accident

A tragic construction accident in Delaware County resulted in one fatality. 

The accident occurred near Ridley Park Middle School in the 400 block of Free Street around 9:30 a.m. on September 16, 2020. A construction worker was struck and killed by a road roller. The victim had not been identified at the time of the news story.

The construction project was contracted through the Ridley Park Borough, according to the Ridley Park Police Chief. The Ridley School District stated that the project did not involve the school. The borough contracted the project for paving and sidewalks. 

What is a Construction Road Roller?

A road roller is a common machine on many construction sites. There are several different types of road rollers used on construction sites. Rollers are generally used to compact gravel, asphalt, soil, and concrete. 

Rollers could crush an individual. It could also catch a person’s arm or leg in the roller causing severe damage, including amputations. As with any heavy construction equipment, a great deal of skill and care must be maintained to avoid construction accidents.

Common Causes of Construction Accidents 

Being struck by objects and being compressed or caught in-between objects are two of the top four causes of death from construction accidents. Falls and electrocutions are the other two leading causes of deaths on construction sites. During 2018, one in five work-related deaths were in the construction industry.

Working on a construction site is dangerous. Heavy machinery, working at great heights, high-voltage, and toxic chemicals are just a few of the hazards construction workers face. Depending on the construction site, the workers may also have to deal with speeding and reckless drivers, crane operators, and various sub-contractors.

Injuries from a construction accident can include:

Injuries on a construction site can also include repetitive stress injuries from lifting heavy objects each day. Illnesses from breathing toxic materials may also be the result of working on a construction site. 

Common causes of injuries and deaths on construction sites include:

  • Failure to follow safety protocols
  • Defective equipment and products
  • Tripping hazards from lack of maintenance and cleanup
  • Falling objects striking workers on the ground
  • Lack of fall protection for workers on elevated structures
  • Unsafe equipment from lack of maintenance and inspections
  • Failure to post warning signs, barriers, and guards
  • Unsafe property conditions
  • Lack of safety equipment, including personal safety equipment
  • Failing to follow safety protocols for working near power lines or other sources of electricity

Construction workers can reduce the risk of injuries by always wearing safety gear, such as hard hats, steel-toed boots, gloves, and eye protection. Employers can reduce the risk of injuries by conducting regular safety meetings, enforcing safety protocols, and conducting routine inspections of the worksite to identify hazards before accidents occur.

Who is Responsible for a Construction Site Accident?

Most injuries that occur on construction sites are covered by workers’ compensation insurance in Pennsylvania. Workers are generally not permitted to sue their employers when an injury is covered by workers’ compensation. However, there are exceptions.  

If an employer intentionally caused the injury of a worker, the worker may sue the employer. Also, in cases involving gross negligence, a worker could have the right to sue the employer for damages. 

Other parties could also be liable for injuries and accidents on construction sites. Manufacturers could be liable if a defective product caused the injury. Sub-contractors may be liable as well as property owners for unsafe premises

Why Should I Consider Filing a Third-Party Claim?

Filing a third-party claim against a liable party can result in more compensation for the injured construction worker. Workers’ compensation benefits do not fully compensate a worker for all damages caused by a workplace injury. For example, workers receive a portion of lost wages instead of full reimbursement for all loss of income after a construction accident.

Workers’ compensation does not compensate workers for pain and suffering caused by the injuries and the accident. It may not pay as much for permanent impairments as the worker would receive in a personal injury case. 

An injured worker has the right to consult with a personal injury attorney about a workers’ compensation claim and a third party claim. Because the damages caused by a construction accident can be substantial, it is generally in a worker’s best interest to explore all options for recovering compensation for a construction accident.