A pair of Portman Architects-designed towers along West Peachtree Street will house the headquarters of health insurance giant Anthem, the parent company of Blue Cross/Blue Shield. The first tower is expected to open in the first quarter of this year, and the second tower is projected to open in 2021.
The first tower is a 21-story development that will house approximately 3,000 technology workers, and Anthem will use the facilities to develop software products and mobile applications for its members and for healthcare providers.
Anthem hopes to attract high-caliber talent from Georgia Tech and gain access to the research capabilities of Atlanta’s top-flight technology centers. The city’s cost of living, quality workforce, and globally connected airport were other major factors in its decision to establish a major presence here.
The second Anthem tower, part of a trio of Portman-designed towers, is located at 712 West Peachtree Street. Construction of this tower has been ongoing, and when completed (sometime in 2021), it will house additional offices for the healthcare company. The Anthem Headquarters project is one of 22 recent large-scale development projects within a mile of Midtown Atlanta’s “Tech Square”, an area that has created or announced the creation of some 17,000 new jobs since 2015.
Anthem Headquarters Construction Site Injury Risks
In addition to the permanent jobs that are being created as the Anthem towers and nearby Midtown Atlanta developments are completed, there are thousands of construction workers and workers in related fields that are needed to bring these projects to fruition. These are also good paying jobs that help the local economy, but they also come with some costs.
Construction is among the most dangerous occupations, and workers in this industry are exposed to numerous hazards on a daily basis. Each year, more than 5,000 American workers are killed on the job, averaging out to more than 100 per week or about 14 deaths every day. And according to OSHA, more than one out of every five workplace fatalities happens in the construction industry.
Construction workers perform difficult tasks that most people would not be able or willing to do. They frequently work in high elevations with heavy machinery and equipment, and they work as part of a team in a fast-paced environment where there are a lot of moving parts.
Atlanta area construction workers are under additional pressure, because of the continual need for help with the numerous projects that are ongoing. This means putting in longer hours and logging lots of overtime. And when we get into the hot summer months, this work is often performed in very uncomfortable conditions, which can result in heat exhaustion on top of everything else.
Common Construction Accidents and Injuries in Atlanta
Construction industry employers have a responsibility to maintain a safe work environment. This means following all OSHA safety regulations and implementing other best safety practices to minimize the risk of a workplace accident.
OSHA conducts workplace inspections on a regular basis, and they have identified some of the most frequently violated safety standards during FY 2018 (the most recent year we have full records for). These are:
- Fall protection;
- Hazard communication;
- Ladders and scaffolding;
- Respiratory protection;
- Hazardous energy control;
- Powered industrial trucks;
- Machinery and machine guarding;
- Eye and face protection.
Mishaps on an Atlanta construction site can result in a wide range of accidents, including:
- Slips, trips and falls;
- Electrical accidents;
- Being struck by/struck against events;
- Being caught in between;
- Crane accidents;
- Fires and explosions;
- Trench and wall collapses;
- Exposure to toxic substances;
- Tool and machinery accidents;
- Transportation accidents.
In addition to workplace fatalities, there are numerous serious injuries that can result from a construction accident. These include:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI);
- Neck and back injuries;
- Spinal cord injuries;
- Fractures/broken bones;
- Amputations/loss of limbs;
- Severe burn injuries;
- Illness from toxic exposure;
These types of injuries take a major toll on both the worker and their families. When a construction worker gets hurt, this typically means a household is without at least one of their primary breadwinners. The tight finances and uncertainty about the future puts a lot of stress on everyone involved.
Liability for Atlanta Construction Site Injuries
If a worker is injured on the Anthem headquarters project or another Atlanta area construction site, they are usually eligible for workers’ compensation benefits from their employer, provided they have a direct employer and their employer has workers’ comp insurance. But workers’ compensation only provides limited benefits, and it does not allow for the recovery of certain significant losses, such as the physical pain and suffering the worker goes through, and the emotional distress that is suffered.
The one silver lining for injured construction site workers is that there is the potential to recover damages over and above workers’ comp benefits against a third party that may have contributed to the underlying accident or event that caused the injury.
There are a number of parties that could share responsibility for a workplace accident. These include:
- Construction project managers;
- General contractors;
- Structural iron and steel workers;
- Drivers of other vehicles who cause accidents;
- Property owners;
- Faulty product designers, manufacturers, or distributors.
Construction accident cases can be extremely complicated, and often times, there are multiple parties that could be held liable. An extensive investigation would be necessary to get to the bottom of what happened and identify all contributing factors.
This type of investigation should be performed as soon as possible after the accident, so that all important facts and pieces of evidence can be uncovered. For this reason, it is highly recommended that you get in touch with an experienced workplace accidents lawyer sooner rather than later, so your right to recover full and fair compensation can be preserved.
Injured in a Fulton County, GA Construction Site Accident? Contact the Seasoned Attorneys at Bailey, Javins, & Carter, L.C.
If you or someone close to you was hurt while working at the Anthem headquarters development or another Atlanta area construction site, you might not have to settle for the limited benefits that are available from workers’ comp. Depending on the specific circumstances around your accident, you may be able to recover damages against another responsible party.
At Bailey, Javins & Carter, L.C., we have in-depth experience successfully representing injured construction workers and all others who have suffered workplace injuries. We fully understand the complexities involved with these types of cases, and we will explore every potential legal avenue toward getting you the compensation you deserve. Call our Atlanta office today at (678) 981-5370 or message us online to schedule a free consultation with a member of our legal team.