901 West Peachtree St., at the corner of 8th and West Peachtree St. in Midtown Atlanta, is the site of a 31-story office tower being developed by Cousins Properties. The new tower will be blade-shaped and house 470,000 square feet of offices along with some retail shops at the base. The tower would be situated a block away from Technology Square and NCR’s global headquarters, and just a two-minute walk from the Midtown MARTA station.
The project has been initially named 8th and West Peachtree, and developers originally hoped to have it completed and opened up by the spring of 2021. However, construction has slowed down considerably recently, even prior to the COVID-19 outbreak. Georgia was among the first states to reopen for business after the lockdowns, and as we head into summer, work on the project could get back to full speed. Still, the original target for completion is probably no longer realistic, and there is a good chance it will be moved back to around the end of 2021 or even sometime into 2022.
Construction Accident Risks at the 901 West Peachtree Street Project
The 8th@West Peachtree Street development is one of several ongoing construction projects in Midtown Atlanta. And as Georgia and the rest of the country recovers from the economic fallout produced by widespread business closures and job losses, this and other projects will bring thousands of much-needed jobs to the Atlanta area.
There are many moving parts on a construction site, and there will be a great need for construction laborers, plumbers, electricians, iron and steel workers, engineers, architects, and various other types of contractors and subcontractors. And once the project is complete, several permanent jobs will be created by the new offices and retail space. That said, there is likely to be a large trend toward telecommuting in the wake of COVID-19, and it remains to be seen what effect that will have on demand for office space in Midtown Atlanta.
Those working on the construction project at 901 West Peachtree run a much higher than average risk of getting injured on the job. Construction is among the most dangerous occupations, and workers are regularly exposed to numerous hazards.
Working with heavy machinery, equipment, and materials in a fast-paced environment and often at high elevations requires those in charge to make safety their number one priority. A lot can go wrong if proper safety protocols are not followed, and workers can end up with severe and catastrophic injuries as a result.
More than 5,000 American workers are killed on the job each year, and approximately one out of every five fatalities happen in the construction industry. According to OSHA, there are four common instruction site accidents that account for roughly 60% of industry-related deaths. These are:
- Slips, Trips, and Falls: Falls account for about one-third of all construction-related fatalities. Working in higher elevations and often on slippery and unstable services make workers more susceptible to this type of injury.
- Being Struck By/Struck Against Events: Being struck by an object or struck against a hard surface is the second leading cause of death on construction sites. When proper safety measures are not taken while working with heavy materials, a construction worker can end up getting the fatally struck.
- Electrocutions: Electrical injuries are the third leading cause of death on construction sites. As a building is being constructed, electrical work is usually being done simultaneously. Again, lack of proper safety protocols can produce an electrical shock, causing severe and sometimes fatal injuries to workers.
- Being Caught In-Between/Crush Injuries: The fourth leading cause of death on construction sites is being crushed after getting caught in between in an enclosed area. Sometimes, these types of injuries are caused by faulty machinery. At other times, they are due to carelessness.
Construction Site Accident Claims in Atlanta
When someone gets injured on the job, they will usually file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. This is not available to everyone who works at a construction site, but even when it is, benefits are very limited, and it is not as easy as it should be to collect on them. If you are able to get workers’ comp, you may get covered for medical bills and a percentage of lost wages, but there is nothing available for intangible losses such as pain-and-suffering, psychological distress, and loss of enjoyment.
The good news is that, in many cases, there are other legal options for workers who get injured in a construction site accident. Although in most cases you will not be able to file a personal injury lawsuit directly against your employer, there is a chance that a party other than your employer played a role in causing your injury.
Typically, there are numerous factors that contribute to construction site accidents, and oftentimes, there are multiple responsible parties. Some parties that could be at fault for a construction accident include:
- Contractors/Subcontractors: As we talked about earlier, there are several contractors and subcontractors that work alongside employees of a construction company at the jobsite. If one of them causes an accident with injuries, they can be held responsible. By the same token, if an independent contractor is injured by a company employee, they may be able to hold the construction company and/or the employee responsible.
- Vehicle Drivers: According to OSHA, highway collisions are another common cause of construction-related deaths. On a large construction site like the 8th and West Peachtree project, materials are continually being transported into and out of the jobsite. This exposes numerous workers to the risk of a vehicle accident, and if another driver is responsible, the injured construction worker can file a claim directly against the at-fault driver.
- Product Manufacturers: Some construction site accidents are caused by defective or dangerous equipment or machinery that malfunctions during the course of regular use. When this happens, the injured worker may be able to file a product liability claim against the manufacturer, supplier, or distributor of the faulty product.
Injured in a Construction Site Accident in Atlanta? Contact Bailey, Javins, & Carter, L.C. for Assistance
If you or a loved one suffered injury while working on the Cousins 8th and West Peachtree project or any other construction site in Fulton County, Bailey, Javins & Carter, L.C. is here to help. For over 40 years, we have successfully stood up for injured workers against organizations in some of the most powerful industries, and we are ready to go to work for you.
Our consultations are free, and we can conduct them remotely in accordance with the current social distancing guidelines. And if we determine that you have a case, we will not charge any attorney fees unless we recover compensation on your behalf. For your free consultation and case assessment, message us online or call our Atlanta office today at (678) 981-5370. We look forward to serving you!