Atlanta’s Midtown district is in the midst of one of the largest construction booms in years. Last year, nine major development projects were completed, and there are numerous projects that are currently under construction. There are also several proposed projects in the pipeline, many of which will be underway by the end of this year. One of the largest of these projects has been dubbed “Midtown Union”.
Construction began on Midtown Union in October of 2019, and it is projected to open sometime in 2022. This block-swallowing mixed-use development project is situated at the corner of Midtown’s 17th St. and Spring Street.
Midtown Union is slated to deliver a 26-story tower containing more than 600,000 square feet of office space, an 18-story residential building with 355 apartments situated atop eight levels of parking, a 12-story hotel, and 30,000 square feet of retail space. In total, this colossal multi-tower development will encompass approximately 1.3 million square feet.
The development is also expected to feature a “pedestrian friendly extension” of Arts Center Way, which will be a small corridor door that runs between the Arts Center MARTA Station and the High Museum of Art. This will be an environmentally friendly tree line passage that connects Spring Street with West Peachtree St.
Workplace Hazards in Midtown, Atlanta Construction Sites
Midtown Union is an impressive development that will bring great economic benefit to the city of Atlanta. Just the building of the development alone will require countless man-hours and create thousands of jobs for construction workers, engineers, architects, and others that are involved. But all of this comes at a potential cost.
Various types of construction-related trades take up several slots on USA Today’s list of the top 25 most dangerous jobs in America. Those who work on major development projects put in long hours, often compiling lots of overtime. They are also required to do heavy labor while working with heavy machinery and while frequently working in highly elevated areas. Add to this uncomfortable weather conditions, especially when we get into the hot and humid Atlanta summer days.
The inherently hazardous conditions on construction job sites make it all the more important for development companies to follow government safety regulations and take the steps necessary to ensure that their workers stay safe. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. Midtown Union and other Atlanta projects have deadlines to meet, and they want to open up on time in order to start recouping their investment.
Even if a construction worker’s employer follows all of the best practices for workplace safety, workers are still at risk of injuries and fatalities because of the actions of others. For example, a severe injury can happen when a subcontractor working nearby is careless with their tools or machinery. An injury could also happen because of poor design (causing an area of the structure to collapse, for instance) or because of a defective piece of machinery that malfunctions at the wrong time.
Types of Construction Site Accidents in Midtown, Atlanta
According to OSHA, approximately 21% of all workplace fatalities occur in construction. OSHA also points out that nearly 60% of construction worker deaths happened because of what they call the “Fatal Four”. These are:
- Falls: As mentioned previously, those on construction sites often work in highly elevated areas, making them more susceptible to slips and falls that can cause serious injuries.
- Being Struck By/Struck Against: With tools and heavy machinery being used in a fast-paced environment, workers often get hit by hard objects or get thrown into hard surfaces.
- Electrocutions: Projects like the Midtown Union require miles of electrical wiring to be done as the structures are being built. If safety procedures are not properly followed, an accident can result in a worker suffering an electrical injury.
- Being Caught In-Between: Working in compact and enclosed areas increases the risk of getting trapped in one of these areas, resulting in crush injuries that can cause fractures and amputations/loss of limbs.
OSHA says that eliminating these four hazardous events could save the lives of nearly 600 construction workers each year.
Who is Liable for an Atlanta Construction Site Accident?
If a workplace injury were to occur at the Midtown Union development or at another Fulton County construction site, the injured worker may be eligible for benefits through their employer’s workers’ compensation policy. However, workers’ comp only provides limited benefits, and it does not allow for the recovery of certain noneconomic losses such as pain and suffering and emotional distress.
That said, construction site accident cases can be extremely complex, and there are multiple parties that could bear some responsibility for injuries that may result from them. Some of the parties that may be liable for a workplace accident include:
- Architects and engineers that contribute to a faulty design;
- General contractors that do not follow proper safety procedures;
- Subcontractors (such as electricians or structural iron and steel contractors) whose negligence contributes to a construction site accident;
- Drivers of other vehicles that cause accidents involving construction workers;
- Designers, manufacturers, suppliers, and distributors of defective or dangerous tools, equipment, or machinery.
When someone is injured on the job at a construction site, a thorough investigation is required to uncover all of the factors that contributed to the accident and identify the potential parties that may have played a role. For this reason, it is extremely important to work with attorneys who have extensive experience with these types of cases and the proven ability to recover maximum compensation from all those who are liable.
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 a development project in Atlanta or anywhere in Fulton County, Bailey, Javins & Carter, L.C. is here to help. Our lawyers have been standing up for working people for over four decades, and we have the experience, knowledge, resources, and commitment to fight for every dollar of compensation you are entitled to. To schedule a free consultation with a member of our legal team, message us online or call our Atlanta office today at (678) 981-5370. We look forward to serving you!