Late last year, Emory University broke ground on its new cancer research facility, the Winship Cancer Institute. This 17-story, 455,000 square-foot tower will be part of Emory’s campus, situated at 550 Peachtree St., just across from Linden Ave. in Midtown Atlanta. The project is being partially funded by a $200 million grant from the Robert F. Woodruff Foundation.
The Winship Cancer Institute, also known as Winship at Emory Midtown, seeks to deliver cancer care built around the patient’s needs and comfort in a way that aligns with the facility’s innovative research initiatives, all in one convenient location. Emory is known for excellence in scientific research, and its healthcare is ranked among the best in all of Georgia.
The new facility will focus on patients with specific types of cancer and will include specialized infusion facilities, clinical examination rooms, clinical research, and support and rehabilitation services. Construction of the Winship Cancer Institute is expected to be completed by August 2023.
Workplace Safety Concerns on Winship Cancer Institute Construction Site
Atlanta city leaders and many local residents are very enthused about the Winship at Emory Midtown. This facility will help save many lives and preserve the quality of life of countless cancer patients, and it will give Georgia residents and those throughout the southeast region a close destination for which to receive top-notch cancer treatment.
There is certainly a lot to be excited about with the coming of the new Winship Cancer Institute. But at the same time, there are some major safety concerns.
In September, 7 construction workers were injured when the parking garage that is being constructed along with the Winship at Emory Midtown collapsed twice within the span of two days. The collapse of the 3,000 space parking garage is still under investigation by OSHA, but one thing that is certain is that the structure is seriously compromised, and this incident could cause some significant delays with the project.
Although a lot of new construction jobs have been created in order to build the Winship at Emory Midtown, the recent parking garage collapse has raised serious concerns about the safety of the workers going forward. The construction company involved in the project has been fined for OSHA violations twice in the past five years, including one incident involving the death of a worker on the Northside Midtown Medical Building construction project in 2017.
OSHA Construction Site Accident Statistics
Construction is an industry in which there are numerous workers performing dangerous tasks in a fast-paced environment and often at higher elevations. With so much going on and so many moving parts, a lot can go wrong, and it is critically important for those in charge to follow OSHA regulations as well as best safety practices.
According to OSHA, approximately one out of every five worker fatalities that happen in the private sector are construction-related. Of those, nearly 60% result from one of what OSHA calls the “fatal four”:
- Falls (33.5%)
- Struck by Objects (11.1%)
- Electrocutions (8.5%)
- Caught In-Between Events (5.5%)
Although these events account for the majority of fatalities, there are several other hazards that frequently occur on construction sites, including:
- Ladder and scaffolding accidents
- Forklift accidents
- Tool and machinery accidents
- Crane and hoist accidents
- Fires and explosions
- Elevator shaft accidents
- Exposure to toxic substances
- Repetitive stress injuries
- Transportation accidents
Liability for Midtown Atlanta Construction Site Accidents
Accidents that happen on construction sites often have multiple contributing factors. When an accident like this occurs, the first place the injured worker usually goes for compensation is their employer’s workers’ compensation policy. Workers’ comp is a no-fault system that is supposed to pay benefits to injured workers no matter who is at fault for the accident. That said, things do not always work out this way, and it is often more difficult to recover benefits than it should be.
Workers’ compensation provides benefits for necessary medical expenses, a percentage of lost earnings, and some benefits for permanent injuries. Workers’ comp does not cover noneconomic losses such as physical and emotional pain-and-suffering, and in exchange for being a no-fault system, employees are generally prohibited from filing a lawsuit directly against their employer.
If there is any potentially good news for injured construction workers, it is that a surprising number of construction site accidents are at least partially the fault of outside parties other than the employer. When a third party can be held responsible for a construction accident, it may be possible to file a personal injury claim to recover full damages.
There are several scenarios in which a third party could be liable for a Midtown Atlanta construction site accident, such as:
- A subcontractor working on the job site whose carelessness causes an employee to get injured.
- An architect or engineer whose faulty design results in a structural collapse (a possible cause in the Winship Cancer Institute parking garage collapse).
- The driver of another vehicle collides with a construction worker while they are transporting materials to or from the job site.
- A defective or dangerous product malfunctions and injures a worker.
Cases like these are extremely complicated, and it is very important to work with an attorney who has in-depth experience successfully pursuing construction site accident claims. A seasoned attorney will thoroughly understand the complexities of these types of cases and what factors to look for in order to ensure that all responsible parties are held fully accountable.
Injured in a Construction Site Accident in Midtown Atlanta? Contact Bailey, Javins & Carter, L.C. for Assistance
If you or someone close to you got hurt while working on the Winship Cancer Institute project or any other construction project in Fulton County, Bailey, Javins & Carter, L.C. is here to help. We have over four decades of experience standing up for working people, and we have a successful track record with even the most complex workplace injury cases.
We will provide a free consultation to thoroughly assess your case and explore all potential legal avenues toward recovering maximum compensation. And if we do end up representing you, you will not have to pay us attorney fees unless we win your case. To get started, message us online or call our Atlanta office today at 678-981-5370 to speak with a member of our legal team. We look forward to serving you!