I visited a shipyard yesterday to view a lift machine involved in a client’s severe injury. As is always the case on a site visit to a place of heavy construction or machinery, I noticed the many ways a worker could be hurt or killed in an instant. In the shipyard, cranes hoisted muti-ton parts high above. Pipes heavy enough to crush were being rolled into place in an area where workers crisscrossed to perform their various jobs. Saws buzzed, power hammers pounded, and welders blazed away. Construction injuries and deaths are inevitable – they are a job risk and happen every day. All the more reason why employers who cut corners, ignore known safety principles or knowingly put their workers at unnecessary risk, need to be hit hard, with civil damages in tort cases, and criminal sanctions in cases of reckless disregard for worker safety.
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