Working in construction is one of the most potentially dangerous vocations in America. Many projects are run without due diligence on health and safety matters, for example, and even the best-managed sites have accidents happen. In either case, a harmful situation can result in a civil suit brought against an employer by an incapacitated worker.
Civil suits built on construction site liability most often arise from poor, yet preventable conditions that could have been avoided had a project manager or higher-up paid closer attention to the risks. This article will cover the types of accidents and hazardous situations that can arise without having video surveillance on your side, plus spotlight how these state-of-the-art solutions can keep projects moving smoothly while reducing employer liability.
The basics of being hit with a civil suit
This term “civil suit” is just a longer way of saying you’re being sued. Someone believes you’re responsible for harm that’s come to them, and they want you to pay for it. Here are a few facts to keep in mind:
- It doesn’t matter whether the harm was deliberate or accidental. You could still be held liable under the suit to make financial reparations to the person or persons affected.
- Losing a civil suit won’t land you in jail, but it can cost a serious amount of money. Putting an exact number on this is difficult since every case is different. What can be defined is that a construction worker’s civil suit has the potential to cost an employer in four different (and potentially very expensive) ways.
- The company may be found liable for all medical expenses associated with treating the injury. They could also be financially liable for the pain and suffering (physical, mental, and emotional) which stems from the event.
- Then there’s the chance that the wages lost while the worker recuperates will also have to be paid out of their employer’s pocket, as might any lost future income.
A worst-case scenario where a worker dies could mean paying for a wrongful death suit brought by the surviving dependents. Any hope of avoiding or beating a civil suit based on construction site liability rests on three things: creating a secure site, establishing a robust compensation and insurance model, and sufficiently verifying the legitimacy of a claim.
How basic site security, worker’s compensation, and insurance help
Companies offering worker’s compensation are protected in most cases from financial liability because these policies typically cover expenses like medical bills and lost income. It’s not a safety net, however, because a civil suit is still possible if site security is negligent. Here are some terms to know:
- Premises liability – Failure to properly secure a worksite makes employers guilty on the grounds of premises liability, a dereliction of their duty to keep dangers in the area under control. These dangers can come from equipment or materials vandalized by intruders entering through a weak security perimeter. They may also be posed by improper labeling of risk zones or lax fire safety standards.
- Builders risk insurance – Taking out builders risk insurance is a smart idea (as is understanding its limitations). It can help cover the cost of damaged materials and/or equipment which should be fixed immediately. Compromised equipment can hurt workers who may successfully sue employers as the cause.
- Workers compensation fraud – Worker’s comp fraud is rife on construction sites. An employer could be duped into paying thousands of dollars in claims by unscrupulous workers in a “your word against theirs” scenario.
- Insurance fraud – Page 7 of Maryland’s guide to avoiding insurance fraud highlights how these scams can stem from staged slip and fall accidents or claiming an injury occurred at work when it happened elsewhere. Lack of witnesses makes it much easier for scammers to say the accident occurred in an unobserved section of the site, after all.
Even if these fraudsters lose, they can still drain company funds by dragging everyone through expensive litigation. This makes equipment yard security a priority. Site managers must remember that even an airtight security profile won’t protect them from their own workforce who may start a civil suit over a fabricated event. You can stop things going that far by investing in video surveillance.
How video surveillance strengthens legal and onsite defenses
High-quality cameras provide unbiased evidence that courts and insurance companies love. Courts like it because it can help support an employer’s case and insurers can use it to make sure they don’t have to unjustly hike your premiums over a false claim.
Video footage can also help defend employers when an injury is legitimate, but a claim of company responsibility is not. Surveillance can greatly reduce construction site liability, too. This is because it provides:
- 24/7 scanning – Multi-camera units operate around the clock delivering 8 to 12 fields of view. This helps eliminate blind spots that breed fake claims. Experienced surveillance agents monitor feeds in-person during the critical hours of 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. to look for anything suspicious.
- Weekend and holiday coverage – Having these off-periods monitored can be a great idea because vandals never take holidays.
- Thermal vision – Your system should have cameras that are designed to notice temperature shifts as slight as 0.5 degrees. A surveillance team can then notify fire responders if necessary, protecting workers and materials from combustible harm. Thermal is also a powerful option providing long-range intrusion detection (up to 1,200 feet) to deal with vandals and intruders.
Video surveillance can save employers a fortune in civil suits and at a fraction of the cost of physical security guards. Ghis can help prevent slips, falls, burns, and more before they happen and shut down claim scams.
Contact Mobile Video Guard’s experts with any questions
Adding this peace of mind to your site starts with talking to the professionals. Mobile Video Guard can work with you to create a site-specific plan that fits your project’s needs and your company’s budget. Contact our expert staff to learn more about getting the best video surveillance when and where you need it without the burden of long-term contracts.