Trailer Unloading - Expert Investigates Construction Site Injury Expert Article

In this case a construction worker was knocked off a trailer and injured when he was assisting a co-worker unloading pipe from a flat bed trailer. Construction safety expert, Stephen Fournier, P.E. was retained to determine if the actions of any party associated with the pipeline construction project were unsafe or inappropriate in a manner that was a cause of the incident. He was also tasked with determining if actions in the case would satisfy the five requirements of a "Mandolidis" action.

Case Description

A construction worker was knocked off a trailer and injured when he was assisting a co-worker unloading pipe from a flat bed trailer.

The opposing expert opined that a dangerous condition existed and that the injured worker was intentionally exposed to that condition. After reviewing depositions, appropriate standards and regulations, and a report by the opposing expert, our expert was able to show that the incident was caused by an inadvertent and unintentional action of a backhoe operator that occurred without any notice.

There was no dangerous condition to which the worker was exposed. Our expert was able to show the incident was caused by the backhoe operator failing to stop the hoisting action when the slack had been removed from the load sling. Instead of just removing the slack, the load line was over-tensioned and the load was lifted prematurely before the worker could move out of the path of the load. The unexpected and premature load movement knocked the worker off the truck bed and injured him.

The case resolved favorably. The injured worker obtained a small settlement and the contractor avoided being saddled with an intentional tort action. The settlement was based upon the report prepared by our expert and his strong deposition.

The full redacted report is available in PDF format.

Featured Expert

Stephen E. Fournier, Civil Engineer & Construction Safety Expert

Stephen E. Fournier, P.E., NCEES

Civil Engineer & Construction Safety Expert
Steve has over 40 years experience involving all aspects of the construction field. He has performed in the roles of a construction inspector, superintendent and resident manager. He has worked as a… read more.

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