- Attorney Doug Horn, a Kansas City-based lawyer who handles catastrophic workplace injury cases, spoke last week at Missouri Common Ground Alliance’s Safety Summit in Springfield, Missouri.
- Horn’s presentation focused on the properly identifying dangerous conditions at construction sites and recommendations for accident prevention strategies.
With over 30 years of handling serious injury cases that arising from work-related accidents, Attorney Doug Horn is using his legal experience to help advance safety to help reduce the number of catastrophic injuries that result from construction-related accidents.
In addressing construction foreman and supervisors at the yearly Safety Summit, the emphasis of Horn’s presentation was to bring awareness to the 3 major forces at work in creating dangerous conditions and hazards on the job site.
From his vantage point as a lawyer who has investigated numerous work, industrial, and construction accidents, Horn indicated that working with a “false sense of security” may be the most prominent force in causing serious injuries in construction projects.
“Because construction is demanding work, it is easy to become complacent, especially if the work becomes repetitive or routine. This “false sense of security” causes us to speed up our work. Working fast often means we don’t pay attention to the details. This puts safety at risk, Horn said.
Horn pointed out other forces, including financial pressures and fatigue, also play a factor in causing catastrophic injuries.
The second half of Horn’s presentation was largely devoted to the importance of conducting daily job site inspections. In this regard, Horn advocated an approach to daily job site management that puts a premium on anticipating dangerous conditions and hazards.
“The reality is that construction projects are always going to have a certain amount of complexity that surrounds them. Additionally, there are a lot of “moving parts” on any given project. By that I mean movement of materials, equipment, and workforces. Good job site management means we should always be on the lookout for hazards. The bottom line is that daily inspections are worth their weight in gold in protecting work crews.”
Horn dedicated his presentation to a former client, an electrical contractor who suffered a severe brain injury when the lift he was using collapsed while he was engaged in electrical work near the ceiling of a warehouse facility. As a result of the fall, the man is highly disabled and is confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life.
Horn said the accident could have been avoided had the lift been properly inspected before use.