Housing is back! This wonderful development is all over the news, and the uptick in construction jobs is a boon for many struggling communities. Before the Great Recession, housing was responsible for a large percentage of jobs in many towns across the country, and when housing cratered it took those jobs with it. Many areas of the country were economically devastated by the housing crash.
There are definite benefits to a strong housing market, but there are negatives as well. During the bubble, thousands of new contractors hung out their shingles, and not all of them were on the up-and-up. Many were willing to cut corners to offer a lower bid, and cutting corners is never a good thing.
We don’t know if any corners were cut at the housing development in Idaho where one worker was killed and three more were injured on November 8th. We do know that a wall collapsed in a development of townhouses, and that three workers were trapped by the debris. We do know that walls built to code rarely collapse.
OSHA will investigate, and hopefully they won’t find any of the common problems that plagued so many worksites during the bubble. These problems included:
- Workers being threatened with firing if they didn’t work faster, leading to unsafe work practices as construction workers were assured they were easily replaceable
- Foundations not being properly reinforced with rebar to cut costs, leading to collapses
- Unlicensed, untrained workers performing some tasks to cut costs
- Subpar building materials being used to increase profit
Construction is a dangerous job, no matter how many precautions are followed. When protocol isn’t followed, a housing development can quickly become a death-trap. If you or a loved one has been injured on the job, don’t be afraid to come forward and report unsafe conditions. If you aren’t sure how to do so, please contact a qualified attorney who can help you take the right steps.