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When a Structure Under Construction Collapses

Posted on January 08, 2020
When a Structure Under Construction Collapses

Structures under construction may be unstable and can pose a risk of sudden failure that can injure or kill individuals working within the building. When structures collapse, they can cause serious, life-threatening injuries to construction workers in Nevada and anyone unfortunate enough to find themselves caught beneath the debris. 

Structure Failures During Construction

Recently, a structure collapse at the New Orleans Hard Rock Hotel claimed several lives and injured at least 30 people. The building crashed to the ground for unknown reasons. Complete building collapses are rare and partial collapses where patios, decks, or single floors fail are more common.

When a failure occurs, it is necessary to thoroughly inspect the building to ensure that the deficiency doesn’t run throughout the structure. In many cases, problems are discovered that require the complete demolition of the structure. Sadly, this often happens only after a construction worker, contractor, or building inspector suffers crushing injuries, traumatic brain injuries, or is killed.       

Causes of Structural Failure

Buildings under construction can collapse for any number of reasons. Poorly poured foundations can result in a foundation failure. Poor design can cause the building to fail under load. The use of improper construction techniques, or the use of substandard materials can also result in a structural failure. In many instances, structures fail because workers rushed to meet deadlines skip steps and cut corners to complete buildings on schedule. 

Any of these factors can combine to make the building unsafe. When a building fails, a thorough investigation is the only way to determine the precise causes that contributed to the collapse. What investigations often discover is that one negligent action ignites a chain reaction of events and decisions that make a structural failure inevitable.   

Liability for Structural Collapses

When a building under construction fails and causes injury or death, a number of parties may be liable. These include the architects or engineers that designed the building or the foreman supervising construction. It can include the material manufacturer whose products did not perform as marketed or the building inspector who failed to identify code violations that contributed to making the structure unsafe.