Made in America: Construction Accidents

Every day in America, 13 people go to work and never come home. Every year in America, nearly four million people have suffered a workplace injury from which some may never recover. These are often preventable tragedies that disable our workers, devastate our families, and damage our economy.

Death comes in many ways to American workplaces. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, more than 4,600 people were killed at work in 2011, over 700 of them in the construction trade. Charged with developing standards to protect workers, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) identifies construction hazards and works to prevent jobsite injury.

Termed by OSHA as the Fatal Four, the agency predicts over 400 lives could be saved each year if the following hazards were eliminated from American worksites:

  • Falls
  • Electrocution
  • Struck-by-an-object incidents
  • Caught-between incidents

In Chicago, we represent injured workers and their families. Our cases include workers suffering falls caused by inadequately constructed scaffolding, electrical accidents, toxic exposure and other dangerous workplace conditions.

On any size construction site, workers are engaged in dangerous tasks with specialized equipment. Coordination and safety training are needed to maintain a safe jobsite. Without proper oversight, serious accidents happen, often due to the negligence of employees of other contractors and their equipment.

While OSHA creates standards and recognizes hazards, any workplace is only as safe as the procedures and policies in effect on that site. If you are injured on a construction site, speak with our workplace injury lawyers for advice and experienced representation. The call is free.

Striving To Make Construction Work Safer For Your Loved Ones and Your City

Construction work is among the most dangerous type of work in the world. It is dangerous for the workers and for those who live or commute nearby. However, it is possible to reduce the occurrence of accidents at construction sites by following the proper safety standards. Many of these standards are required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and by state and local regulations. If safety standards are not followed and someone becomes injured, then the construction company can be held liable for damages.

There are many simple precautions one can take to make construction sites safer:

Assessment

A walkthrough should be performed at the site at the beginning of each day. Hazards should be identified, recorded and brought to the attention of a manager or supervisor.

Training

All workers at a construction site should go through work training and safety training. Workers trained to perform their jobs correctly will have fewer accidents, and safety training teaches workers how to spot and avoid dangerous situations.

Signage

All hazards that cannot easily be removed should be marked, and if possible, access to the hazards should be restricted. Signs should be placed nearby to warn all workers of the hazard.

Equipment inspections

Construction equipment is large, powerful and can cause serious injuries when not working properly. All equipment should be inspected prior to its use each day. Any problems that occur while in use should be reported immediately.

Safety equipment

The proper safety equipment should be made available and used at all construction sites. This includes hard hats, safety goggles, steel-toed boots, face masks and harnesses.

Emergency preparedness

All construction sites should be prepared for any emergencies that may occur. Having first-aid supplies, emergency phone numbers and an evacuation plan is a great start to safer action in an emergency situation.

Public protection

The construction site should be adequately barricaded or fenced to prevent the public from entering.

Don’t Be Overlooked By Your Company: These Construction Accidents Are Even More Serious Than You Think

When you decided to become a construction worker, you knew that it was more dangerous than the typical job. You deserve working conditions that are as safe as possible and an employer who puts your well-being ahead of profit. Too often, this is just not the case. Construction companies facing tight deadlines or having problems with cash flow may knowingly choose to purchase unsafe supplies. They may also pressure workers to work more hours than their bodies can handle, which often leads to accidents. The 10 most common construction accidents include:

  • Crane accidents
  • Defective equipment
  • Electrocution
  • Forklift injuries
  • Machine malfunctions
  • Exposure to toxic chemicals
  • Injuries as a visitor or pedestrian
  • Falls from elevated heights
  • Workers being injured by fallen objects
  • Scaffolding accidents

Of these 10 construction site accidents, scaffolding accidents occur the most often and can cause the greatest degree of injuries. Scaffolding is a temporary elevated platform that construction workers stand on to perform their jobs. When it gives way, workers can be seriously injured or even fall to their deaths.

If you are a construction worker in the Chicago area who has been injured in a workplace accident, Phillips Law Offices would like to assist you with collecting the compensation you deserve. In these types of accident situations, it can be difficult to know who is to blame. Our experienced construction accident lawyers will look at all of the factors in your case and prepare a case against the responsible party.

The Unfortunate Statistics Behind Scaffolding Accidents

Scaffolding accidents are a common occupational hazard for construction employees. Obviously, a fall from towering scaffolding is likely to cause serious harm or death. For that reason, if you’ve been injured in a scaffolding fall, you need experienced representation like you’ll find at Phillips Law Offices. We can help you sort through your options to find the best way to protect your rights.

How you might be injured on scaffolding

Scaffolding is dangerous. Numerous things can cause scaffolding to collapse, including:

  • Equipment or debris that has fallen from above
  • A collision with a crane, forklift or truck
  • Ladder failure
  • No safety devices, such as safety nets, safety lines, guardrails or fall arrest systems
  • Manufacturing flaws or defects in the design
  • Improper use of safety equipment
  • Safety equipment failure
  • Planks that slip
  • Unsafe conditions

Scaffolding accident statistics

  • Some 4,500 workers are injured every year in scaffolding falls. About 50 of those injuries result in death.
  • One out of every 10 work-related deaths is caused by a fall.
  • Scaffolds and ladders are involved in approximately 40 percent of injuries caused by falling.
  • Falls are the most common cause of construction-related deaths in the United States.

If correct safety precautions are followed, the majority of falls can be prevented. Usually, accidents occur when employers try to save money and time by cutting corners. Improper training of employees is another reason for scaffolding accidents.

If you were injured in a scaffolding mishap, contact Phillips Law Offices. We’ll investigate the circumstances surrounding your injury to build an effective case so that you get the compensation you deserve. We know how to present the evidence and enlist the testimony of expert product engineers, doctors and other authorities to help you win your case and obtain rightful compensation.