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Understanding the Legal Protections for Injured Construction Workers

Posted on in Construction Accidents

injured construction workers, Chicago personal injury attorneysOf all the jobs in existence, construction workers have one of the most dangerous. On a daily basis, they are exposed to biohazards like dust and asbestos, and prone to injuries from power tools, heights, equipment, electricity, environmental hazards, and heavy falling objects. To reduce the risk of injury from these hazards, there are numerous safety policies and procedures that contractors, property owners, foreman, construction firms, and even the workers themselves must follow. Unfortunately, some take shortcuts (otherwise known as construction negligence) and put countless lives at risk.

Nearly 100 Construction Workers Fatally Injured Each Week

According to statistics from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), 4,679 workers were fatally injured on the job in 2014. On average, that amounts to approximately 90 deaths per week, or more than 13 deaths daily. Of those, only 17 percent are construction contractors.

Falls account for nearly 40 percent of all the fatalities, making it the most common cause of death among construction workers. Electrocution, being struck by an object, and being caught in or between objects account for 8.5 percent, 8.4 percent, and 1.4 percent of fatal injuries, respectively. Collectively, these four types of fatal injuries are called the “Fatal Four” and account for more than half of all fatal injuries (58.1 percent). Eliminating them could save as many as 508 worker lives per year.

Citations for Violations Suggest High Prevalence of Negligence

OSHA is a safety administration that regularly conducts safety audits on a number of industries, including the construction industry. Those found to be in violation of safety precautions or policies during their audit receive a citation; there are 10 that they often see within the construction industry. Some, in particular, suggest a high prevalence of negligence among construction companies, foreman, contractors, and other responsible parties. Specifically, these citations include:

  • Failure to follow fall protection policies and/or procedures,
  • Electrical system design defects and/or hazards,
  • Ladder issues that present a safety hazard,
  • Failure to follow lockout/tag out policies and/or procedures,
  • Scaffolding issues,
  • Hazard communication issues,
  • Failure to provide proper respiratory protection,
  • Machinery and machine guarding issues,
  • Issues with electrical wiring methods, components, or equipment, and
  • Powered industrial truck issues and/or hazards.

When Failure to Follow Safety Policies and Procedures Leads to Injury or Fatality

While the law surrounding construction has changed substantially over the past few years, there are still important legal protections in place for those who are fatally or severely injured on the job, including the right to seek fair compensation for their losses. Unfortunately, these laws and statutes are exceedingly complex and ever changing. As such, victims should always seek assistance from a skilled attorney who is experienced and up-to-date in the laws and statutes pertaining to construction negligence.

The skilled Chicago construction negligence attorneys at Tomasik Kotin Kasserman have the knowledge, insight, and resources needed to conduct an in-depth investigation regarding the true nature and cause of a worksite death or injury. We use that information to build a strong case to help victims seek justice and pursue fair compensation for their injuries. Get the legal representation you deserve and schedule your free initial consultation. Call 312-605-8800 today.

Sources:

https://www.osha.gov/oshstats/commonstats.html

http://www.illinoiscourts.gov/circuitcourt/civiljuryinstructions/55.00.pdf

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