If you’re a construction worker, you know that you’re exposed to some of the most dangerous work conditions and that hazards are always present through all phases of any construction project. But when you go to work, you expect that all reasonable safety precautions and safety measures are taken. In fact, government regulations require that. You assume that the people you work with have been properly trained, that the equipment is functioning properly, and that the site has been made as safe as possible. Sadly, that’s not always the case. In a recent year, three of the ten most common safety violations cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) occurred on construction sites. And, because of the nature of the work and the equipment used, the resulting injuries can be severe, with catastrophic consequences, even death. Some research suggests that over a 45-year career, a construction worker has a 75% chance of a disabling injury and a 1-in-200 chance of a fatal injury.
If you or a loved one has been severely injured or killed in a central Illinois construction worksite accident, the law provides for compensation for your losses. But, you’ll need a knowledgeable work injury attorney on your side to make sure you get what fairness demands. Call a Decatur construction accident lawyer today to find out more about your legal options.
Construction Accident Facts
According to a recent OSHA report, over 1/5 of the worker fatalities in private industry occurred in construction. And, they found that the four leading causes of these worker deaths in construction were responsible for more than half (58.6%) of those deaths:
- falls were the most common at 33.5%
- being struck by an object caused 11.1%
- electrocution resulted in 8.5%, and
- being caught in some equipment, crushed between two objects, or trapped in a collapsing structure resulted in 5.5% of the deaths
They concluded that eliminating these “Fatal Four” could save about 600 lives in America every year. And, it’s not just big companies that are responsible. According to the CDC, companies with 10 or fewer employees and those who are self-employed accounted for nearly half of all deaths on construction sites.
Of course, nonfatal injuries are even more common. OSHA reports that one in every 10 construction workers is injured annually. And, unfortunately, the National Safety Council found younger workers were the most likely to be injured while working in construction; the most common injuries were back injuries and hand injuries. Bad as this is, some reports suggest that around half of serious workplace injuries go unreported each year.
Common Construction Site Dangers
OSHA requires employers to obtain certain permits, conduct regular inspections, and implement job safety programs to limit construction workplace injuries. In spite of this, a very large variety of hazards still result in construction accidents, including:
- falls from scaffolds, ladders, roofs, cranes, and other heights
- defective rope, cable, or guard rails
- being struck by moving machinery or vehicles
- getting a body part caught in dangerous machinery
- slips, trips, and falls caused by slippery surfaces, cords and cables, or tools / materials left on the ground
- forklift accidents
- being struck by falling objects like tools or construction materials that aren’t properly secured
- equipment related accidents
- fires and explosions
- trench or structure collapses
- mining accidents
- elevator shaft falls
- cell towers are becoming an increasingly more common site of injury
- repetitive motion injuries
- heat stroke in hot conditions, and hypothermia or frostbite in cold conditions
- loud noise exposures
- respiratory diseases from asbestos or coal mine exposures
- toxic exposures such as with welding, chemical use, or exposure to carbon monoxide or lead
- negligence in hiring, training, or monitoring construction employees
Of course, any of these hazards can result in a number of kinds of serious injuries, including broken bones, soft tissue injuries like sprains, lacerations, burns, amputations, joint injuries, loss of vision or hearing, head and traumatic brain injuries, back and spinal cord injuries, and even death. When not fatal, the injuries have a devastating effect on your life and can result in temporary or permanent disability. Illinois law provides for recovery for the damages you or your family suffered, but you’ll need a compassionate and experienced attorney in your corner to make sure you get what you deserve.
Speak with a Decatur Construction Accident Attorney
Contact me now for a no obligation, free legal consultation, so a Decatur construction accident lawyer can inform you about all your options in a language you can understand. The sooner you contact me, the faster I can get to work for you and let you get back to focusing on your recovery, your family, and your life.