Last month, a construction worker died after falling from the third floor of a building in the Wicker Park neighborhood where he had been working on a construction project. The 54-year-old was later taken to the hospital, where he died from injuries. His death was ruled to be an accident, though some cases of construction site falls are not merely accidental. In some cases, construction falls are directly attributable to an employer’s failure to secure the premises to prevent worker falls.
Take, for instance, Belleville-based Barringer Brothers Roofing, which was recently hit with multiple citations by OSHA for failing to provide fall protection for employees at a construction site in Glen Carbon. Earlier this year, OSHA inspected the site and found multiple violations. It is not the first time the company has been cited for failure to provide fall protection—according to OSHA it has happened a total of 19 times.
Falls are among the most common causes of accidents in the construction industry, and one of the biggest areas where employers cut corners. Employers are required under federal regulations to set up appropriate safety structures and to take other measures to prevent workplace falls. These including: setting up guard rails on elevated surfaces; providing safety nets and railings; and covering floor holes with guards.
When these and other measures are not taken, employers put their workers at risk of injury and death. Workers who are harmed as a result of such negligence should, of course, work with an experienced attorney to seek full compensation for themselves and their families.
The Legal Examiner, “Illinois Roofing Company Cited 19 Times for Fall Hazard Violations,” Eric T. Chaffin, Oct. 4, 2016.
CBS Chicago, “Death Of Worker Who Fell From Wicker Park Building Ruled Accident,” Sept. 24, 2016.