Of all the different industries in Illinois, employees in the construction sector are at the highest risk. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration says the rate of fatal construction accidents exceeds the average rate of deaths in all industry sectors nationwide. What is concerning is the fact that most fatal injuries are caused by a few common types of accidents, which are all preventable by compliance with safety regulations.
One of the most significant hazards that construction workers face is working at heights. Not only are those working on elevated structures like scaffolds at risk of falling, but employees who work at lower levels could be struck by objects dropped by workers at higher levels. Even a small tool can cause a deadly injury if it falls a great distance. Electrocution hazards are present on all construction sites. Direct contact with power lines, incomplete electrical systems, exposed wiring or other live parts can cause injuries, and indirect contact with a conducting material or object can also cause death.
Unused building materials, uneven terrain and constructions at different stages of completion all pose trip-and-fall hazards and contribute to the prevalence of work-related injuries. Caught-in or caught-between situations are also known to claim lives on construction sites. These take place when a worker — or a body part — is crushed, compressed, squeezed or trapped between objects. It could involve a rollover of equipment such as a forklift, being pulled into the working parts of unguarded machines, collapsed scaffolds or trench cave-ins.
Victims of construction accidents — or the surviving family members of workers who suffered fatal on-the-job injuries — might be overwhelmed by the unanticipated financial consequences while they have to deal with the shock of a traumatic incident. They might find comfort in the knowledge that an experienced Illinois workers’ compensation attorney can assist with the claims process. Benefits typically include medical expenses, end-of-life costs where applicable, and wage replacement.