Over the past few years, construction site accidents in Illinois have been on the rise. According to OSHA research studies, deaths due to fall injuries on construction sites are the number one cause of death for American workers in the construction industry. In Illinois, construction workers face particularly dangerous hazards during fall and winter months when snow, ice, and freezing temperatures elevate the risk of construction site injuries.
Construction site falls can occur from cranes, scaffolding, roof tops, skylights, ladders, floors under construction, and other elevated construction heights. Workers injured in construction falls can easily sustain head trauma, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, broken limbs and bones, and fatal injuries that result in death. A workers compensation attorney Woodstock can explain important safety laws.
Illinois Accident Statistics
- In 2011, a 50-year old construction worker, sustained serious head injuries when he fell down a hole at the Calumet Water Reclamation District Plant in Chicago. Due to slippery conditions, he slipped off the top of a ladder and landed on a coworker beneath him. Both workers fell into the hole and sustained injuries. Jeff Andrews, the worker at the highest elevation point, sustained the most severe head trauma and could not undergo surgery until his condition stabilized.
- In 2012, 35% of construction workers who died in the U.S.died as a result of a fall from an elevated position. That's over one-third of all recorded construction worker deaths in 2012. According to OSHA safety standards, falls caused by safety violations were among the top 10 citations issued during 2012. Records show that most of the 269 construction site fatalities caused by falls in 2012 were preventable accidents if proper safety protocols had been in place.
- In 2013, a Bloomington construction worker was killed when he fell off a roof. According to the McLean County coroner, the victim suffered fatal skull and brain injuries from the fall. The man was installing siding on a house when he fell from the roof due to slippery conditions and lack of safety equipment.
- In 2014, a 51 year old man was seriously injured after a construction accident that happened in Elgin, Illinois. The man was crushed by a crane while he was working on a barge below the Interstate 90 bridge construction spanning the Fox River. Reports state that the crane dislodged when it fell onto a barge below. An OSHA investigation is underway.
- In 2015, a worker was killed in a crane accident at an Illinois Taylor Crane construction site. According to authorities, Justin Jokerst, a 31 year old worker, was working at a construction site in a 500,000-square foot warehouse in Edwardsville, Illinois on a Grove HL150T crane when he was crushed by the crane's boom. Jokerst was pronounced dead at the scene, and an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) investigation is ongoing.
The above Illinois statistics for construction site accidents represent only five out of hundreds of construction injuries handled each year by a workers compensation attorney Woodstock. According to OSHA, lack of protection for construction site falls is ranked the number one violation for Illinois. This related primarily to a construction site where an employee is working at an elevated height of 10 feet or more. OSHA reports also show that 16% of reported safety violations were listed as repeat violations. This means that the same company was cited for the same violation during the past three years, but they continued to create the same safety hazards for workers. According to information from a workers compensation attorney Woodstock, repeated safety violations are common.
Illinois Safety Laws
OSHA, a division of the United States Department of Labor, is designed to prevent workers from being injured or killed while on the job. They strive to ensure that Illinois employers provide safe working conditions for employees. Construction workers and construction sites have a separate and specific set of OSHA requirements. They state that all construction sites provide proper safety equipment and training for construction workers. Accident victims represented by a workers compensation attorney Woodstock can get accurate information on Illinois safety laws.
Illinois safety laws provide that workers who are injured on the job, regardless of who's at fault, are entitled to certain benefits under workers compensation, including access to medical care and treatment, disability pay, and payment for any injuries sustained. According to a workers compensation attorney Woodstock, many Illinois workers think that they don't have a case if they're responsible for their own injuries, but that's not correct. When a construction site accident occurs in Illinois, OSHA will investigate whether an employer complied with federal safety requirements to determine who's at fault.