How Can Construction Site Fall Injuries Be Prevented?

Web Admin - Friday, July 26, 2019
Inverness constrution site injury lawyerSome occupations are inherently more dangerous than others. Workers in the construction industry face some of the highest risks of suffering on-the-job injuries; in fact, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that more than 20% of the work-related fatalities that occurred in 2017 were suffered by construction workers. Of those deaths, nearly 40% occurred in falls. 

Due to the risk of fall injuries at construction sites, OSHA has put a wide variety of regulations in place to help protect workers. Employers are required to follow these standards when implementing fall protection systems. The three most common systems used when a person is working at least six feet above a lower level are:

1. Protective barriers - Guardrails may be installed at the edges of walking surfaces or roofs, and the top rail of a barrier should be 42 inches above the surface where a person walks or works. A guardrail must be able to withstand at least 200 pounds of force.

2. Harnesses - A worker may use a fall arrest system that consists of a harness that is connected to an anchor point, and these systems must keep a worker from falling more than six feet or coming into contact with a lower level. Any snaphooks or connectors used must prevent a worker from becoming disengaged from the harness or the anchor point.

3. Nets - Any safety nets used should be installed as close as possible below a working or walking surface, up to a maximum of 30 feet below the level. Depending on the vertical distance below the working level, a net should extend 8-13 feet horizontally from the edge of the working surface. Nets should be regularly tested, inspected, and kept free of tools or materials.

Other fall protection systems that may be used include:

- Warning lines - A barrier made of ropes, wires, or chains may be installed around all sides of a roof to warn workers that they are approaching the edge of the roof or to designate an area in which workers are not required to use guardrails, harnesses, or safety nets.
- Hole covers - Any holes in working or walking surfaces, including skylights, should be covered to prevent a worker from falling into the hole. Holes should also be protected by guardrails, or workers should use safety harnesses.
- Controlled access zones - Certain types of work may be allowed to be performed in areas where traditional fall protection systems are not used. Control lines should be used around the boundaries of these areas, and only approved workers should be permitted to access these areas.
- Safety monitors - In areas where low-slope roofing work is being done, a person may be designated as a safety monitor, and this person will provide warnings to workers when they are acting unsafely or are unaware of fall-related hazards. This person should be on the same walking or working surface as other workers and be able to communicate with them verbally, and they should not have any other duties which distract from their function as a safety monitor.

Contact a Buffalo Grove Workplace Fall Injury Attorney

Workers who have suffered fall injuries at a construction site may be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits, and they may also be able to pursue compensation from any responsible third parties through a personal injury lawsuit. If you have been injured in a fall while working at a construction site, the attorneys of Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC can help you determine whether you are eligible to file a workers' comp claim. Contact our Barrington workplace injury lawyers at 847-934-6000 to schedule a free consultation.

Ken ApicellaAbout the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.


Why Distracted Driving Can Lead to Serious Car Accident Injuries

Web Admin - Friday, July 19, 2019
Buffalo Grove car accident attorney distracted drivingThe risk of getting in a car accident is something that affects everyone who uses the roads throughout the United States, and because of the potential for serious injuries or death, it is important for everyone to drive carefully and follow the laws. Unfortunately, distracted driving is one way in which many people threaten the safety of others, and this practice is alarmingly common and dangerous.

The Dangers of Multi-Tasking While Driving

Driving a car or truck is a common, everyday activity for most people. Adults who have spent a large amount of time behind the wheel may slip into “autopilot” and stop paying close attention to what is happening on the road around them. This problem is compounded if they attempt to do other tasks while driving, such as making a phone call, reading or sending a text message, looking up information on a smartphone, checking a navigational system, changing stations on the radio, adjusting climate controls, eating or drinking, or talking to passengers. 

While people may believe that they can safely “multi-task” and divide their attention between driving and other activities, this can be incredibly dangerous. Any distractions can cause a driver to miss important signals that could help them avoid danger. Multi-tasking while driving is dangerous for the following reasons:

- Performing two activities that require thinking greatly increases a person’s reaction time. For example, if a person is talking on the phone while driving, a significant part of their brain is focused on the conversation rather than on the road. The time it takes for the brain to switch between talking and reacting to sensory input will result in an increased reaction time. Even a difference of a split second can cause a driver to be unable to react in time to avoid colliding with another vehicle or a pedestrian.
- Talking on a mobile phone reduces a driver’s field of perception. Studies have shown that when a person is speaking, even if they are using a hands-free device, their visual field is reduced by up to 50%. This could result in them not seeing pedestrians, traffic lights, or obstacles on the road.
- Even if a driver only uses a cell phone or other electronic device while they are stopped at a red light, this still can cause dangerous distractions. Studies have shown that when someone sends a text, this causes them to be distracted for up to 27 seconds after doing so. By this time, the light may have changed, and other vehicles or pedestrians around the vehicle may have begun moving. Mental distractions that occur while navigating an intersection can lead to serious injuries.

Contact a Des Plaines Car Accident Lawyer

Even though the dangers of talking on a phone or texting while driving are well-known, many people continue to risk the safety of those on the road around them. If you or a member of your family have been injured by a distracted driver, contact our Rolling Meadows personal injury attorney today by calling 847-934-6000 to schedule a free consultation.

Ken ApicellaAbout the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.


Can I Pursue Compensation After Using Baby Powder Containing Asbestos?

Web Admin - Friday, July 12, 2019
Des Plaines defective products lawyer baby powder asbestosAt some point in their lives, most people have probably used some form of baby powder, and this product has been a staple of many American families for decades. However, recent reports have found that what appeared to many to be a safe and useful substance may actually have posed a cancer risk. If you have become ill after using baby powder, you should work with a product liability attorney to determine whether you may be eligible to receive compensation.

Reports of Asbestos in Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder

Baby powder is typically composed of talc, and depending on the manufacturer, this talc is mined from a variety of places around the world. Talc that has come from some of these sources has been found to contain tremolite, a form of asbestos that occurs naturally. Baby powder manufactured by the company Johnson & Johnson is one such product that has been found to contain asbestos. As a result, the company is facing thousands of lawsuits alleging that their product has caused harm. In March of 2019, a jury in California awarded $29 million to a woman who claimed that her cancer was caused by use of Johnson & Johnson’s products, and in 2018, a group of women in Missouri were awarded $4.69 billion because they contracted ovarian cancer after using baby powder.

The Johnson & Johnson case is particularly striking, because investigations have found that the company has known about the potential danger of asbestos in its products for decades. While Johnson & Johnson has claimed that it took steps to ensure that its baby powder is asbestos-free, internal company documents have been uncovered showing that personnel were aware of the risks of asbestos, and data was allegedly misrepresented when reporting the results of product tests to the FDA.

Mesothelioma Resulting from Asbestos Inhalation

Asbestos is known to be incredibly dangerous, and when it is inhaled, it can lead to mesothelioma, a form of lung cancer. When asbestos becomes embedded in the lining of a person’s chest cavity, it causes this lining to become unable to absorb fluids. This leads to a buildup of fluid in a person’s lungs, which can cause tumors to grow in the diaphragm and chest. It is also likely to lead to congestive heart failure.

Contact a Schaumburg Dangerous Products Attorney

If you have contracted mesothelioma, ovarian cancer, or any other harmful medical condition after using baby powder, the skilled Palatine product liability lawyer at Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC can help you understand your options for pursuing compensation. We will work with you to determine the full extent of your damages, establish liability on the part of a negligent product manufacturer, and take legal action to ensure that you recover damages that fully address the harm that was done to you. Contact us at 847-934-6000 for a free consultation.

Ken ApicellaAbout the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.


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