Each week, nearly 100 construction workers suffer a fatal injury on the job. That averages out to a little more than 4,000 deaths per year. Many of them could be prevented. One prime example is the Des Plaines construction accident that caused injury to three and the death of one worker earlier this year. Another, more recent one in New York that killed two workers is still being investigated, but it, too, may have been preventable. Why is this important to your personal injury or workers’ compensation case? The following explains.
Fatal Four, Safety, and Prevention of Worker Deaths
According to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), about 20 percent of all worker deaths are caused by one of the “fatal four” – electrocution, falls, being struck by an object, and being caught in or between an object. This amounts to about 545 worker deaths per year.Most of these accidents are preventable using safety measures, such as proper restraint systems, effective lockout/tagout procedures, regular maintenance, and proper safety equipment. In fact, some of the top 10 citations given to construction companies pertain to failures in these areas. This includes failure to provide or adhere to safety standards pertaining to:
- Fall protection,
- Hazard communication,
- Control of hazardous energy,
- Powered industrial trucks,
- Electrical systems/designs,
- Electrical wiring methods, and
- Machinery and machine guarding.
Safety Failures Often Signify an Element of Negligence
If a construction worker is injured or killed because of negligence, they or their family may be entitled to compensation. This may go beyond that of workers’ compensation, which does not always offer adequate coverage for injured or wrongfully killed workers. Unfortunately, because there may be multiple negligent parties, and because a full investigation must be done to determine the true nature of a construction accident, most injured workers and their families are unable to determine what the full damages might be on their own.
To complicate matters even further, insurance adjusters and construction companies are often represented by attorneys, which puts workers and their families at a serious disadvantage in the courtroom. An experienced personal injury attorney can help level the playing field by ensuring the employee’s rights, and the rights of their family, are protected.
Contact Our Arlington Heights Personal Injury Lawyers
At Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC, we fight for the rights of accident victims and their families. We assist with workers’ compensation claims, personal injury claims, and third-party negligence claims to ensure that you and your family are fully prepared and protected. Schedule your consultation with our Arlington Heights personal injury attorneys
to learn more about how we can help with your case. Call us at 847-934-6000 today.
About 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.