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Category Archives for "Construction Injury"

Job Site Safety Tips from a Top Construction Accident Lawyer

Job Site Safety Tips from a Top Construction Accident Lawyer

On a construction site, there are many worst-case scenarios that can play out. It’s a scary thought for any site owner and construction firm to think about.

These instances can turn into multi-million-dollar lawsuits that can bankrupt your construction business. This alone is more than enough reason to hire a construction accident lawyer to draft your contracts.

There has to be clauses that indicate the risks of a project and the accountability of all parties involved. For instance, who’s responsible for paying the costs of injuries and property damage in the event of an accident?

This is also why your construction firm should have proper liability insurance and worker’s compensation coverage. But what’s even more important is having safety guidelines in place that your employees follow.

Tragically, thousands of workers are injured and hundreds are killed on construction sites in the U.S. each year. As Chicago personal injurylawyers, we’re aware of the crucial importance of workplace safety.

In the following guide, we’ll cover the top tips you can use to keep your construction site safe.

Give Safety Training to All of Your Workers

Before a new employee sets foot on any of your construction sites, they should receive safety training. The training should go over workplace safety standards and common hazards on different job sites.

Training should include proper lifting techniques to avoid back injuries. Then, there should be safety policies employees have to read before the start of a new site. Make sure no employees operate equipment they’re not trained or qualified to use.

In the event of an accident, your workers should know the procedure to use and the name and location of first aid responders to contact. Remember: safety training isn’t a one-time thing. It’s an ongoing effort to ensure all workers know and remember all of the policies and procedures.

The last thing you want to have to do is hire a construction accident lawyer for a pending lawsuit.

Have Crew Safety Meetings Frequently

The frequency of these safety meetings will depend on your particular construction firm. For instance, some companies need to have these meetings daily when there’s high-risk work being performed.

In this case, remind your workers to stay focused and address relevant issues. It’s more motivating when the details given are real-life and job-specific.

Make Workers Wear Protective Clothes and Gear

Your top priority as a construction business owner is to ensure the protection of your employees. The best way to do this is to have them consistently wear protective clothing and gear.

This includes high-visibility clothing, hard hats, steel-toed boots and shirts that protect against UV rays. Wearing a yellow hardhat is not a fashion statement, but it could save your life.

Without that hard hat and steel toe cap boots, you’re putting yourself at great risk on a construction site. Anyone not wearing the recommended protective wear shouldn’t be allowed on the construction site.

This way, you can avoid potential injuries, lawsuits and the need to hire a construction accident lawyer.

Maintain Clean Workspaces

While constructing a new building, it’s essential to have a cleanup crew. This will ensure walkways are free of debris, spills and tools, so no one slips and falls. It’s also a good idea to teach your employees good cleaning habits.

Have them maintain a clean space at all times.

Regularly Inspect Tools and Equipment

Malfunctioning equipment can present a grave hazard to employees and anyone else on or near the construction site. It’s best to inspect your tools and equipment on a regular basis. Accidents can occur, such as employees being pinned by heavy malfunctioning equipment.

Then, there are cases where workers end up losing fingers, toes and limbs because of faulty tools. In worst case scenarios, some companies end up with a wrongful death lawsuit they have to hire a construction accident lawyer for.

Prevent workers from using any gear containing broken parts or improper functions.

Implement Fall Protection Systems

One of the leading causes of fatalities on construction sites is due to falls. In order to protect your employees from fatal injuries, it’s best to install fall protection systems. For example, you can install guardrails, screens, canopy structures, toe boards and nets.

Also, scaffolding is useful for preventing falls. Just ensure it’s properly installed so that it holds the intended weight load. It’s important to inspect scaffolds regularly as well.

Make sure the scaffolds have been inspected by a competent person and never work on one that does not have a strong platform or base. Check any ladder thoroughly before using it and if any part of it is wobbly, don’t use it.

Run Risk Assessments Per Job Site

Each construction site is different and comes with its own separate hazards. The safety tips you provided to workers for the last construction site may not work for the new site.

Risk assessments will help you identify unusual hazards, so you can warn your employees beforehand. Then in your crew meeting, ensure your workers get all the important information, education and training to handle the job safely.

Management should have prepared a safety plan to deal with on-site emergencies. Workers should have some basic first aid knowledge to deal with injuries that occur.

Use All Equipment for its Intended Purpose

It’s not uncommon for construction workers to use equipment and tools in tasks they’re not prescribed for. Make sure all of your workers know how to operate all gear based on the instructions of the manufacturer.

Misusing tools and equipment will increase the chances of someone getting injured. Also, the equipment should meet the standards of OSHA.

Follow the Guidelines OSHA Sets

OSHA guidelines are very important for keeping construction sites safe. Make sure each of your workers are well-acquainted with the rules and procedures. Then if there are any dangerous working conditions, workers should know how to report it to OSHA.

Record and report all violations and incidents.

Hazardous Materials

Label and store any hazardous materials in proper containers and secure them in a safe location. Make sure there is an MSDS (material safety data sheet) for all potentially hazardous chemicals and materials.

Surroundings

Many construction site accidents happen when people are not aware of their surroundings. Stay alert and pay careful attention to any loose materials that might topple or fall on you.

Tools and Electricity

When using power tools, make sure that power cables are protected, the metal casing is grounded and the power supply has an earth leakage circuit breaker.

Heavy Equipment and Vehicles

Each year, about ten people die when hit by heavy vehicles at construction sites. Often the drivers cannot see you fully, so stay clear while they’re in motion.

Reduce Nighttime Work

There will be days when work has to extend into the night. However, you want to reduce this as much as possible. Having employees work too long will potentially lead to injuries due to workers cutting corners to get the job done faster.

Plus, you have to worry about employees becoming fatigued and injuring themselves or others. Lighting should be sufficient to ensure visibility isn’t an issue. Also, it’s better to limit nighttime work to a low-risk area.

Hire a Construction Accident Lawyer

When the push comes to shove and you end up facing a personal injury or worker’s compensation lawsuit, you need proper representation.

We fight on the side of construction businesses and construction workers. If you were recently injured and you’re denied workers compensation, we can help.

If you’re injured at a construction site despite your efforts to avoid it, we urge you to email or call us at 888-HURT-318 (888-487-8318).

At the Law Firm of Scott D. DeSalvo, we are Chicago personal injury lawyers and we want to help you get back on your feet, both physically and financially.

Get Your FREE Injury "Cheat Sheet"

Inside, You'll Discover How To:

  • INCREASE Your Chance To WIN Your Injury Case!
  • How To ELIMINATE The Most Common Dirty Trick Insurance Companies Do!
  • Get EVERY DOLLAR The Law Allows!

Best of All,  You Can Download The Injury  "Cheat Sheet" RIGHT NOW and It's 100% Free and No Obligation

Testimonials

"Hiring Scott was one of the best moves I have made in my life.   Scott is a down to earth person and attorney.  Scott is a 5 star first class act who really knows his stuff.   The Judge said his presentation was one of if not the best he had ever seen.   Take my advice, hire Scott. I’m sure you’ll be 200% satisfied.  I was."

Richard Lange

Cab Driver, Fall Down                  See More >

Want The Injury "Cheat Sheet"?

Inside, You'll Discover How To:

  • INCREASE Your Chance To WIN Your Injury Case!
  • How To ELIMINATE The Most Common Dirty Trick Insurance Companies Do!
  • Get EVERY DOLLAR The Law Allows!

Best of All,  You Can Download The Injury  "Cheat Sheet" RIGHT NOW and It's 100% Free and No Obligation

The 10 Most Common Construction Injuries You Should Know About

The 10 Most Common Construction Injuries You Should Know About

In 2017, there were 971 construction worker fatalities.

Falls, being struck by an object, electrocutions, and being caught in between or under equipment accounted for the “Fatal Four” of that year.

Despite these harrowing incidents, OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) has made great strides in creating safer environments for workers. In 1970, the fatality rate for all worker deaths was 38 per day compared to 14 per day in 2017.

Even still, many, if not all, construction worker deaths could be avoided. Stricter rules, regulations, and technology all aid in minimizing injuries and fatalities.

So how can we learn from others so that we don’t make the same mistakes ourselves?

Read on to find out what the 10 most common injuries are so that you can learn to avoid them on the job.

 1. Slip and Fall Injuries

Objects and potential debris laying around, combined with the many different movements required of a construction worker, make slip and falls a common occurrence on construction sites.

A slip and fall that causes a worker to hit the ground or the floor they’re working on is typically less serious of an injury than a slip and fall that results in a worker falling either down a level or even down multiple floors. 

Injuries from falls can cause anything from a bruise to serious head drama, and sometimes even death.

Wearing proper footwear, removing potential fall hazards, and establishing a no-running policy are just 3 of the many precautions that should be taken to avoid falls on a work site.

If you have suffered from a slip and fall, you might want to check out our guide to slip and fall settlement amounts.

2. Struck by an Object

Construction workers who were hit by an object accounted for 804 construction worker deaths from 2011-2015.

Power line installers, highway workers, loading machine operators were among those making up the majority of the fatalities. Over half of them were vehicle accidents. That being said, workers may be struck by swinging, falling, flying, or rolling objects.

When it comes to heavy equipment, workers should always be aware of the location of all equipment at any given time on the construction site. Hard hats should be checked regularly for any signs of deterioration and should be replaced accordingly.

3. Electrocutions

Some of the most common construction injuries are due to electrocution. In fact, 61% of all work-relatedelectrocution fatalities were construction workers.

In order to avoid electrocution, electrical wires and units should be properly insulated. Furthermore, the equipment, environment, and work practices should be OSHA compliant.

In addition, there should be extensive health, safety, and hazard prevention training. Electrical power installers, repairers, and earth drillers are the most responsible for the electrical shock of construction workers.

Electrocution often happens for something as simple as improper use of an extension cord.

4. Caught in or Between

Getting caught in or under or in between equipment or machinery can result in one’s body or body part being pinched, compressed, or squeezed. A construction worker injured in this fashion can result in the most awful type of injury.

Death or disfiguration is often a result of a worker getting caught in or between something. It is essential to take certain precautions to avoid such an awful injury.

Some of the precautions you can take to avoid any potential for pain are:

  • Be familiar with the equipment
  • Have an escape route planned
  • Shut equipment down before repairs
  • Always remain visible
  • Only work when more than 1 supporting device is in place

Want to be prepared if you witness or sustain an injury? Find out exactly what steps to take immediately after an injury.

5. Eye Injuries

Eye injuries are one of the most common construction injuries. And construction has a higher eye injury rate than any other industry, causing workers to miss work, and sometimes lose their eyesight.

If your eye is punctured, DO NOT try to wash out or remove the object. If your eye is irritated from fumes or chemicals, immediately and gently rinse it out with water.

Some of the components that could damage your eye on a construction site are:

  • Dirt
  • Sawdust
  • Wood chips
  • Chemical strippers
  • Metal fillings
  • Glass shards

It takes a mere 2 seconds to wear safety goggles and protect your eyes. Some construction sites have a “rinse aid” which may also be used to flush out your eyes.

6. Burns

Construction workers can be in danger of steam burns, electrical burns, chemical burns, fire, and explosions.

Any worker who deals with certain chemicals should go through hazard training. Employers have to provide a safe workspace for their employees.

Know your rights so you can better keep both yourself and your coworkers safe while on the job. From 1st-degree to 4th-degree burns, burns can and should be avoided on the construction site.

Common burn injuries are caused by live electrical wires, unsafe wielding, and defective fuel lines or tanks.

7. Ladder Accidents

Ladders get their own category entirely because of the high construction worker accident rate for ladder falls.

Every year, more than 4,000 construction workers are injured because of ladder falls. Of those 4,000, 70 construction workers die. Of the 3,930 who are injured, ALL have to miss work because the injury was bad enough to interfere with work.

A ladder should be inspected before EACH use. Ladder safety is essential, and no one should even begin to climb a ladder without a coworker holding it steady.

Materials should never be carried up a ladder. They should be hoisted, or sent up on an elevator, or pulled up with a rope.

When working on or near power lines, a ladder should always be positioned at least 10 feet from any power line. Opt for a fiberglass ladder when working near power lines as aluminum ladders are natural electricity conductors.

8. Loss of Hearing

Noise-induced hearing loss can have a major effect on someone’s life. Unfortunately, construction workers aren’t always aware of their rights to safety. Employers are required to provide ear protection to their employees.

Wearing earplugs can make all the difference. Or standing an arm’s length away from a coworker who is using a loud machine such as a jackhammer, a chain saw, or a hammer drill.

Hearing damage from noise can happen gradually. It doesn’t necessarily cause pain or anguish when it’s happening. Often times, once the individual has realized their hearing is compromised, the damage has already been done.

If you’ve experienced hearing loss, some of the symptoms you may encounter are:

  • A hard time hearing on the phone
  • Ringing or noise in your ears
  • Regular speech begins to rumble
  • Speech sometimes sounds muffled
  • You might have to ask people to repeat themselves

If you have experienced any of these symptoms, you may have either temporary or permanent hearing damage.

9. Stress Injuries

Many construction workers perform the same movements day in and day out. Standing or sitting for hours on end can cause major back injuries.

Other movements such as repetitive motions while working on a line or repeated actions that are performed each day can cause a worker’s body to stress out.

Often minor to start, these stress injuries can develop into life-changing conditions quickly. Tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome are two of the more common injuries that occur due to repetitive motion. These common injuries can be so painful that workers are not able to continue performing their jobs.

Not being able to work because of a work-related stress injury can then lead to financial stress and strain.

10. Head Trauma

Traumatic brain injuries counted for one-fourth of construction fatalities during an 8 year test period. Most of these were a result of falls from ladders, roofs, and scaffolding.

Hemorrhages, penetrating wounds, and concussions can all happen from objects hitting or falling on the head, or from a worker falling onto something.

Wearing a hard hat, using a safety harness, and staying aware can all help dramatically lower the potential for head trauma.

Vehicle accidents, falls, assaults and violent acts, and contact with objects or equipment are all causes of traumatic brain injuries.

All Construction Injuries Are a Big Deal

Although construction injuries have been decreasing over time, there is still a lot that can be done to avoid these injuries and fatalities.

Be aware of potential accidents and know good safety practices to make sure they don’t happen to you. Construction injuries not only impact construction workers but their loved ones and families as well.

If you are injured on the job, it’s important to call your doctor right away. After that, contact us so that you have a lawyer you can trust.

If you’re still suffering from an injury you sustained in the past, and you’re wondering what your personal injurystatute of limitations are, click here to find out.

Get Your FREE Injury "Cheat Sheet"

Inside, You'll Discover How To:

  • INCREASE Your Chance To WIN Your Injury Case!
  • How To ELIMINATE The Most Common Dirty Trick Insurance Companies Do!
  • Get EVERY DOLLAR The Law Allows!

Best of All,  You Can Download The Injury  "Cheat Sheet" RIGHT NOW and It's 100% Free and No Obligation

Testimonials

"Hiring Scott was one of the best moves I have made in my life.   Scott is a down to earth person and attorney.  Scott is a 5 star first class act who really knows his stuff.   The Judge said his presentation was one of if not the best he had ever seen.   Take my advice, hire Scott. I’m sure you’ll be 200% satisfied.  I was."

Richard Lange

Cab Driver, Fall Down                  

See More >

Want The Injury "Cheat Sheet"?

Inside, You'll Discover How To:

  • INCREASE Your Chance To WIN Your Injury Case!
  • How To ELIMINATE The Most Common Dirty Trick Insurance Companies Do!
  • Get EVERY DOLLAR The Law Allows!

Best of All,  You Can Download The Injury  "Cheat Sheet" RIGHT NOW and It's 100% Free and No Obligation