December 6, 2012–Chicago, Illinois–A 60-year-old construction worker was in serious condition after a construction accident occurred on Chicago’s South Side this week. Chicago Fire Department responders found the victim under a porch overhang that fell on him, crushing him under the weight of the structure.
The victim was transported to an area hospital in serious condition with back and neck injuries sustained in the accident. There is no word on his current condition or prognosis at this time.
My sincere wishes for a speedy recovery go out to the victim.
Construction Accident Statistics
The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that fatal construction accidents have been declining for the past few years. In 2008, there were 1,016 people killed in construction accidents nationwide, while the number dropped steadily to 759 by 2010.
This would seem to be good news for the construction industry. However, these numbers may reflect a drop in total number of employees due to downturns in the construction industry rather than enforcement of safer measures for all construction workers.
Further, there has been a sudden increase in work-related accidents of all types for Hispanic workers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Hispanic workers experienced a three percent increase in work-related injuries and deaths in 2011, while other workers experienced a decline. It is impossible to say with any certainty that this increase reflects a higher number of Hispanic workers in more dangerous jobs or a decrease in the number of non-Hispanic workers overall.
Safety Measures for Construction Workers
Construction workers have the right to a safe working environment and are protected by several state and federal agencies, including Cal-OSHA and OSHA. These agencies are usually called in to investigate any construction accident and determine if the employer was negligent in providing safety equipment and enforcing its use.
In some cases, accidents truly are accidents that happen despite everyone’s best efforts at safety. However, in the majority of cases, accidents happen because a coworker or employer was careless and did not observe safety protocol. In those cases, the negligent worker, the employer, or both may be liable for damages.
Why Is My Employer Liable?
Even if another employee “caused” the accident, the employer may still have liability. This is because the employer is responsible for overseeing the activities of all employees. If an employee is allowed to cut corners or ignore proper safety procedures, it creates a situation in which the employer is allowing dangerous behavior to occur on his or her property or worksite. This makes the employer liable for part of the damages.
A personal injury attorney examines a construction accident case and makes a determination about how much the victim is entitled to recover in damages. If the employer, other employees, or property owners were negligent, a construction accident lawyer will help the victim to hold them accountable and make them pay for the pain, suffering, and physical trauma the victim had to endure as a result of the accident.