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What are some causes of construction worker injuries in Illinois?

Construction workers in Illinois build our buildings, maintain our roads and repair infrastructure as needed. We rely on construction workers to do their jobs, but their jobs are not safe ones. Working at great heights or with heavy machinery can lead to disaster, especially if a construction worker's employer tries to cut corners with regards to safety. Let's explore some of the ways construction workers can be injured on the job.

Sometimes a construction worker is injured by falling. This is especially true when the worker is working utilizing a ladder, or working on a roof or scaffolding. In fact, 22 percent of injuries reported by construction workers in 2009 were due to falls.

Another way a construction worker can be injured is by a falling object. For example, a worker may be up on a ladder using a hammer, and drops the hammer, which lands on another worker below. This can cause head injuries and spine injuries. This makes wearing the appropriate safety gear all the more important.

A third way a construction worker can be injured on the job is through equipment related accidents. Heavy machinery, such as a forklift, can malfunction or fall over. Injuries caused by malfunctioning equipment may also fall under the realm of "product liability" law, in addition to personal injury law.

Then there are "backovers" and "crushed-betweens." A backover occurs when a large vehicle is travelling in reverse and strikes a worker. Crushed-betweens take place when a large vehicle traps a person between the vehicle and a cement wall or barrier. Supervisor neglect can play a role in such incidents.

Sometimes a construction worker is in a trench or building that collapses on top of them. This can happen, for example, when workers are demolishing a building. Such injuries can be fatal.

Although they are not very common, a construction worker could be killed by a fire or an explosion. Exposed wiring, working with flammable materials or even something as seemingly minor as a leaky pipe could all cause a fire or explosion that kills a construction worker.

When a construction worker suffers a fatal injury on the job, it is important that a thorough investigation takes place to determine if employer construction negligence is at issue. If it is, the workers' loved ones may want to determine whether filing a wrongful death lawsuit would be appropriate.

Source: FindLaw, "Common Construction Injury Types," Accessed April 17, 2017

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