Construction work is a common sight during the summer in Illinois. Whether they are fixing a road or erecting a building, many people in Illinois and nationwide work in the construction industry. Through the sweat of their brow, these men and women maintain our cities, contributing significantly to the economy as a whole. It is important work.
However, construction work is also dangerous work. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports that in 2015, 21.4 percent of the 4,379 private industry workplace fatalities were in the construction industry. The agency has named what it calls the “Fatal Four,” which are the top four causes of construction worker fatalities. It is estimated that if the “Fatal Four” were eliminated, over 600 lives would be saved annually.
The first of the “Fatal Four” is falls. In 2015, 38.8 percent of construction worker fatalities in the private industry were due to falls. The second of the “Fatal Four” is being hit by an object. This accounted for 9.6 percent of construction worker fatalities in the private industry in 2015. At 8.6 percent of fatal construction accidents in 2015, the third of the “Fatal Four” is electrocution. Finally, the fourth of the “Fatal Four,” at 7.2 percent of fatal private industry construction accidents, is workers being caught in or caught between objects.
As this shows, as necessary as it is, construction work is dangerous work. Not only can unsafe practices by employers put construction workers at risk of injury or death, but third parties can also be responsible for a construction worker’s death, for example, if a car hits and kills a construction employee who is performing his or her duties on the road. When this happens, the worker’s loved ones may want to determine whether they are able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. This could help them pursue compensation for funeral expenses, lost wages, loss of companionship, and other damages related to construction negligence.