Just like employees are expected to follow rules of their employer, employers are expected to follow rules set by the federal and state government. When it comes to worker safety, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration sets rules for employers to follow. This is a federally funded government body. Illinois also has requirements of employers.
Because OSHA is federally funded, the agency's findings and reports are a matter of public record. On OSHA's website, it shows the amount of fines that employers have faced so far in 2018. The fines total hundreds of thousands of dollars. Some are in connection with construction negligence and worker-related deaths and injuries.
The particular fines listed in this part of the site detail fines that total $40,000 or more. Any fine in that expense bracket is serious and wouldn't be taken lightly by the accused employer. Looking into the breakdown of how an employer may be fined, there are serious penalties, willful penalties and repeat penalty classifications. They can relate to any industry and health and safety related violation.
For any loved one who suspects their spouse or family member's death was due to construction negligence on behalf of their employer, checking out the employer's previous history with OSHA can be a good starting point. Any indication of a dangerous work environment would be a matter of public record. However, all worker deaths are investigated, regardless of the assumed conditions. An otherwise spotless company could show that it was negligent, pending the results of the investigation.