Anyone who works in construction knows that there are dangers inherent in the job. Though no one ever expects to be injured or to lose a loved one in an Illinois construction accident, construction accidents are alarmingly common and can have life-altering or fatal consequences.
Because of the variety of dangers that exist on an Illinois construction site, there are several different types of commonly experienced construction site accidents.
Scaffolding, a type of temporary elevated platform, allows workers to do their jobs on buildings above the ground; an essential function in the construction industry. According to the United States Department of Labor, 65% of all construction workers use scaffolding in their jobs. A number of different types of scaffolding are used at construction sites, including:
- Ladder jack scaffolds;
- Pump jack scaffolds;
- Trestle ladder scaffolds;
- Multi-level scaffolds; and
- Two point adjustable scaffolds.
Causes of scaffolding accidents can include:
- Lack of safety training;
- Ignoring training;
- Lack of fall protection;
- Poor construction;
- Falling debris; or
- Product failure.
Some victims are able to walk away from scaffolding accidents with minor injuries. Others may suffer more severe injuries including brain damage or spinal cord injuries. For others, scaffolding accidents result in fatal injuries.
Elevator Shaft Accidents
According to the Center for Construction Research and Training, elevator and escalator accidents result in 17,000 serious injuries every year in the United States.
Almost 50% of the deaths of those working on or near elevators are caused by falling down elevator shafts. Injuries or death from elevator shaft accidents can also be caused by:
- Getting caught between an elevator and a door;
- Being struck by an elevator;
- Poor safety training;
- Ignoring safety training; or
- Elevator collapse.
Crane Accidents Like elevator shaft accidents and scaffolding accidents, crane accidents can result in serious injuries or death. Incidents that can contribute to crane accidents include:
- Improper crane inspection;
- Using the wrong loading chart;
- People walking underneath the operating area of a crane;
- Falling objects;
- Falls from cranes;
- Improper testing of cranes;
- Not maintaining proper clearance with overhead electrical lines;
- Operating a crane on an unstable surface;
- Lack of training;
- Lack of communication between appropriate personnel; and
- Improper blocking, or “cribbing,” of loads for load stabilization.
Trench Accidents Construction workers often find themselves working in trenches or performing excavation on a construction site. Common trench accidents include:
- Exposure to toxic gases;
- Having insufficient oxygen;
- Collapsing walls;
- Being hit with falling objects; and
These trench accidents can occur because of:
- Inadequate trench inspections;
- Inadequate soil analysis;
- Poorly built walls;
- Neglecting to locate underground utility lines;
- Neglecting to use appropriate safety equipment;
- Insufficient protection against water accumulation;
- Neglecting to install the required guardrails, ramps and walkways;
- Neglecting to test for gases; and
- Prolonged working time in trenches.
Injuries involved in trench accidents will depend on the cause and severity of the accident, but may include head injuries, burn injuries, and broken or fractured bones.
Loading Dock Accidents
A variety of different accidents can occur on or close to loading docks.
Common types of loading dock accidents include:
- A forklift hitting a person;
- A forklift rolling off of the loading dock;
- A forklift dropping merchandise on a person;
- Getting caught between a truck and a loading dock;
- A person slipping or falling off of a loading dock;
- Improperly stacked merchandise falling on a person;
- Trailers separating from loading docks;
- Trailers leaving loading docks without notifying warehouse personnel; and
- Poor weather conditions that result in ice or snow.
As with other common construction accidents, loading dock accident injuries will vary according to the type and severity of the incident. Those who are lucky may not have any injuries at all or may only experience minor scrapes and bruises. However, less fortunate victims may experience injuries that permanently affect the quality of their lives or experience injuries that lead to death.
When to Hire a Chicago Construction Accident Lawyer
It’s important to contact a qualified Chicago construction accident lawyer as soon as you are able. Even though Workers’ Compensation is available for victims of construction site accidents, this alone may not be enough to cover all of your accident-related expenses. A Chicago construction accident lawyer can help you explore all available avenues of compensation for your injuries.
The Law Offices of Barry G. Doyle, P.C. have tried many cases like yours and understand the complexities of worksite injury cases. For a free evaluation of your case contact us today – 312-263-1080