Reducing on the job injuries for Illinois construction workers

There are steps construction workers can take to reduce their risk of occupational injuries, despite the numerous hazards they face in the workplace.

In general, there is some risk of injury in every profession and field in Illinois, and elsewhere. The danger may be heightened for some workers, however. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 600 construction trade workers were killed in 2014 alone, and many more workers suffered injuries on the job. While not all construction accidents are preventable, there are some things construction site managers and workers can do to reduce the risk.

Much of the danger that construction workers face on the job is due to the nature of their work. This is because construction workers are often called upon to work under dangerous conditions or in hazardous areas. As such, there are numerous workplace accidents, which may contribute to occupational injuries for construction workers. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the leading causes of fatal work-related injuries for construction workers include falls; electrocutions; and being struck by, caught in or stuck between objects.

Reducing the risk of falls

If workers fall on the job, they may suffer a range of serious injuries, including broken bones. By ensuring that all floor holes are guarded, however, employers may help prevent these types of accidents from occurring. This includes using floor hole covers, toe-boards or railings around floor holes, runways and elevated open sided platforms. It is advisable that construction industry employers also provide their workers with safety and harness lines, handrails, stair railings and safety nets for some jobs.

For their part, workers should stay alert and always be aware of their surroundings while on construction sites. Furthermore, it is important for construction workers to use the safety equipment that is provided.

Avoiding electrocutions

Often, workers on construction sites are required to work with, and around, electricity, which can be dangerous. Employers can reduce the risk that their workers will suffer on the job injuries as the result of an electric shock by keeping their worksites dry. Additionally, those operating construction sites should also provide their workers with the equipment and tools that they need to safely install or repair electrical work.

It is also important for workers on construction sites to be aware of the dangers of electricity. They should be aware of their surroundings and always use safe work practices. Construction workers may also reduce their risk of electrocution by using electrical protective devices, insulation, grounding and guarding.

Preventing caught in injuries

The equipment, machinery and tools on construction sites often have numerous moving parts. As such, there is ample opportunity for workers' clothing or body parts to get caught or pulled in. This could result in serious injuries, including crushed or severed extremities.

Employers may help reduce the likelihood of these types of accidents by ensuring that all of the equipment in use is regularly maintained and functioning properly. Additionally, they should make sure that the equipment and tools being used have the appropriate guards and safety mechanisms, and that workers are using them. By being aware of their surroundings and wearing the appropriate clothing, construction workers may avoid being injured on the job in this type of accident. It is also important for workers to only use the equipment for its intended purpose and as directed.

Seeking legal representation

When Illinois construction workers suffer occupational injuries, they are often entitled to workers' compensation benefits. For some, however, the process may not be cut and dry. As such, those who have been injured in the workplace may benefit from working with an attorney. A lawyer may explain their options, and help guide them through the process.