The construction industry is an important source of employment for Illinois workers, as well as those across the country. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, nearly 6.5 million U.S. workers laboring in more than 250,000 construction sites every day.
Unfortunately, as any Chicago construction accident lawyer knows, this large subset of the workforce is exposed to a relatively high workplace injury rate. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics establishes this fact. In recent history, four out of every 100 construction workers were injured in the workplace every year.
The construction industry also carries a high fatality rate compared to other industries. In fact, OSHA studies show that the rate of workplace deaths in construction is higher than the national average.
Variety of hazards
Construction sites are filled with potential safety hazards, given the nature of the work. For this reason, construction workers are exposed to a wide variety of injury risks of the job. However, as a Chicago construction accident lawyer would be aware, some injuries are more common than others on construction sites. Four of those more common injuries are brain injuries, back injuries, lifting injuries and broken bones.
- Brain injuries. A study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine discussed the occurrence of fatal traumatic brain injuries in the workplace. One of the points highlighted in the study was that the construction industry experienced the highest number of these brain injuries among all industries. According to the Brain Injury Institute, 20 percent of these injuries are the result of uneven, wet or cluttered surfaces, which lead to slips and falls. These hazardous surfaces are commonplace on construction sites.
- Back injuries. According to the BLS, the construction industry has a higher lost-time incident rate for back injuries than any other industry. The primary cause of back injuries in the workplace is overexertion.
- Lifting injuries. Lifting is one of the repetitive motions that cause overexertion, which results in back, neck and other strain injuries. The risk of lifting injuries is high on construction sites, especially when proper lifting techniques are not trained and monitored.
- Broken bones. Data from OSHA shows that the primary causes of fractures in the construction industry are falls and moving objects.
Legal representation is available
Sustaining an injury on a construction site can have a major impact on the life of a worker. Construction workers rely on their bodies to perform the work that provides their families with a living. Construction injuries may result in medical bills and lost wages, among other damages. In response, injured construction workers may wish to consult with a Chicago construction accident lawyer.