Chicago residents see construction projects happening in their communities every day. From city-sanctioned sidewalk repairs, to commercial building construction, to residential home improvement projects, the variety of active building projects opens the door to many possible construction injuries. While some injuries associated with construction site accidents are minor, others can be fatal.
A poorly executed residential construction project recently took the lives of two young children. The project, which involved the property owner excavating a nearly two story deep hole, was under construction when a 7 year old boy and a 6 year old girl climbed down into the hole to get a toy. The children were buried when the dirt walls of the hole fell and trapped them.
It is unknown if the property owner, who was one of the kids’ fathers, had permits to undertake the construction project or if he was being assisted by any professional construction contractors. While this story exemplifies the real dangers associated with private individuals undertaking construction projects that they are not prepared to handle, it more broadly demonstrates how construction sites can be dangerously attractive places for children to play.
An attractive nuisance is something may be dangerous to kids but that may not appear to be dangerous to those children. In this story, it is report that the child victims sometimes played in the hole prior to the accident, indicating that they did not perceive the possible dangers associated with being in the construction site. While it is unclear if anyone was monitoring the safety of this construction site, licensed contractors in the greater Chicago area are required to take precautions to prevent any unauthorized persons from entering construction sites and to prevent construction injuries. Individuals who have been injured at construction sites and who believe that they were not adequately warned about the dangers of the site may be entitled to compensation for their injuries.
Source: CBS News, “Bodies of two kids recovered after construction site accident,” April 8, 2013