Construction site injuries come in all shapes and sizes. From minor cuts and abrasions to significant falls and broken bones, Chicago construction workers can suffer from a myriad of work-related harms. One type of construction-related injury that is not as obvious as those just mentioned is a respiratory injury or illness. Respiratory problems can affect construction workers when they breathe in harmful materials without the proper breathing apparatuses.
Construction workers in Chicago take quite a risk on most days just to earn a living, as was evidenced in one accident recently discussed on our blog. Workplace statistics show that construction workers are among the most common workers to suffer an injury on a job site or, in the most unfortunate situations, fatality. The fact is that there are many different ways that a construction workplace injury can occur.
Many of the tall buildings that grace the Chicago skyline are construction marvels. Through feats of architecture and engineering, massive structures rise from the ground and provide safe, comfortable spaces for individuals to work and live. The construction of those buildings can take years as well as the efforts of many individuals and machines.
Tragedy recently struck the Ford Chicago Assembly Plant on Torrance Avenue. Two men who were involved in a construction project at the facility were near a concrete wall when an eight foot by eight foot part of the wall collapsed upon them. While one of the men escaped with injuries, the other lost his life in the construction accident.
Anyone who lives in or near Chicago has likely driven on or rode in a car while it has traveled on an interstate or highway. The state of Illinois has many throughways with relatively high speeds that allow travelers to get from one part of the state to another or to leave the state in order to travel to other parts of the country. The state's highways and interstates, however, are often in need of repair. It is not uncommon to see amber signs up about road construction as drivers pass through the metropolitan area.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration estimates that accidents involving ladders and stairs kill several dozen individuals at construction sites each year. In Chicago and in other parts of the country construction workers use ladders and other climbing devices in order to scale tall surfaces. While many are able to do so without sustaining injuries or death, others are unfortunately not so lucky and are harmed with incidents occur on or near their ladders and steps.
There are many professions that take Chicago residents outside of office buildings and into the natural environments of their communities. One of these professions is that of construction work. Construction workers undertake many of their responsibilities outdoors where they experience both the best and the worst that nature has to offer.
In 2013, more than one-third of all construction-related deaths involved falls from higher ground to lower levels. In Chicago, construction workers are subject to fall dangers every day when they climb up onto buildings' roofs, scaffolding structures, and even just up onto ladders. Even a fall from a relatively low height can be deadly, and the federal Occupational Safety & Health Administration has offered a straightforward way of reducing the number of preventable and deadly falls that occur at American construction sites.
Construction projects can be big or small, but on most Chicago construction sites at least one vehicle is required at some point for delivering and moving around materials. Flatbed trucks and pick-ups can be used for some jobs while forklifts and dump trucks are used for others. Generally, the driver of a vehicle on a construction site must be trained to properly use the truck's operating features.
Before a new building is finished, Chicago residents often see a massive crane looming over the construction project. On its own a crane is an impressive structure. Tall and strong, sturdy and precise, cranes help lift large materials up into the air as building projects grow higher and higher off of the ground.