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Despite Health and Safety Efforts, Construction Fatalities are All Too Frequent

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are more fatal work injuries in the construction industry than in any other industry in the United States. In fact, in 2010 alone, there were 751 construction deaths across the United States, and these deaths leave behind mourning family and friends.

In Illinois, the statistics are even more frightening. According to the Center for Justice and Democracy, Illinois has the 5th highest construction employment in the nation, and in 2006 the Illinois construction industry alone accounted for 46% of the fatalities investigated by OSHA.

Although the number of construction-related fatalities is down from previous years, the numbers may be deceiving. As a result of the country’s weakened economy, the number of hours worked in the construction industry has decreased as well. Although the overall number of deaths has declined, the per-capita rate, as compared to hours worked, has remained at the same level.

Nevertheless, the Associated General Contractors of America wants to give credit for the decline in the number of construction fatalities to the construction industry’s increased safety planning and training efforts. Additionally, the number of workplace deaths – spanning all fields – is down significantly from the estimated 14,000 deaths in 1970 when the Occupational Safety and Health administration was founded. Nevertheless, even one killed or injured worker is one too many.

Because a focus on improved safety considerations seems to have had a significant positive impact on workplaces, these programs need to continue to be implemented. Furthermore, every wrongful death lawsuit filed on behalf of the family of an individual whose death occurred as a result of a work injury, sends a message to site owners that negligence will not be tolerated. When site owners or managers negligently fail to maintain a safe premise, they are liable for any injuries that occur on the site.

Our Chicago workplace injury attorneys have a lot of experience handling construction site injuries and fatalities. If you or someone you love has been harmed in a work accident, an attorney may be the right person to help you determine your rights.