If you look around you at all the infrastructure in your city, like the streets, bridges, and high-rise buildings surrounding you, consider for a moment how they were built. Think about how much the materials weigh that make the foundations of these structures. Examine the great heights of the buildings that stretch into the sky. Consider the design and intricacy keeping a bridge stable over large bodies of water. All of these things required the hard physical labor of workers.
After thinking about and examining these structures, it is pretty evident that these massive structures require a lot of manpower, strength, and hard work to build. Because of this fact, workers should not have added dangers on top of the physical obstacles they already have to endure in construction jobs. These jobs already have enough inherent dangers with wear and tear on the human body as they are that there should be no room for recklessness, workplace negligence, and additional uncalled for hazards. Unfortunately, these all too common, and physical laborers are put in harm’s way and suffer from workplace accidents.
A recent report by the Chicago Tribune describes such an incident of unnecessary danger where a construction site worker plunged to his death at the new Vikings Stadium construction site in Minnesota. The article describes how the worker plunged about 50 feet to his death and a second worker who was working with him suffered serious personal injuries. The man who died fell from the edge of the roof into a snow gutter on the north side of the stadium only 45 minutes into his shift. The other man did not fall from the roof but was injured on top of it and required hospitalization.
Investigators are trying to determine how such an accident could have occurred. They are looking into whether these men were provided harnesses and other safety equipment, and whether such equipment was even required where they were working.
Workers should never have to fear that they will lose their life on construction sites and should be able to trust that the companies overseeing large construction projects will provide them with proper training, supervision, and safety equipment so that they can come home every day from work safely, and most importantly, living. Deaths on construction sites are almost always preventable, and while it is unclear what caused this particular death and injury to occur, when such things happen on construction sites, it is often a sign that negligence and recklessness occurred in some fashion, and that safety protocol was overlooked in some shape or form.
Our Chicago attorneys believe that every employee in Illinois should have the right to a safe workplace. If an employee’s injury or death was the result of another person’s negligence, such as his/her employer or coworkers, wrongdoers can and should be held accountable under the law. We believe that no matter the job, all workers deserve to be safe in their workplace environment, and that those who endanger them should not be let off the hook for their recklessness.