Articles Posted in Construction Injury


Three People Connected to the Greater Chicago-Area Still Unaccounted For After Florida Condo Collapse

On Friday, June 25, 2021, The Chicago Tribune reported that more than 150 people were missing after a high-rise condominium partially collapsed near Miami Beach early Thursday. It’s estimated that 55 of the 136 residential units were affected. According to local officials, at least four people have died in the catastrophic event, and more than ten have been injured. The search amongst the rubble is expected to continue for several days and possibly weeks using rescue dogs and unique search technology and equipment such as sonar. 

Public records identify the condo complex as Champlain Towers South in the oceanfront community of Surfside, home to about 6,000 people. The skyrise was built in 1981. It is still unknown exactly how many people were in the building at the time when the tragedy occurred or what caused the building to collapse partially

Construction Worker Lung Disease

Companies Can Prevent Fatal Lung Disease in Stone Fabrication Workers

Thousands of U.S. workers are getting sick from cutting, grinding and polishing slabs of artificial stone used to make kitchen and bathroom countertops. The “engineered stone” is at risk of creating damaging levels of respirable crystalline silica in a workplace. Workers have been linked to cases of death and dangerous and irreversible lung injury in stone fabricators who cut, grind and polish high levels of the mineral silica, and then breathe in silica dust outputs.

An updated report by the Centers for Disease Control Doctors titled Severe Silicosis in Engineered Stone Fabrication Workers was released on September 27, 2019, and highlighted related worker illnesses in California, Colorado, Texas, and Washington, from 2017–2019.

After less than a day of deliberation, a Chicago jury awarded Tierney Darden $148 million for a shelter collapse outside O’Hare Airport that ripped her spinal cord in half, leaving her permanently paralyzed from the waist down and in constant pain.

In August 2015, Tierney, her mother, and sister had just returned to Chicago after traveling to Minneapolis to pick out a wedding dress for her sister. The three were waiting outside O’Hare under one of several pedestrian shelters found at the airport. A storm caused the shelter to suddenly collapse, trapping Tierney, now 26. After the accident, CBS 2 investigators found corroded parts and missing bolts and screws in not only the shelter that collapsed, but in nearly all others. The discovery and exposure forced O’Hare to remove all pedestrian shelters.

Tierney, a former dancer at Truman College, told CBS 2 of the accident “I hate it. I hate that I have to wake up every day and see it.”

Today, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), there are around 6.5 million construction workers at about 252,000 construction sites across the United States. With this immense amount of people on construction sites and with the countless risks that construction sites pose, personal injuries run rampant.

Construction sites also pose the risk of death! About a week ago, a 47-year old demolition employee was standing on a lift below a highway and cutting steel bracing between two large 45-ton beams supporting the above highway. Suddenly, one of the beams collapsed on the employee instantly killing him. Subsequent to this fatal construction accident, the employee’s employer was fined $152,000.   

Construction sites are certainly dangerous. Construction sites normally have the following risks/dangers: scaffolding risk, risks of falling from heights, trench collapses, and head injuries. This article will delve into these risks/dangers and propose ways to say safe. First, though, if you or a loved one were injured on a construction site, it is important that you hire an experienced personal injury attorney for your case. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.

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.
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Our lawyers stand by the idea that employees ought to be able to trust and expect that the environment in which they are working is safe and they are not in harm’s way when going about their assigned duties. This means that equipment should be properly functioning, that the worksite has been inspected for dangers, that employers have provided proper training, and that the company has safety protocols in place to prevent serious workplace injuries from occurring. When a company fails to ensure the safety of its workers and an employee is seriously injured, the employee may be able to hold the employer accountable for his or her workplace accident injuries that could have been prevented.

According to a recent report by ABC Chicago, an Illinois worker was recently injured on a job site at the Jardine Water Purification Plant of Chicago. The injured roofer worked for a roofing company and suffered injuries after being pinned between dumpster and roofing equipment. Reports did not say how he became trapped or if negligence played a role in his injuries.

When workers suffer serious injuries as a result of unsafe work environment or the negligence of other workers, they may be able to take legal action. Often, investigations can point to the fault or failed safety measure or procedure that was not followed to pinpoint how an accident occurred. Legal analysis may question as to why it is so difficult to discern the cause of this accident, and may question whether there were numerous safety violations that make it difficult to pinpoint among many wrongful actions as to what caused this accident.

There are many workers and laborers, such as construction workers or highway crews, in Illinois who work in dangerous positions and put their lives on the line. However, just because they selflessly work to benefit the rest of the community, does not mean that their jobs should be any more dangerous than they should be. Employers owe these workers a duty of care to provide safety equipment and a hazard-free working environment and to prevent construction accidents.

According to the Pantagraph, a man from Bloomington, Illinois recently fell to his death at his work. The McLean County coroner reported that this fall caused him to suffer fatal skull and brain injuries. The individual was working on a construction site placing siding on a portion of a house when he fell. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) are currently investigating this workplace accident.

Unfortunately, according to the Occupation Safety and Hazard Administration, lack of protection for worksite falls is ranked the number one violation for Illinois. This is for a worksite where a n employee has scaled over 10 feet high. Furthermore, 16% of violations were listed as repeat violations, which means that the same company was cited for the same violation during the past three years but continued to create the same hazards for workers.

Every day millions of construction workers put their lives on the line, and unfortunately many suffer injuries. Construction accidents are especially unfortunate if they occur because contractors, construction companies, or other workers have not taken proper safety measures to protect valued employees. Workers deserve to work in a safe environment and to be free from foreseen dangers, and employers owe a duty of care to its employees to be free from dangers, have safety equipment, and to work safely in their working environment. That is why special laws are in place to protect the health and safety of construction workers.

A Chicago suburban Palos Park native was killed in a worksite accident in Vernon Hills last week, according to the Chicago Tribune. The victim was a demolition crew member who died as a result of being struck by falling concrete when part of a wall collapsed at the demolition site where he was working. According to reports, a crew of workers was knocking down an exterior wall of the Westfield Hawthorn Mall. When they were removing an outer layer of brick, concrete pieces fell from the top of the wall and hit three workers. The federal Occupation Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) is investigating the incident. Federal investigators have been inspecting the site to determine if proper safety procedures were followed by the company.

OSHA requires workplaces to provide a safe and healthy working environment. Management should regularly conduct health and safety meetings that involves employees, managers, and supervisors. Management should also maintain consistent worksite analysis to ensure health and safety. This include reevaluating and updating policies for workplace activities where materials and machinery. There should also be consistent and regular inspections, and upon identifying any hazards, management needs to take corrective actions.

A construction worker has been identified after he was killed while on the job at a construction site on Northwestern’s Evanston campus. The worker was killed when a beam on the site fell from six stories up in the air and hit him, causing fatal head and chest injuries. The beam was knocked loose when a construction crane struck the beam, knocking it off where it had been positioned unsecured.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the victim was immediately rushed to NorthShore University Hospital, however he was pronounced dead as a result of his severe personal injuries about an hour and forty five minutes after the workplace accident occurred. The beam did not strike any of the other construction workers and no one else was injured.

OSHA is investigating the accident to further determine what exactly happened to lead to the accident, which includes interviewing all witnesses, interviewing the victim’s employer and checking out the scene of the accident to try to better understand the horrible accident. The investigation could take up to six months according to OSHA representatives, as it is crucial to try to understand the accident so better precautions may be taken to insure another workplace accident like this does not happen again.

Our firm achieved a $1.5 million settlement for an injured construction worker and his family on December 28, 2012. Steven Levin and Michael Bonamarte represented the plaintiff in the case. Our client was working as a temporary laborer at a residential construction site hired to do clean-up work at the site. While there, the victim was sweeping and picking up various debris on the second floor. Another temporary laborer from the agency and the victim moved a piece of plywood that was covering a chimney stack opening to that they could sweep around and underneath it. Our client did not see the large hole because the piece of plywood was obstructing his view and fell through the opening to the ground floor, sustaining serious injuries. His injuries included a fractured ankle, fractured pelvis, and fractured hip.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (“OSHA”) law requires holes like the one that our client fell through to be affixed and marked. The chimney that our client fell through was neither fixed nor marked. OSHA is the main federal agency charged with the enforcement of safety and health legislation, especially in the workplace. These laws are in place to protect the health and safety of all workers, including construction workers.

If you or a loved one has been injured at a construction site, it is important that you understand your rights to any benefits and compensation owed to you under the law. Construction site accidents can be severe and life altering. Our firm understands that after going through such trauma your goals are to make sure your medical bills are paid and covered, that you do not suffer financially through lost wages, and that your insurance company will pay for future treatment relating to your work. Our firm has significant experience handling cases for victims of construction accidents and their families. This experience in matters of construction workplace liability has enabled us to recover millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for our clients in such cases. If you or a loved one has been injured at a construction site, please contact our experienced construction accident attorneys for a consultation to review the specific facts of your case with you and inform you of your legal rights, free of charge.

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