In Arlington Heights, both private and public workplaces are governed by the safety standards put into place by the Occupational Safety and Health Act, more commonly known as OSHA. OSHA sets federal standards for employers to follow to ensure the safety of their employees. Construction and manufacturing jobs are among the most labor-intensive and thus dangerous positions for the workforce.
Most Common Worksite Accidents
The four most common and serious construction and manufacturing injuries and accidents are falls, electrocution, caught-in, and struck-by accidents. Because these are the most common and the most serious of construction and manufacturing accidents, OSHA dedicates special attention to preventing these types of injuries and fatalities.
Caught-in accidents are fairly common among workers on construction sites. Construction workers should always wear high-visibility clothing when working around equipment and vehicles. Workers should also always avoid putting themselves between a fixed object and a moving object. Regarding struck-by accidents, even for employees who wear the required safety equipment like a hardhat, struck-by accidents can cause serious or fatal brain or spinal injury. If a falling tool or object strikes a worker in the head, the results may be life-altering.
Undoubtedly, falls are the most common type of construction-related accident. In 2017, of the 971 construction fatalities, 366 of those were the result of a preventable fall. To prevent falls, OSHA mandates that employers provide fall protection and equipment to prevent falls such as appropriate ladders, scaffolding, and safety harnesses and gear. If a worker is six or more feet above the ground, they are at risk for severe injury from a fall accident. However, if a wrongful death arises in a worksite accident, an Arlington Heights attorney could work with a decedent’s loved ones to determine liability.
In the case of construction incidents, employers in Arlington Heights are held to a strict set of guidelines on how to handle workplace accidents. If hospitalization, amputation, or the loss of an eye occurred, the employer has 24 hours to report the incident to OSHA. If the construction accident resulted in a wrongful death in Arlington Heights, the employer must report the incident to OSHA within 8 hours.
Under OSHA regulations, employers also have a duty to provide:
- A workplace free from recognized hazards
- Access to safe tools and equipment
- Information about OSHA safety standards and health standards as applicable to their workplace
- A prominent display of OSHA standards and rights/responsibilities for employers and employees on a poster
- A written handbook that explains container labeling, material safety data sheets, and an employee training program
- Information in a language that their employee can understand
- Ready access to employee medical and exposure records when employees begin employment and on an annual basis
Reach Out for Help Filing a Wrongful Death Claim After a Construction Accident in Arlington Heights
While OSHA sets the federal guidelines for worker safety, they typically take an employer to task for violation on behalf of the federal government. The family or employee does not receive any benefit from the fines applied by OSHA. Instead, the family or employee affected must seek separate legal action against the employer for unsafe standards.
Especially in cases where a fatal construction accident has occurred, it is important for the family to receive competent and serious legal representation for help filing a wrongful death claim in Arlington Heights. To learn more, reach out to our compassionate legal team today.