The Department of Occupational Safety and Health Administration has been fining companies for safety violations in order to send a message to employers and companies to ensure a safe work environment. As well as citations, OSHA has a Focus Four initiative that it has been instituted to train workers and employers about the importance of multiple safety procedures in order to help prevent fatal construction workers’ accidents. As an example, an Illinois roofing company has recently been fined $280,000 due to a failure to institute some safety measures to prevent falls on multiple different jobs.
OSHA’s Focus Four initiative focuses on the top-four dangers to workers in the construction industry. Falls, electrocution, struck-by accidents and caught-in or caught-between accidents are the most fatal accidents for construction workers. Data from the Center for Construction Research and Training, CPWR, has verified the importance of OSHA’s initiative.
Data collected from 2011-2015 indicated that there was a 33 percent increase in fatalities where workers were caught in something or caught between something. The percentage equated to 275 workers having died, which is more than any other industry in that same time period. In the same time period, more than 800 workers were killed by objects of vehicles that struck them on construction sites.
It is concerning for many that construction workers’ accidents are on the rise, despite safety measures and awareness. Families who lose a loved one in a fatal accident will have to process the financial implications of the loss of their loved one while coping with unexpected grief. Most employers are required to provide workers’ compensation insurance benefits to employees. Illinois attorneys familiar with the system can assist grieving families to understand how to file a claim to receive death benefits. While insurance money will not replace a loved one, it can help a family transition financially without them.
Source: constructiondive.com, “Report: Caught-in, caught-between construction deaths rising“, Kim Slowey, March 20, 2018