Articles Posted in Construction Injuries

Death of Sewer Worker InvestigationStreamwood, Illinois – A 22-year-old Gurnee construction worker Brett Morrow died while installing a fiberglass liner in a sewer pipe that prevents leaks. The worker was fatally injured after being hit by a large horizontal pipe that blocked access of others to help the victim. Immediately after the accident, the injured worker communicated with others at the scene but was found unresponsive by emergency responders when they arrived.

OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) is investigating the incident that trapped the injured victim about 25 feet into the pipe, making it difficult for rescuers to reach him to provide care. The sewer pipe liner became crumpled and hardened, which blocked access to Morrow. Rescuers from the Streamwood Fired Department cut the liner apart to successfully pull the victim out almost four hours after arriving at the construction site.

The village’s Fire Chief Chris Clark stated that “we were certainly hopeful that he would be viable. We operated as if it would be a rescue the entire time. It wasn’t until we had him removed that we were able to determine he was deceased.” The Fire Chief said that “it took some time to cut the lining material away so that technicians could get to the patient. Then we were able to remove the patient. It is very challenging, because it’s a very small space to work in, and there was a lot of safety equipment.”

Excavators and Construction Site DangersHobart, Indiana – A 62-year-old South Haven construction worker, Guy Holk, died in an evacuation site accident in Northwest Indiana on November 1, 2017, after being pinned against a wall by the bucket of an excavator. Hobart Police Department Lieutenant James Gonzalez stated that at approximately noon, emergency responders were called to the area of Pennsylvania Ave. And Lakeshore Drive where a construction crew was replacing sewer lines. When responders arrived, the victim was found unresponsive and pronounced dead at the evacuation site at 1:38 PM by the Lake County coroner’s office.

The lieutenant explained that the “operator of the excavator was inside of the cab and turned to speak with the crew member on the ground. The operator of the excavator turned back to situate himself in the seat when a piece of his clothing caught a lever, which controlled the bucket on the excavator.” The lieutenant stated in a report that “the bucket, which was positioned inside the hole, moved forward and pinned the crew member against the wall.” A death investigation remains open.”

Workplace Safety Hazards

Safety in Illinois Road ConstructionAutomobile accidents cause unwanted consequences that could lead to permanent injury, loss of earnings, a disruption in daily living or a loss of life. Information released in 2009 by the U.S. Census Bureau revealed that nearly eleven million automobile crashes occurred that year in America. In recent years, the U.S. Department of Transportation and the state of Illinois have placed a much greater emphasis on roadway safety focusing on technology and statistics to minimize the number of accidents.

Automobile crashes and collisions are often the result of a range of factors including the driver’s abilities and decisions, the vehicle, and the conditions of the road. Highway and roadway planners consider these factors when developing new roadways and improving existing streets to enhance the motoring public’s safety. Their efforts usually involve engineering, traffic law enforcement, emergency medical services, and educating the public.

Engineering

Fines in Construction CasesThe April death of a construction worker killed by a falling beam has led OSHA to fine the worker’s employer and to issue multiple health and safety citations. According to OSHA, the company overstressed the beam during a demolition project, resulting in the beam’s failure. A commission has been set up to review OSHA’s findings and determine whether the fines and citations will stand and what additional measures will be taken by the Illinois Tollway. This particular case is representative of the form of negligence our Chicago construction accident attorneys see at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC on a routine basis and is why we fight so passionately on behalf of workers’ interests.

Berwyn Resident Killed in Beam Collapse

47-year-old Vicente Santoyo was killed while working for Omega Demolition Corp. on the demolition of the I-90 bridge near Touhy Avenue. According to OSHA’s report of the events, he was cutting the bracing between two beams when one of them fell on top of him. Santoyo was among numerous workers injured in the incident, but the only one who died. OSHA determined that Omega Demolition was at fault for the incident and issued a fine for over $152,000 in addition to multiple health and safety citations.

Fatal Beam Collapse AccidentEven though the temperature was hovering around freezing with a slight breeze blowing from the southeast on the morning of April 5, 2016, it was not the weather that claimed the life of Mr. Vincente Santoyo along Interstate 90 in Des Plaines. Instead, the Elgin Omega Demolition Corporation worker was tragically killed by a falling 45-ton beam at a freeway construction worksite. The incident also caused serious injuries to three other employees.

A report by the Chicago Tribune notes that construction site crew members were removing the beam by using heavy equipment on Touhy Avenue under the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (Interstate 90) when the accident occurred. The critically injured 47-year-old victim was rushed to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital where he was later pronounced dead. The Chicago-area native had worked in the construction industry for more than two decades.

The incident occurred on the old westbound lanes portion of the interstate that is part of the massive reconstruction I-90 project. The construction job involving the widening of the existing roadway between Chicago and Elgin to eight lanes has caused massive traffic problems at the busiest times of the day. To complete the project, these lanes were temporarily closed down and traffic redirected on the eastbound portion of the road that had already been rebuilt and completed. It remains unclear if the incident that took the life of Mr. Santoyo will delay construction and the final completion of the freeway widening project.

Safety Inspections Put Workers in JeopardyWhile the Occupational Safety and Health Administration would have all businesses perform routine health and safety inspections, not every employer is required to. Businesses which have employees perform more dangerous job functions or work with hazardous machinery or materials may be required to comply with more strict regulations and perform regular inspections in order to ensure that a safe environment is provided to workers. Regardless of whether a business receives a mandate from OSHA to perform routine inspections, employers can be held liable if OSHA believes they have failed to take measures that are considered reasonable to reduce the chances of injury. It is a proven fact that routine safety inspections can save lives and employers need to be more willing to actively participate in programs that will reduce workplace accidents.

Equipment Requiring Regular Inspection

Regular safety inspections can identify problems with machinery well before they become a hazard to workers, but employers often push back against mandated inspection schedules in order to avoid costs associated with regular maintenance and repair. It is a sad affair when the safety of employees is not valued more than the costs required to ensure that every employee makes it home from his or her shift. OSHA requires facilities and worksites that maintain or operate certain forms of machinery to perform regular inspections and make repairs to machinery when appropriate because, when left to the employers’ discretion, these inspections may not be performed.

Crane Accidents and Crane SafetyNew crane safety regulations are now in place for New York City following a tragic crane collapse on February 7th that took the life of an unsuspecting victim who had been on his way to work and injured three others. The accident that resulted in his death is thought to be directly linked to high winds, and the crane collapsed as workers were in the process of securing the crane and diverting traffic. Precautionary measures proved futile as the crew was unable to prevent the crane from falling onto the street below. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio responded by tightening regulations and increasing the amounts of fines to be assessed against offenders.

New Prevention Measures in Place

The new regulations now require all crane engineers to pull their cranes down the day before any forecasts that call for winds in excess of 20 mph and all operations must be halted at once any time unexpected wind gusts exceed the same speed. Other precautionary measures include closing off walkways and streets in areas that crane activity poses a threat to in the event of a collapse in order to reduce the chances that a pedestrian or motorist will be involved in any accident that results.

Collapse Leads to Death in Construction AccidentA tragic accident at Ford’s assembly plant in Chicago claimed the life of a construction worker earlier this month and critically injured another who attempted to assist the first worker. Whenever an accident claims the life of a worker, the Chicago construction accident attorneys of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC always pose the question of whether the incident could have been prevented with more adequate safety measures or policies designed to protect employees from workplace hazards. If you have lost a loved one or suffered serious injuries due to a workplace accident, it is important to know your rights so that you may recover the compensation you and your family are entitled to.

Accidental Wall Collapse Determined as the Cause of Worker’s Death

John Jaloway was killed after an eight foot by eight foot concrete wall collapsed at the assembly plant located at 126th and Torrence Avenue. His death was the result of multiple blunt trauma injuries that he received during the collapse. He was 45 years old. Another worker attempted to rescue Jaloway during the incident and suffered critical injuries during the attempt.

Dangers in Underground ConstructionThe latest data now suggests that a worker is injured once a minute in digging accidents. If you have any experience as a construction worker at all, you are already aware of the dangers that construction workers are exposed to on a regular basis while digging. Only if you work in construction, can you truly appreciate the risks and sacrifices that must be made to perform the jobs of those on work sites and those not directly exposed to those dangers don’t place nearly enough value on the safety of those who are putting their bodies and lives at risk. Even if you take every precaution you have been instructed to, it is still possible for things to go incredibly wrong at only a moment’s notice, so we’ve provided these additional tips in hope that they might prevent an accident or save a life.

Understanding the Data Can Alert You to Danger

Even the most experienced workers find themselves involved in an accident at one point in time and the moment that you feel safest is often when you are most vulnerable. You shouldn’t be in a constant state of paranoia, but be aware of the locations and situations in which many construction workers are harmed so that you can be wary and ready to avoid danger. When digging or working near utilities, accidents commonly occur around these hazards.

Dangers in Construction SitesBeing a construction worker is one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. When an accident causes serious injuries and death, it is especially horrific. In March 2015, three workers assisting in the construction of an office building in downtown Raleigh North Carolina lost their lives. Another worker suffered serious injuries after the exterior lift system they were riding detached from the structure.

The accident occurred at a new Charter Square building located on Fayetteville Street. At the time of the incident, the men were taking apart a portion of the elevator system. The mobile scaffold platform ripped away from the structure and plummeted to the ground killing three men and injuring another. The falling platform crushed one of the workers while he was exiting a portable restroom below.

Injured and Deceased Victims

An unidentified individual at the worksite called 911, claiming a construction crew was aboard the elevator platform at the time of its collapse. The deceased men have been identified as Durham residents Anderson Almeida, 33 and José Erasmo Hernandez, 41 along with Clinton resident, 33-year-old José Luis Lopez-Ramirez. The injured worker Elmer Guevara, 53 was transported to WakeMed.

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