Construction workers in Chicago can face serious dangers on the job every day. Workplace injuries and accidents can be catastrophic or even fatal. Indeed, 5,147 workers were killed while working in 2017, meaning almost 100 workers lose their lives at work every week. Of the 4,674 of those workers employed in private industry who were killed in 2017, over 20 percent were in the construction industry.
Construction workers in Illinois may be concerned about their safety on the job, especially if they work on scaffolding and at heights. In the construction industry, accidents involving scaffolds are among the most common. In addition, workplace safety practices for scaffolding are often poor and in violation of federal regulations. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), scaffolding problems are the third most common violation found by the agency. In 2016 alone, 3,900 citations were issued for dangerous scaffolds.
Construction workers in Illinois are probably aware that the industry they work in is one of the most dangerous around. OSHA states that there were almost 1,000 construction worker deaths in 2016 and that roughly 60 percent of these could have been avoided with proper training and equipment. It can be good, then, to recap what the most common hazards are in the industry.
There are new rules regarding exposure to crystalline silica dust that contractors and construction workers in Illinois and elsewhere around the country must follow. To aid with training and safety compliance, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has created free instructional videos and other informational materials about the threats of respirable crystalline silica.
Construction workers in Illinois may be safer if certain types of technology are adopted on their work sites. This is one of the most dangerous industries, and in 2015, more than 900 construction workers around the country died from on-the-job injuries. Around 10 percent of all construction workers are injured on the job each year.