Construction sites are dangerous places. In general, construction workers are at high risk for on-the-job accidents. Every single day, they are at risk for falls; falling objects; being hit by a moving objects; bumped by moving equipment; and fatigue. Injuries can keep them away from work, create medical expenses, and add concerns about providing for their family. Injuries can be life-changing and even fatal.
As an attorney who represents Chicagoland clients in Workers’ Compensation claims, I fight for victims every day to gain the benefits that they deserve. With the risks posed by construction accidents, I want to offer some suggestions that will reduce the likelihood that you will be injured at a construction work site.
Wear the ‘Right’ Gear. It’s not just a helmet to protect your head. It’s eyewear, harnesses when working on rooftops and scaffolding, as well as reflective clothes for high-visibility. Too many accidents have co-workers say ‘I never saw him’.
Warm Up. Professional athletes never go into competition without a pre-game warm-up. The physical demands of construction work require a similar regiment. Stretching. Light calisthenics. Deep breathing. You’ll protect yourself from muscle pulls and tears. All Professionals need to be prepared to perform their job.
Hydrate. Proper hydration is tied to alertness, avoiding fatigue, better concentration, and a host of other factors. Take regular breaks for water, Gatorade, electrolyte replacements, and ice for cooling. Avoid energy drinks and carbonated sodas.
Avoid the Sun. Reduced exposure to the sun minimizes fatigue and damage to your skin. Wearing wide brim hard hats, neck protectors, and long sleeve shirts is invaluable.
Safety Meeting. Attend that safety meeting at the start of every shift. They keep you aware of what everyone around you is doing and your role on the playing-field. They also keep you aware of the equipment being used that day. Stay Focused – your body and life depends on it.
What To Do If You’re Injured.
Construction accidents happen quickly and are always unexpected. If you are injured while on-the-job, based upon my years of experience, I can offer a 5-step checklist to maximize success with your claim. I know the territory, the pitfalls, and the hurdles.
Step 1: Medical Care. First and foremost is your health. Seek medical attention and treatment immediately. Be sure to get copies of medical records regarding your exam and treatment. Take photos of any cuts or bruises or any physical damage that may not be revealed on X-rays. Being examined by a physician and following their medical advice is always first priority.
Step 2: Notify your employer. Following your initial medical treatment, notify your employer. Do not wait. In Illinois, you have only a short time to notify your employer of the injury.
Step 3: Document the situation. Accidents are scary. Details are easy to overlook. Write down what you remember happening as soon as possible in your private notes. What was happening just prior to the accident? Equipment condition? Where were you located? Who came to help? What was said? Get the names of witnesses.
Do not share these notes with anyone other than your attorney who will find these enormously helpful in fighting for you.
Step 4: Notify your union. If you’re a member of a union, make your steward aware of your injury. Your union can provide significant help.
Step 5: Retain an attorney. Contact an attorney who is knowledgeable and experienced with Workers Compensation cases. We help you navigate the claims process to insure that you receive all the benefits you deserve. We fight for your rights, your benefits, and assist with all the details — so that you can focus on healing.
We Help Victims.
The Attorneys at Friend, Levinson & Turner Law apply a disciplined approach to gain a comprehensive perspective of the facts, issues, and injuries experienced by victims of work related injuries. Our knowledge, experience, insight, and advice are invaluable. We make the legal process as stress-free as possible. We focus on recovering the compensation you deserve, while you focus upon recovery.
The attorneys at Friend, Levinson & Turner Law make the legal process as stress-free as possible. We focus on recovering compensation for you – while you concentrate on your physical and emotional recovery.
If you or a loved one is injured at work, please call my office at 312-346-8465 or contact us using the form below.