A recent fatal Illinois construction accident is under investigation by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The accident, which occurred in the early hours of the morning, involved two different construction companies working on the I-90 tollway. The crew was underneath an overpass of the highway, working to remove old support beams in order to replace them and widen the bridge. As they were working, one of the beams broke free and fell, killing one and injuring three.
Although OSHA has not yet completed its investigation into the companies involved in the accident, they have released a statement saying that their initial findings indicate that the accident was preventable. When moving such large beams, which weigh over 40 tons each, workers attach straps and chains to the beams in order to keep them steady as they are lowered slowly and safely to the ground. Once removed, they are cut into pieces and hauled away. In this accident, OSHA is trying to determine if the crews has enough straps to support the beam or if the chains being used failed from overuse.
Are All Construction Accidents Preventable?
OSHA maintains that all construction accidents are preventable if the proper procedures and regulations are being followed. In fact, almost all workplace accidents of any kind are the result of negligence. Since construction sites typically involve heavy machinery and large, unwieldy objects like steel support beams, any negligence by a construction company has the potential to result in a fatal accident. It is notable that both companies involved in the Illinois tollway accident have been issued citations by OSHA for numerous problems in the past.
The safety standards put in place by OSHA are intended to keep construction sites safe for workers. However, oftentimes construction companies will cut corners or ignore some of these rules in order to try to save money. When workers do not have the equipment they need or must use machines that may not be properly maintained, they are at an increased risk for a dangerous construction accident.
Our personal injury law firm has decades of experience helping construction accident victims and their families in Illinois and Missouri. Call for a free consultation. The information provided by Walton Telken, LLC in this Blog is not intended to be legal advice, but merely provides general information related to common legal issues. This Blog, and the information contained within it, is Attorney Advertisement. The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements. Past results afford no guarantee of future results. Every case is different and must be judged on its own merits.