As a construction worker in Illinois, you probably know that you have a dangerous job. But did you know that in 2009, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that greater than 9 percent of the 3.3 million reports of nonfatal injuries and illnesses were made by construction workers? With many other industries only making up one percent or less of these reports, this is a significant amount of incidents from one source.
Hazards on a construction site are extremely varied and seemingly endless. Even a simple task that you perform a hundred times per day might result in an injury that keeps you from working. By understanding the most common types of construction injuries, you can reduce your chances of suffering a workplace injury.
Falls rank at the top of the list for common construction accidents. Due to the high usage of ladders, scaffolds, cranes and generally working above ground level, construction workers are at an extremely high risk of falling.
Objects from above
The next most dangerous part of working in construction comes in the form of falling objects. Have you had a close call with a tool that someone dropped from the floor above you, maybe missing you by mere inches? If so, you are not alone. Unfortunately, many workers have not been so lucky with a near miss and have suffered brain and spinal injuries due to being struck by falling objects.
Trench and building collapses tend to result in the most serious and often fatal injuries because they trap workers inside and under very heavy materials. In many cases, these collapses occur without enough warning for the workers to vacate the area. In addition, it is also difficult to determine the cause of these accidents.
Unfortunately, even if you follow all safety protocols, you are still at risk of a workplace injury as a construction worker. You may be wondering what kind of options you have available if you do have an accident while on the job. How will you pay for medical treatment? What happens if you can't return to work quickly?
This is where workers' compensation comes in. You might be eligible for benefits that include treatment, rehabilitation and even compensation for the time you have to take off of work to recover. If you suffer a workplace injury, be sure to start the workers' compensation claim process as soon as possible.