Chicago Attorney Secures Justice for Injured Local 1 Ironworkers
Chicago personal injury lawyer James J. Morici, Jr., the managing partner of Morici, Longo & Associates, filed suit against General Contractor Lend Lease and another defendant on behalf of two injured Local 1 Ironworkers.
The men were injured in May when an improperly secured load of lifting straps fell from over 40 feet, striking one and menacing the other. The injured worker suffered substantial brain injuries that have disabled him.
“The defendant violated a cardinal rule of crane safety in allowing loads to be passed over the heads of workers,” Morici said, adding that the investigation revealed that the dangerous practice was allowed to occur repeatedly on the site and was bound to cause a devastating injury.
OSHA Construction Safety Standards in 2023
Being struck by falling objects on high-rise construction sites (commonly coined “struck-by” hazards) is a significant concern for construction workers. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), “struck-by” accidents are a leading cause of fatalities and serious injuries in the construction industry.
To address this issue, OSHA upholds certain safety regulations and standards that require employers to provide a safe work environment. It's important for both employers and workers to prioritize safety and adhere to these guidelines to prevent “struck-by” hazards and related injuries. OSHA’s construction safety standards include:
- Implementation of proper hazard assessment: Employers should identify potential hazards and assess the risks associated with falling objects on construction sites. This can involve evaluating the stability of equipment and materials, ensuring proper storage and securing of objects, and considering environmental factors like wind or vibrations.
- Provision of personal protective equipment (PPE): Workers should be provided with appropriate PPE, such as hard hats, safety glasses, and steel-toed boots, to protect them from falling object hazards.
- Installation of proper protective measures: Safety nets, toe boards, and guardrails should be installed in areas with a risk of falling objects. These measures help to prevent objects from falling and reaching workers below.
- Regular inspections: Regular inspections of construction sites and equipment should be performed to identify any potential hazards or maintenance issues that could contribute to falling object incidents.
- Provision of training and awareness programs: Employers should provide comprehensive training to workers on recognizing and avoiding falling object hazards. This includes proper lifting and handling techniques, awareness of their surroundings, and understanding of emergency procedures.
4 Ways to Prevent Construction Accidents in Chicago
Securing loads to cranes is an integral part of Chicago construction site safety. Several rigging methods can be used to prevent falling loads from cranes. Some common methods include:
- Rigging – It's important to select the right rigging equipment for the load being lifted and ensure that it is in good condition. This includes using appropriate slings, hooks, and hardware to safely handle the load.
- Hitching – Loads should be securely attached to the crane's hook or lifting device, using techniques such as proper hitching or the use of spreader bars. This helps to prevent the load from becoming unbalanced or slipping during lifting.
- Tag lines – Tag lines can be attached to the load to help control its movement while it is lifted. This can help prevent the load from swinging or spinning, reducing the risk of falling.
- Distance – Operators should ensure that workers keep a safe distance from the load and the crane's swing radius. This helps prevent workers from being struck by a load in case of failure or slippage. Operators should take care to follow proper lifting procedures, including smooth and gradual movements, to prevent sudden jolts or shifts that could lead to the load falling.
Contact a Trusted Personal Injury Lawyer in Chicago
It's important for operators and riggers to receive proper training on these rigging methods and to adhere to safety guidelines to prevent incidents involving falling loads from cranes. At Morici, Longo & Associates, our personal injury lawyers have extensive experience representing wrongfully injured construction workers throughout Chicago. When you choose to work with our firm, you can count on our highly skilled advocates to advocate tirelessly on your behalf to obtain the maximum compensation you deserve after being injured by someone else’s negligence.
If you or someone you know was injured in a construction accident, call (312) 779-0366 to schedule a free consultation with a skilled Chicago attorney.