Three Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) workers have been injured, two of them critically, in an “arc blast” while doing maintenance work at a ComEd substation in an alley near State Street and Lake Street, according to the Chicago Fire Department. This incident highlights some of the many dangers that construction workers face on the job each day.
Arc Blast Injures Three CTA Workers
On the morning of May 1, 2018, three CTA workers were doing maintenance work at a ComEd substation at 10 East Lake Street. The substation supplies power to the CTA and other parts of the grid. Shortly before 11:30 a.m., an “arc blast” blew a panel from a transformer, causing a fire.
Two of the CTA workers were reportedly in critical condition with serious burns. One was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital and the other to Stroger Memorial Hospital. A third CTA worker was transported in good condition to Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
The fire resulted in approximately 500 outages, though power was restored by noon.
Dangers of Construction Work
Construction workers are an essential part of any major city, particularly one as famous for its architectural marvels as Chicago. On any given day, nearly 6.5 million people work at approximately 252,000 construction sites across the country.
But as important as construction is to our economy, it remains very dangerous work. In fact, the fatal injury rate for the construction industry is higher than the national average.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 937 construction workers were killed in 2015. That number is almost three times worse than in manufacturing. In total, construction-related fatalities accounted for 21.4 percent of all worker fatalities that year, marking the most fatalities of any industry sector.
Construction workers face many hazards on the job every day, including:
- Falls from Heights.
- Being Struck by Objects.
- Being Caught In or Between Objects.
- Trench Collapse.
- Scaffold Collapse.
- Electric Shock.
- Repetitive Motion Injuries.
- Exposure to Noise and Toxic Materials.
Responsibilities of Employers
While construction work is inherently dangerous, that does not mean that construction workers are entirely on their own on the job site. Employers have a responsibility to ensure that construction workers have the tools and the safety equipment that they need to do their jobs without sustaining injury.
Construction employers are required to:
- Evaluate a site and identify potential dangers.
- Obtain safety equipment and harnesses to prevent accidents and falls.
- Create a strong safety plan.
- Train all employees on the proper way to use equipment to ensure safety.
Depending upon the circumstances, negligent employers, property owners, other contractors, and/or the manufacturers of defective tools and equipment could all be potentially responsible for creating the conditions that result in a construction accident. Negligence on the part of any of these parties may expose them to financial liability for a construction worker’s injuries.
Chicago Construction Accident Attorneys
Construction accident lawsuits are among the most complex cases in personal injury litigation. They demand comprehensive knowledge not only of the applicable law but also of the construction industry and its operations.
For this reason, people who have been injured in construction accidents often find that they might benefit from the help and guidance of a knowledgeable attorney, like the Chicago construction accident attorneys at GWC Injury Lawyers, Illinois’ largest Personal Injury and Workers’ Compensation law firm.
With more than $2 BILLION successfully recovered for our clients, GWC can provide you with the experience and the determination that you need to fight for the justice that you deserve.
If you or a loved one has been injured, please contact GWC today to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys. Call our office at (312) 464-1234 or click here to chat with one of our representatives.