Healy Scanlon Law Firm

How do workers stay safe in confined spaces?


Many workers face dangerous conditions in Illinois that can put their lives at risk. Some of these conditions are so serious that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has enacted rules to help guide employers to keep workers safe from harm in these cases. These rules help to prevent work related deaths and other avoidable injuries on job sites.

Recently, this blog highlighted a case involving a worker who was killed in a railroad car accident. In that case, the worker was killed by fumes in a confined space. The company, which employs individuals in Illinois, was being fined by OSHA because of safety violations.

A confined space is one of the areas where OSHA has enacted many safety laws to try and prevent these types of workplace accidents. A confined space is a space that is large enough for a worker to enter it, but it's not intended for continuous occupancy. Additionally, there are limited means of entry or exits in a confined space.

When a confined space has poor air quality, workers can be hurt. Under OSHA regulations, employers are responsible for identifying confined spaces that workers may need to enter. They may also need to get a permit in order for employers to work in these confined spaces. If there is no permit, these workers need to be notified to stay out of the small places by their employers. Employers might also be responsible for sharing information about the hazards of confined spaces with their employees, or implementing other protections to keep workers safe.

When workers are hurt in a work-related accident, they need to understand their legal rights. Often, these accidents are fatal and leave family struggling to make ends meet. In these cases, these families may have the ability to bring a wrongful death suit against the employer for failing to follow safety regulations. For more specific advice about wrongful death suits and Chicago work-related deaths, individuals should speak with an attorney.

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