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4 Illinois construction workers injured after beam collapses

According to reports, sections of a downtown Chicago construction site were shut down so that OSHA officials could investigate the cause of an accident that left four construction workers injured. Three of the workers suffered serious injuries, and all four were hospitalized following the Dec. 29 workplace accident at the River Point construction site.

OSHA officials stated that the accident occurred when two bolts, which may have been sheared, gave way on an I-beam that three construction workers were standing on. This caused the entire beam to collapse. Sources indicate that all three men were secured to the I-beam upon its collapse. There was a safety net under the beam, but the men still reportedly fell between 14 and 20 feet before landing. The fourth injured worker was hit by debris from the collapse.

The three workers who fell landed below street level, and firefighters needed to pull them out before transporting the injured workers to the hospital. One of the workers apparently had to be given advanced life support care, including having an IV inserted, before having a Stokes basket pull him up. All four men were reportedly conscious following the accident.

Construction work can be a dangerous profession, but even with these inherent dangers known, it's still the responsibility of companies, property managers and others in charge to ensure a safe working environment. When this isn't done, serious injuries such as the one in this construction accident, can occur. Those who are injured in construction workers' accidents may be able to secure appropriate restitution with legal assistance, including compensation for medical bills and lost wages that were incurred on the job.

Source: CBS Chicago, "Fourt hurt in construction accident", December 29, 2014

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