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Illinois construction accident claims worker's life

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the death of a construction worker killed on Jan 30 in an accident on Chicago's Near North Side. The 45-year-old Indiana man died as he was working on a high-rise residential building at Elm and State streets.

The man was inside a crane on the sixth floor when a cage came down, pinning him as he was looking into a shaft. Other workers were able to free him and administer CPR by the time emergency medical crews arrived. The man suffered critical injuries to his upper body and was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital where he later died.

OSHA investigators will check to see if any safety violations were involved in the accident, and early reports say crane operations may have been a factor. OSHA has the power to issue citations and propose fines to the man's employer if safety violations are found.

The construction industry has an accident rate that is among the highest for all occupations. Fatalities are not uncommon in construction accidents. Fortunately, Illinois offers workers' compensation benefits when a worker is killed on the job. In instances such as this, surviving family members may be eligible for financial compensation when their loved one is killed. This compensation can include assistance to help with burial expenses. When a deceased worker is survived by minor children, they may be eligible for financial assistance to replace the worker's lost income until they attain majority. If survivors encounter any problems getting this compensation, they may want to consult a workers' compensation attorney for assistance.

Source: Chicago Tribune, "OSHA to investigate after worker, 45, dies in construction accident", Tom Palmer and Rosemary Regina Sobol, Jan. 31, 2015

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