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Fatal falls from roofs an all-too-common worksite tragedy

Construction company owners must take responsibility for the health and safety of their employees. Part of that responsibility is to provide the necessary personal protective equipment to prevent falls, which are some of the most frequently cited causes of fatalities on construction sites. Disregard of this rule may be found to have been the cause of the death of an Illinois roofer in a recent workplace accident.

An accident report by the medical examiner in Cook County along with Chicago Police indicates that a 42-year-old worker was working on roof repairs when he fell approximately 35 feet. After providing first aid, one of his co-workers called 911 when he came across his injured colleague. The victim was rushed to a medical facility, but he was declared dead upon arrival.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration's compliance inspectors have apparently started investigating the accident. A spokesperson for the agency mentioned that although the investigation is ongoing, it has already been noted that there appeared to be no evidence of any form of fall protection at the construction site. The safety compliance of the roofing company and the building owner will be focal points of the OSHA investigation.

Fatal falls in worksite accidents entitle surviving family members to pursue financial assistance with the unanticipated expenses brought about by such tragedies. Survivors' benefits claims can be filed with the Illinois workers' compensation insurance system for coverage of funeral and burial costs and lost income. This is typically a difficult time, and the prospect of navigating the claims process can be overwhelming. Fortunately, an experienced workers' compensation attorney can handle all the administrative and legal proceedings of such a claim.

Source: Chicago Sun-Times, "OSHA investigating roofer's fatal fall from building in Ashburn", Luke Wilusz, Sept. 7, 2017

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