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Construction site falls without safety harnesses are often fatal

Construction company owners in Illinois and other states who fail to provide employees who work at heights with fall protection put the lives of their workers on the line. Employees may not realize that they have the right to refuse to work at heights exceeding the safety limit without safety harnesses, lanyards and anchors that could arrest falls and save lives. Such precaution might have saved the life of a construction worker in a neighboring state earlier this month.

Reportedly, the incident occurred at the construction site of a student center at a university in a neighboring state. The only details provided indicated that several workers were in the process of unloading building materials on the roof of the center. Under circumstances yet to be determined, a 47-year-old employee fell off the side of the roof.

Authorities said the man fell from a height of approximately 30 feet. It appears none of the workers on the roof were equipped with safety harnesses. Emergency workers rushed the victim to a hospital, but he did not survive. He was later declared dead at the hospital.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration received notice of this fatality, and as with all other fatal workplace accidents concerning falls, in Illinois or elsewhere, the agency's investigators will determine the company's compliance with safety regulations. Regardless of the findings, the surviving family members of the deceased worker can pursue financial assistance with the high costs typically associated with end-of-life arrangements, along with a portion of lost income. The wage replacement benefit is usually based on the deceased worker's gross income per week.

Source:, "Construction worker dies at site of new student center", Kat Manouchehri, Jan. 13, 2017

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