No one imagines sending a loved one off to work and them never coming home, but for one out-of-state family, this was a sad reality. Fatal construction accidents are often the result of lapses in safety that put Illinois workers, not employers, at the most risk. Death benefits through workers' compensation often essential for surviving family members who rely on lost wages compensation.
Two construction workers were involved in the deadly accident, although one survived with injuries. The two men were part of a crew building a new civic center for the local area, and were on-site when the structure's second floor gave way and collapsed. One of the men was safely removed from the rubble and was treated for serious injuries at an area hospital. Unfortunately, the other man did not survive the collapse.
Inspections from that state's division of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration uncovered seven safety issues for which it issued fines. The largest fine comes out to $70,000 for a daily inspection that should have detected the floor hazards, but did not. Other fines were for insufficient fall protection, unsupported floors and more. Although these fines are intended to motivate employers to increase safety standards, the company involved in the accident has faced numerous violations in the past, some of which involved more worker deaths.
Safety standards were not created to be a headache for Illinois employers, but to protect workers employed in some of the most dangerous professions. Unfortunately, many employers continue to shirk safety standards, prioritizing deadlines or profit over the lives of workers. When these actions lead to construction accidents and a worker dies, surviving family members can help bridge this period of their lives by seeking death benefits from the workers' compensation insurance system.
Source: woodtv.com, "Company fined $101K after worker dies at Holland Civic Center", Dec. 28, 2017