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Maintenance worker suffers fatal work injury in TV tower collapse

Employees who work on TV towers in Illinois and elsewhere frequently risk their lives while working at dangerous heights. The inexplicable collapse of such a tower in a neighboring state on a recent Thursday underscores the risks these workers take to earn an income. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the accident in which one worker suffered a fatal work injury.

According to a sheriff's report, workers were doing maintenance on a tower for planned channel changes. Reportedly, they were at the height of approximately 105 feet when the collapse occurred. Between 50 and 60 rescue workers rushed to the scene, where they discovered that one worker had succumbed to the injuries he suffered when he became trapped under steel beams.

Miraculously, five other employees survived. Authorities say that although they were all in shock, none of them suffered life-threatening injuries. At this time, all explanations for the collapse are speculations, and an in-depth investigation might bring some more information. While some suspect strong winds played a role, authorities say much higher wind speeds than those recorded on that day would be necessary to cause the collapse of a TV tower.

If such a tragedy occurs in Illinois, the surviving family members of any worker who died after suffering a fatal work injury might be entitled to seek financial relief. This is done through the benefits offered by the workers' compensation insurance program of the state. While death benefits typically provide compensation for funeral and burial costs along with lost wages, injured workers could claim benefits to cover medical expenses and wage replacement for lost work hours. Legal counsel is available to provide support and guidance.

Source: news-leader.com, "1,980-foot TV tower collapse in Webster County; 1 dead, several injured, officials say", Harrison Keegan, Giacomo Bologna, April 20, 2018

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