Federal and state safety authorities require employers to mitigate all known safety hazards to protect the health and safety of employees, regardless of the industry. However, known risks are sometimes overlooked, and the consequences can be devastating. Such was the case earlier this month when an Illinois worker suffered a head injury that led to his death.
According to an incident report by Villa Park police, a 59-year-old employee of DuPage County was struck in the head by a portable directional board. The incident occurred shortly after noon on Friday, Feb. 8. Reportedly, the injured worker was rushed to a medical facility in Maywood, but he succumbed to his injuries mid-morning on the following day. The coroner's report indicates that complications of his head injuries were the cause of death.
A spokesperson for the water commission says the directional board that struck the worker malfunctioned. He says the Illinois Department of Labor's Occupational Health and Safety Administration was notified of the tragedy, and the agency will launch an investigation to determine the circumstances that led to this fatality. The water commission's compliance with safety standards will also be examined.
Regardless of the outcome of the Illinois OSHA investigation, the surviving family members of the worker who suffered the fatal head injury can pursue financial assistance. An experienced workers' compensation attorney can help them to file a claim for survivors' benefits. The state-regulated insurance provider typically provides compensation to cover the costs of end-of-life arrangements along with a financial package to make up for lost wages.