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Falling beam leads to worker death on Illinois construction site

It is not unusual to see a variety of construction projects underway in the Illinois area. These are vital to the economy in providing jobs. The buildings that are constructed have multiple uses for both the public and private sector. One issue that is largely overlooked during these large scale operations is how dangerous they can be. Heavy machinery, large tools and massive building materials must be used and, unfortunately, there are times when some companies exhibit construction negligence causing a fatal construction accident. Those who have been affected need to know their rights.

A construction worker died and three others suffered injuries when a beam fell during a recent road construction project. The four men were working on lifts and trying to remove a 45-ton beam at around 3 a.m. It collapsed and a 47-year-old worker was rushed to the hospital. He was declared dead while there. The others' injuries are said to be minor. An investigation by Occupational Safety and Health Administration stated that they believe the fatal construction accident to have been preventable.

The company that was overseeing the project has a history of violations for which OSHA has issued citations since 2006. They have paid almost $6,500 in fines mostly related to lead hazards across the nation. The worker who died worked in the construction industry for more than two decades. It is not known what caused the 180 foot beam to collapse.

When there is an accident like this, there are numerous factors that must be addressed. In addition to the personal and emotional issues, there will be unavoidable financial implications for the worker's family. They might not be able to keep up with their monthly payments or be able to make ends meet when accounting for basic necessities. Insurers will likely be sympathetic to the plight, but their main goal is to keep costs within reason and offer a preemptive settlement to avoid a wrongful death lawsuit. These offers are rarely sufficient. When there has been worker death in a construction accident, the family left behind needs to make sure they have advice in how to move forward by speaking to an experienced attorney.

Source: Chicago Tribune, "OSHA says fatal I-90 construction accident was 'preventable'," Megan Crepeau, Tony Briscoe and Lee V. Gaines, April 6, 2016

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