Workers have the right to demand personal protective gear and a safe work environment if they are expected to carry out hazardous tasks. Although employers are bound by federal law to protect their workers against accidents on the job, sometimes incidents still happen. An unsafe work environment may have caused an Illinois worker to lose his life.
Police said the fatal workplace accident occurred on a recent Monday morning at a corn processing plant in Pekin. Upon learning of the incident, rescue workers rushed to the site but found that this was a case of recovery rather than rescue. The body of a 39-year-old worker had to be recovered from a dryer that had not been used in 10 years and was being dismantled by a crew of contractors.
According to an accident report, the worker was in the dryer — a large horizontal cylinder — when a large metal piece that was being removed from a section of the dryer above the worker fell and landed on him. While there were other workers in the immediate vicinity, the deceased man was apparently the only person in the dryer when the accident occurred. Police said foul play is not suspected.
As with other fatal accidents on the job, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration will launch an investigation to determine whether this tragic death was the result of safety violations. Regardless of who was responsible for their loved one’s death, the surviving family of this man may pursue death benefits through the Illinois workers’ compensation system. Covered dependents of deceased workers typically receive compensation for end-of-life expenses, along with a financial award to assist the family with living expenses during this difficult time.
Source: pjstar.com, “Coroner releases name of accident victm at Pekin corn processing plant“, Michael Smothers, Nov. 30, 2015
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