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Illinois barge worker presumed dead following workplace accident

On behalf of Jeffrey Frederick of Frederick & Hagle posted in Workplace Accidents on Thursday, December 26, 2013.

Each work environment in Illinois presents its own set of unique challenges. An office worker does not face the same conditions as those experienced by a construction worker. Despite their many differences, all work environments share one important characteristic — they should provide a safe place for employees to perform the duties for which they were hired. If that does not occur, it is not uncommon for a workplace accident to follow.

Since early December, emergency workers have been looking for a man who fell into the river from the barge on which he was working. Originally, they hoped their efforts would allow the 27-year-old to return safely to his young family. They are no longer optimistic that is the case and have changed the focus of their efforts to search and recovery rather than rescue.

The man reportedly fell from the barge as it moved between two other vessels traveling on the Ohio River. Until recently, authorities conducted daily searches, hoping to find the man in time to provide any needed aid. They are reducing their efforts, which will now occur on a weekly or monthly basis.

The company for which the man worked has released a statement of thanks to authorities. In it, they thank the agencies from Kentucky and Illinois that have toiled so diligently to find the missing man. They also thank members of the river industry and those in the community who provided assistance.

Going forward, it seems unlikely the man will return home to his wife and two small children. His family may want to consider filing for workers’ compensation survivor benefits they are eligible for because of this workplace accident. If successful, the money they gain could go a long way toward safeguarding their financial future in the face of their loss.

Source: Metropolis Planet, Search for Burnham cut back, fund set, Staff Report, Dec. 18, 2013

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