A tragic and no doubt terrifying accident at an Illinois area Ford assembly plant left one worker critically injured and another dead. A wall fell during operating hours at the plant, trapping the deceased victim underneath. According to other employees at the plant, industrial accidents such as this might not be that surprising based on the location’s current condition.
At about 11 a.m., the concrete wall began to collapse. A nearby worker was unable to seek safety and became trapped underneath the wall. Another employee attempted to save the man, but did not arrive in time, although he suffered serious injuries when his leg became trapped beneath the wall. At the time, that particular wall was under construction, although its purpose was not entirely clear.
A significant number of employees have reported deficiencies in worker safety over the past few years. Not only is there no air conditioning, which often leads to workers falling unconscious during summer, but holes in the building’s roof allows rain to freely fall in. Puddles are a common feature of the factory floor, with standing water that can stretch for up to 50 feet long. A 2014 complaint to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration noted that electrical equipment is not protected from the falling water and that there was a strong suspicion that workers were being exposed to asbestos; however, the investigation was delayed for unspecified reasons.
Factories and industrial workplaces have an understandable inherent risk associated with them, which makes it just that much more important for employers to ensure worker safety in all other aspects. Holes in the roof and walls, unstable structures and possible asbestos should never be features of any workplace. Unfortunately, the negligence exercised by some employers in Illinois continues to expose workers to such dangerous environments, putting many at risk for serious injuries or even death. Workers’ compensation is often the front line of recovery for victims injured in industrial accidents, and surviving family members of victims who were killed can also rely on temporary death benefits from workers’ comp.
Source: wsws.org, “Worker crushed to death after wall collapses at Chicago Ford plant“, Marcus Day, Jan. 4, 2016