The bright yellow hard hats that many construction workers don aren’t a fashion statement or international uniform requirement. These hard hats are intended to protect Illinois workers from various hazards that they may encounter while on a work site. While workers and contract employees are usually required to wear these helmets, the policy regarding other individuals, such as those delivering materials, is less clear. Unfortunately, a man recently suffered a fatal injury in a construction accident that may have been prevented by a hard hat.
The man killed was not a construction worker, but a truck driver simply making a delivery of sheetrock. He was allegedly speaking with other individuals at the work site at the time of the accident. From 50 stories high, a tape measure was somehow knocked off of someone’s belt and plummeted down.
The tape measure initially struck some construction equipment close to the ground, and then ricocheted off of it and hit the driver of the delivery truck in the head. Tragically, the man was killed while standing alongside his truck. Some individuals have commented that a hard hat may have prevented his death.
While Illinois workers who are injured in a construction accident typically pursue workers’ compensation benefits through the construction company — their employer — this man’s family will have to look elsewhere for these benefits. Although his fatal injury was suffered in a construction accident, making the construction company a possible liable third-party that could be named in a wrongful death claim, it occurred while he was in the process of completing his work duties. As such, his family is likely entitled to receive a workers’ compensation death benefits package through the trucking company that he was employed with.
Source: CBS New York, “Man Killed By Tape Measure In Freak Accident At Jersey City Construction Site“, Nov. 3, 2014