Some occupations are innately more dangerous than others. Illinois workers who make a living in dangerous occupations are aware of the risks involved, and take a wide range of precautions to protect against injury while on the job. However, there are instances in which no measure of caution on the part of a worker can prevent a tragic work injury.
The November death of an Illinois coal worker has contributed to the decision to permanently close the Willow Lake Mine, which was the site of the deadly accident. The 30-year-old worker was operating a piece of heavy machinery when he became pinned down. He was unable to survive the injuries sustained in the incident.
The mine is operated by Peabody Energy Corp., heralded as the world's largest private-sector coal company. The company announced the closure with a statement that continued operation of the mine was 'unsustainable' due to an inability to meet acceptable industry standards for performance, compliance and safety. The company asserts that the decision to close the mine was not solely based on the fatality of one worker.
For the family of the man who lost his life following this horrific Illinois work injury, news of the mine closure may bring a measure of comfort. However, it is likely that they have incurred a great deal of expenses related to their loss, including loss of the man's income and his final expenses. The family is likely entitled to workers' compensation death benefits in the aftermath of their loss. These benefits can help them to cope with the financial ramifications of his sudden death as they continue to grieve and try to move forward.
Source: abclocal.go.com, "Peabody Energy Illinois coal mine closing," Nov. 29, 2012