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Illinois industrial accident leads to death of worker

A worker in Illinois was killed in an accident while on the job. The worker was employed by Phoenix Industrial Cleaning. As part of his duties, he was cleaning out one of the company's storage tanks when he fell to his death. Now, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is seeking $77,000 in fines as a result of this tragic industrial accident.

The Bellwood based company is being cited for several safety infractions. In fact, many of the violations were cited as being particularly dangerous to workers. It is not indicated if the company was already under investigation before the industrial accident.

The worker died after he fell off a ladder inside a large container. He was attempting to clean the container, but he was overcome by dangerous chemicals in the container. That specific chemical is used in many industrial products such as paint removers and degreasers and is known as methylene chloride.

There is no word on the company's positions regarding the fines and penalties. While it is not clear if the industrial accident was a direct result of safety violations, there were obviously many safety issues in the facility. The company may challenge any of the fines or 28 infractions.

An industrial accident that ends in a worker's death is particularly tragic when it could have been prevented. Workers have the right to a safe work environment and should expect employers to ensure their safety while on the job. If a worker is injured or dies as the result of an accident, worker's compensation and wrongful death may be available to workers and families of the deceased under Illinois law.

Source: bnd.com, "OSHA seeks $77,000 in fines for worker's death," May 13, 2013

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