The death of an employee leaves an empty place, figuratively and literally, in the Illinois workplace. That death seems much more devastating when it happens to a man who is always willing to pick up extra hours in order to provide for his family. Unfortunately, a recent workplace accident has left a family grieving for the loss of a husband and father.

The accident happened just before 2 a.m. in early May. Reports indicate that the 49-year-old man became entangled in a conveyor belt at Hillshire Farms. First responders removed the man from the conveyor belt and worked to revive him. Unfortunately, their efforts were unsuccessful, and he died at the scene.

In the event of a workplace fatality, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration generally initiates an investigation. If OSHA determines that safety or health standards were violated leading up to the man’s death, the company could face a fine. The agency could take up to six months to complete its investigation.

Hopefully, OSHA’s investigation will help prevent a similar tragedy in the future. In the meantime, a family with three young children is left facing a difficult financial future. All states, including Illinois, have laws in place that require employers to provide workers’ compensation coverage to employees, or their families in the event of a fatality, in case of a workplace accident. This coverage can help a family with lost wages, medical bills and funeral expenses, among others. For those who find the path to compensation confusing, there is help available to help ensure that victims receive timely and accurate compensation.

Source: Holland Sentinel, “Industrial accident victim leaves behind wife, 3 children”, , May 12, 2014