As the summer winds down, people across the country are preparing for the start of a new school year. In addition to the parents and students, schools may be wrapping up construction or other improvement projects in anticipation for the return of students. Unfortunately, one such project resulted in a tragic workplace accident at one Illinois school.
The gym at Southwestern High School has apparently been closed since early July as it undergoes renovations. A roofer, whose identity has yet to be released, was working on the back of the gym. Reports indicate that the man fell approximately 28 feet to the ground below. He died as a result of the fall.
The man was not wearing safety gear at the time of the accident. As in other workplace fatalities, the death is under investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. In many cases, the agency can take up to six months to complete its investigation.
While OSHA will work to determine if any health or safety violations occurred in the events leading up to the workplace accident, the man’s family may face financial struggles as a result of his death. In Illinois, employers are required to provide workers’ compensation insurance coverage for their employees to protect them and their families financially in the event of such an accident. In this case, the insurance may cover lost wages and funeral costs, among other expenses. In some cases, those who deserve such benefits have taken action to ensure they receive adequate compensation.
Source: ksdk.com, "Roofer falls to death at Macoupin County school", Grant Bissell and Kevin S. Held,, Aug. 4, 2014