Every occupation offers its own unique risks. A police officer risks an encounter with a dangerous criminal while an office worker risks repetitive motion injuries. Because any sort of occupation could lead to a serious workplace accident or injury, the state of Illinois requires employers to provide workers’ compensation coverage to their employees. The family of a scuba diver will likely be entitled to this coverage after the man drowned while cleaning a retention pond.
The man was an employee of an Illinois-based company called U.S. Aqua Vac. According to the 911 call, the 23-year-old victim was dredging a pond when his coworker noticed there were no longer air bubbles appearing on the surface. The coworker looked for the employee where the equipment was but could not locate him.
Officials have said that it appears that the man accidentally drowned. Reports indicate that there was no air in his tanks when his body was recovered a few hours later and no evidence that he had somehow become trapped underwater. Unfortunately, this is the second fatality the company has suffered in approximately five years. It paid a $4,500 fine after a similar death in 2009.
An unexpected death as a result of a workplace accident such as this can have serious financial ramifications for the deceased man’s family, which is why Illinois requires workers’ compensation protection. This protection, which typically extends to dependent family members in the case of a fatality, provides compensation for financial burdens such as funeral expenses and lost wages. Unfortunately, many people have found the path to compensation is difficult and have sought assistance from those with more experience to help negotiate the compensation to which they are typically entitled.
Source: thisweeknews.com, “Diver dies while cleaning retention pond”, Allison Manning, Monday, Nov. 17, 2014