All jobs carry some degree of risk with them. As a result, most employers are willing to go to extremes to help ensure the safety of their employees. Unfortunately, accidents still occur, prompting states such as Illinois and other states to require employers to provide workers' compensation coverage to financially protect those injured in a workplace accident. These insurance benefits will likely apply after an out-of-state construction accident killed three people and injured a fourth.
According to reports, the men were working for Associated Scaffolding, sub-contractors for Choate Construction Company, as part of a high-rise project. Choate says Associated Scaffolding was only responsible for building and disabling scaffolding for the project. As the men worked, part of the scaffolding fell, sending the workers to the ground below.
A 911 caller estimated that workers fell approximately 200 feet, and a worker at the site said it appeared that safety harnesses were in use. Unfortunately, three men died while a fourth was hospitalized. The injured man is listed in fair condition. The incident is currently under investigation, and the companies could face fines and citations if it is found that failed health and safety standards led to the accident. Reports indicate that Associated Scaffolding had received citations related to two serious violations in the last 10 years.
While the findings of an investigation could potentially protect future employees, the injured man and the families of the three deceased men are likely still coming to terms with the reality of the situation. The injured man will likely face extensive medical bills in addition to losing wages while he recovers and may never be able to return to work in the same capacity. The families of the deceased men will have to deal with funeral expenses among other financial ramifications as a result of the construction accident. However, they are likely entitled to workers' compensation benefits. Despite this entitlement, many in Illinois turn to experienced professionals to help ensure they are treated fairly throughout the compensation process.
Source: ABC News, "3 Dead in Scaffolding Collapse at Downtown Raleigh High-Rise", Jonathan Drew and Michael Biesecker, March 23, 2015