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Chicago Worker Killed by 45-Ton Beam, 3 Others Injured

Kathleen Becker8 months ago

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is investigating an incident in which a 45-ton steel beam fell in a Chicago suburb, killing one construction worker and injuring three others.

Details of the Fatal Construction Accident

According to Reuters, Des Plaines Fire Chief Alan Wax said that this all happened on Tuesday when construction workers were trying to remove an old 187-foot-long overpass beam. It fell right between the two lanes of Interstate 90 in Des Plaines, Illinois, located near O'Hare International Airport about 20 miles from Chicago.

It is unknown what exactly caused the 45-ton steel beam to fall, but federal officials are investigating.

Firefighters were dispatched and arrived at the scene at 2:53 a.m.  One construction worker was then taken to a hospital in critical condition and died from his injuries while three other workers suffered only minor injuries.

This project was an attempt to rebuild and widen the highway.

Workplace Injury Statistics

According to the OSHA:

  • 4,679 fatal workplace injuries took place in 2014.  That’s about 90 killed per week or 13 killed per day.
  • 4,251 of the 2014 fatalities occurred in private industry with 874 deaths being linked to construction.
  • Most leading cause of deaths on construction sites are falls, electrocutions, struck by object and caught-in/between.  These four claimed the lives of 58.1% of construction workers in 2014.

To report any safety health violations or unsafe working conditions the contact number for OSHA is 1-800-321-OSHA (6742). TTY is 1-877-889-5627.  

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