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Workplace hazards are serious issues that many individuals hope to avoid. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, works to ensure that proper precautions are taken to ensure the safety of workers and to investigate incidents in which a worker may have been injured or killed. When such accidents take place, it is possible that the injured worker or the family of a deceased employee could be entitled to workers' compensation.

It was recently reported that OSHA fined a contractor in Illinois after an investigation apparently uncovered numerous violations. Those violations were in relation to not having adequate protection against falls. Areas were reportedly lacking safety nets and guardrails, and there were potentially dangerous floor and window openings that were unguarded.

As a result of the violations found during the investigation, the contractor was fined $162,000. It was also reported that previous fines against the contractor had been put in place due to similar violations, and those fines had totalled $103,000. Furthermore, the report indicates that fall accidents were the leading cause of construction worker deaths in 2014.

It was not reported that any injuries had resulted due to the violations pertaining to this Illinois case. However, if the hazards are not fixed, employees could continue to be at serious risk of injury or death. If a worker does become injured or has been injured due to workplace hazards, he or she may wish to look into information for workers' compensation. These benefits could allow an injured worker to gain monetary supplements that could be put toward medical bills, lost wages and other permitted damages stemming from a workplace injury.

Source: constructiondive.com, "OSHA fines IL contractor another $162K for new case of fall protection violations", Kim Slowey, Dec. 23, 2015

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