Posted On: July 30, 2010 by Steven J. Malman

Mount Carroll Illinois Work Accident Deaths in Grain Bin Were Preventable, Says OSHA

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, an Illinois grain bin accident that killed two teenagers and injured a third was preventable. The teens that died are 14-year-old Wyatt Whitebread and 19-year-old Alejandro Pacas. A third worker, 20-year-old William Piper, is at a Rockford hospital.

The Illinois work accident happened on Wednesday morning in a bin belonging to Haasbach LLC. Rescuers had to cut holes in the bin’s sides and drain thousands of pounds of corn to retrieve the victims. The rescue operation took about 12 hours and more than 2 dozen firefighters.

According to a preliminary investigation, the three workers were not using safety harnesses or life lines at the time of the incident. Also, at age 14, Wyatt was under the legal age limit allowed for who can work in a grain bin.

Illinois Workers’ Compensation
Although employers are supposed to follow regulations and do what is necessary to keep workers safe, this isn’t always the case and even when it is, work accidents can happen. OSHA statistics report that from 1998 to 2008 there were 16 Illinois grain bin accidents.

Workers injured in grain bin accidents should file an Illinois workers’ compensation claim as soon as possible. It doesn’t matter whether or not anyone was at fault. State law requires that employers provide workers with work accident benefits. An experienced Chicago, Illinois workers’ compensation lawyer can help you determine how much you should receive. In the event of a dispute with your employer’s insurer as to whether or not your injuries are work-related enough to warrant benefits, your Illinois workers’ compensation attorney can represent you and aggressively advocate on your behalf.

Mount Carroll in shock over grain bin deaths, Quad-City Times, July 29, 2010

OSHA: 2 Illinois grain bin deaths were preventable, AP/Google, July 28, 2010

Grain bin accidents happen quickly, SoutheastFarmPress, November 6, 2002

Related Web Resources:
Illinois Industrial Commission

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

Grain Bin Safety, University of Illinois Extension

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