Healy Scanlon Law Firm

Harvest time can lead to Illinois work-related deaths

Chicago residents may often associate work-related injuries and deaths with construction accidents. Some of the most common types of construction accidents are results of unsafe ladders and scaffolding, dangerous tools, defective roof structures and collapsing trenches. A construction worker may suffer from debilitating injuries that can lead to a fatality. Chicago work-related deaths often stem from construction-related accidents. As the harvest season approaches, however, readers may notice farm-related injuries and deaths occurring.

Illinois produces major crops, including soybeans and corn. Farmers may rush to harvest these crops which can sometimes lead to serious consequences. According to data, there were 12 farm-related deaths from July 2012 to June 2013 which is lower than 20 fatalities between 2011 and 2012.

One coordinator from the University of Illinois Agriculture Safety and Health Program said that "antsy" farmers during 2013's bountiful harvest can be at risk. For instance, farmers should be aware of grain bin suffocation which claimed one life last year. The National Farm Safety and Health Week campaign is focusing on proper grain handling to prevent such fatal accidents from occurring. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration added that a worker can be engulfed in grain in five seconds and in one minute, a worker can be totally submerged which can lead to suffocation and death.

Following any form of work-related death, surviving family members of the victim should understand that families may have the right to compensation. Family members may wish to file a civil lawsuit for damages if negligence on the part of another party was to blame for the fatal accident. A legal professional can help in the valuation of the claim as well as legal representation for the victim or victim's family.

Source: Daily-Journal.com, "Harvest time increases road hazards on country roads," Robert Themer, Sept. 25, 2013

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