Fatal I-90 Accident May Have Been Preventable Says Illinois Construction Accident Lawyer

Fatal I-90 Accident May Have Been Preventable Says Illinois Construction Accident Lawyer

A construction accident claimed the life of a worker while crews were moving a beam under the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway.  According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the accident was preventable.

Construction workers were removing a beam from under the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway on April 6 when the 45-ton beam fell.  The beam killed a 47 year-old worker and injured three others.  According to Bogdan Martinovich, an Illinois construction accident lawyer, “Preliminary reports indicate that this accident was preventable. Employers must provide a safe and healthful workplace that is free of serious hazards.  These workers were denied this right.”

OSHA investigators will conduct a thorough investigation to determine what caused the beam to fall.  The worker who was killed was employed with Omega Demolition Corp. of Elgin.  The general contractor of the site is Judlau Contracting Inc. of New York.

Initial reports suggest that a large support beam was being removed and then part of the beam fell on workers below.  A strap or chain may have failed, causing the 180-foot beam to fall.  The investigation will aim to determine if the strap or chain was sufficient for the size of the beam.

The worker, Vicente Santoyo, had over 20 years of experience in construction.  The company he was employed with, Omega Demolition Corp., has been issued nine citations from OSHA since 2006, paying $6,465 in fines.

According to OSHA, accidents of this type should be preventable if all OSHA standards and regulations are followed.  “OSHA regulations are designed to protect employees.  The final reports will indicate who is responsible for this incident.  We have to remember the human factor here.  The man who was killed was forever taken away from his family, and his family will have to cope with that,” says Bodgan Martinovich.