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Questions abound regarding man killed in Illinois beam accident

An iron worker on the campus of Northwestern University was killed around a year ago by a beam that had fallen during a project. The beam struck him when a crane that was working on the same project knocked it down from the 6th floor of the building. The beam weighed 70 pounds.

A year later, though, people are still asking questions about the man's death. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has been carrying out a lengthy investigation, and they did find some issues, such as a lack of protection for the workers. The company that OSHA targeted, Power Construction, has done what it needs to do based on the citation that was given.

The family still does not feel like they know the truth, however, according to their lawyer, who is involved in a wrongful death lawsuit on their behalf. The questions surround the exact circumstances of the man's death. Police believe that the lines on the crane may have hit the beam, but they also noted that some workers were unhooking a load from the crane before the beam dropped over the side.

They tried to find the person who was operating the crane when they arrived on the scene, but they could not do so. Accounts vary, but he may have been too emotionally impacted to talk to the police, or he may have been avoiding them based on advice that was provided by the union.

When a tragic death on a work site occurs, it is important for the family to find all of the answers. This can give them closure in the case, and it could also help them know if a wrongful death lawsuit can be established.

Source: The Daily Northwestern, "One year later, questions surround construction worker's death on campus" Patrick Svitek, May. 15, 2014

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