A 54-year-old wife and mother of two who had been working for a thrift store in Washington Heights for more than 25 years lost her life to an accidental shooting on March 7. She was sorting through some donated clothing items with a male co-worker as part of her job at the South Ashland Avenue facility. Inside a sock, the co-worker found a .22 caliber handgun that, when the man shook it out of the sock, accidentally discharged, hitting the woman in the chest.
On the morning of Feb. 14, an Illinois Department of Transportation snowplow driver lost his life in a work-related accident on Route 17 in Stark County. The driver, who was out clearing the roadway and battling the elements, pulled the plow over to assist an immobilized driver on the side of the road. Witnesses say another driver lost control of their vehicle and hit the 49-year-old IDOT employee. He died from his injuries a short while later after being transported to Kewanee Hospital.
An Illinois company was cited by the US Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration after a worker died of a case of heat stroke that he suffered on his first day on the job. The fatal accident showed the need for employers to break in new employees slowly, the safety agency said. OSHA also stated that companies should let new workers get acclimated to the high-heat conditions with a regimen of rest, shade and adequate hydration.
The sewer worker who died Sept. 18 in Chicago told his family that although he loved his job, he feared his working conditions. The man, who worked for a local construction company, was swept away by rushing waters in a fatal accident that occurred when heavy rains covered the area where he was working and entered the sewer system. The man's employer said the cause of the accident was not yet known.