Illinois employers should prioritize worker safety, but many value productivity over protecting employees. Most workers do not have the ability to address insufficient safety standards, and many are not even aware of the risks they face in the workplace. Unsafe workplaces might be particularly prone to accidents that can injure people. Unfortunately, these accidents can also kill people. Workers’ compensation can help in both of these situations.
An out-of-state man claimed that his brother died because of his employer’s negligence. His 48-year-old brother was working at an Amazon warehouse when he reported to the facility’s AmCare clinic. He reported that he was experiencing chest pain and headaches. The medical professional took his blood pressure but did not perform any further examinations. Instead the medical worker told the man that he was experiencing dehydration, provided him with two drinks and then told him to go back to work.
Shortly afterward he collapsed on the warehouse floor, where he allegedly laid for 20 minutes before a co-worker discovered him. An amnesty worker — someone in charge of keeping the warehouse floors clear — responded and performed CPR while waiting for an ambulance. He was taken by ambulance to the hospital where he later died. Workers were told to immediately return to work after he was taken away.
This is not the first report of Amazon blatantly ignoring a worker’s obvious medical condition. An Illinois woman says that her husband died when the company also delayed providing medical attention during his shift. The National Council for Occupational Safety and Healthy puts out an annual list of the employers who are most dangerous to work for. Amazon was included in 2019’s Dirty Dozen list, citing six different workplace deaths from Nov. 2018 to April 2019.
Everything changes after losing a loved one in a workplace accident. There is of course the emotional aspect of dealing with an unexpected death, but there are also other damages to think about. Surviving family members could struggle to make ends meet and lose any sense of financial stability they may have had. Temporary death benefits through the workers’ compensation system can be especially helpful during this period of time. Families should understand that claim denials are common, though, and be prepared to file appeals if necessary.