Window washer injured in fall down shaft in Deerfield - FOX 32 News Chicago

OSHA investigating after window washer hurt in fall

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DEERFIELD, Ill. (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

Federal workplace safety officials are investigating two companies after a window washer fell and was seriously injured Tuesday in north suburban Deerfield.

The window washer fell to the concrete bottom of a 20-foot deep, 3-foot wide ventilation shaft in the 1700 block of Lake Cook Road in Deerfield about 10:30 a.m., according to the Northbrook Fire Department.

The 47-year-old worker was "conscious and alert" after the fall, but suffered multiple injuries, a statement from firefighters said.

He works for Lincolnwood-based Millard Group, which contracted with CBRE Inc. to provide the services, OSHA spokeswoman Rhonda Burke said. CBRE, based in Chicago, is the contractor for property maintenance at the building where the incident occurred.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration opened investigations Wednesday into both companies, Burke said. Neither company could be reached for comment.

Firefighters lowered a ladder into the shaft for techs to go down and treat the worker's injuries, but were initially hindered by broken grates partially covering the shaft, the statement said.

A basket was then positioned over the shaft using a "sky hook" to attach a rope and pulley. The worker was placed in the basket and lifted out. He was taken to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge with serious injuries, the statement said.

Fall protection is one of the most frequently cited violations by OSHA, and falls are a leading cause of death in the construction industry, according to the administration's website.

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