Worker death in wastewater plant ruled accidental

Disasters and AccidentsJobs and WorkplaceIndustrial DisastersHanover ParkHoffman EstatesMount Prospect

An employee with the Water Reclamation District of Great Chicago died Friday as a result of injuries from a workplace accident at a Hanover Park Facility, an autopsy today determined.

John Fergus, 51, of Mount Prospect died from muliple injures sustained in a Bobcat machine accident, according to the autopsy conducted today by the Cook County medical examiner's office. The office ruled his death an accident.

Officials from the Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago are investigating Fergus' death along with the Illinois Department of Labor and officials from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, said Patricia Young, a spokeswoman for the Reclamation District.

Fergus was an electrician with the district and had six children, said Young. She did not know how long Fergus had worked with the district but she said he was "a valued employee". She said officials will not have details about the incident until at least Monday.

The accident happened at the wastewater treatment plant located on the 1200 block of Sycamore Avenue in Hanover Park, said Young.

She said this is the first time that an accident like this has happened. Several years ago another worker drowned in a water facility, she said.

Fergus was pronounced dead at 2:27 p.m. Friday at St. Alexius Medical Center in Hoffman Estates, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office.

"It’s a very sad day for the Water Reclamation District. We're a family and this is one of our colleagues who passed away. ... Our employees were very saddened by this and very upset by his loss," said Young.

csadovi@tribune.com

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