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OSHA: Aurora man died from heat stroke at Red Line project

Updated: January 4, 2014 6:20AM



A federal workplace safety agency is citing a north suburban company after a worker from Aurora died from heat stroke during his first day on the job at the CTA Red Line project this summer.

Libertyville-based Aldridge Electric, Inc. was cited for failing to implement an adequate and effective stress program after the June 25 death of the 36-year-old worker, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

He was carrying heavy electrical conduit in an uncovered, nonshaded trench when he collapsed, OSHA said in a release Monday.

Ronald Guyton had complained of dizziness at the worksite at 15 W. 87th St. before he became unresponsive about 3 p.m. on June 25, authorities said at the time.

Guyton, of the 1100 block of North Farnsworth Avenue in Aurora, was taken to Little Company of Mary Hospital in Evergreen Park, where he was pronounced dead at 7:42 p.m., the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office said.

An autopsy determined that Guyton’s death was the result of heat stroke, with obesity a contributing factor, according to the medical examiner’s office.

The high temperature recorded at Midway Airport at 3:22 p.m. that day was 87 degrees, the National Weather Service said previously.

Guyton’s death came just a day after his 36th birthday, and was the first heat-related fatality of the summer in Cook County, according to the medical examiner’s office.

“This tragedy underscores the need for employers to ensure that new workers become acclimated and build a tolerance to working in excessive heat with a program of water, rest and shade,” said Dr. David Michaels, OSHA assistant secretary. “A worker’s first day on the job shouldn’t be the last day of their life.”

The specialty electrical contractor, which employs nearly 750 workers nationwide, faces proposed penalties of $7,000, the release said.



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