A Vernon Hills man has died following a motorized saw accident that occurred while he was performing masonry work at a school in the south suburbs, officials said.
Homewood-Flossmoor Community High School District 233 Superintendent Dr. Scott Wakeley sent a message on Thursday to parents about the incident.
Wakeley said it was a “very sad day” for the school community following the death of a construction worker at Homewood-Flossmoor Community High School in Flossmoor.
The masonry worker died following an accident while working on the high school’s science building project.
The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office reported the man died just before 12 p.m. Wednesday as a result of a neck injury from a motorized hand saw.
The medical examiner identified the victim as Ronald P. Simonson, 63, of Vernon Hills.
“We extend our deepest condolences to his family, coworkers and friends. Our hearts go out to them as they cope with this loss,” Wakeley said.
“It is in difficult times like this that the HF family comes together to support each other,” Wakeley said.
The Flossmoor, Homewood and Hazel Crest fire departments responded to the incident.
An ambulance transported Simonson to Advocate South Suburban Hospital in Hazel Crest where he died.
The superintendent said there is no danger to students or staff and due to the location of the construction site, there was limited opportunity for students or staff to have witnessed the incident.
“[…] the school’s Counseling Department is prepared to speak with any students or staff members who are experiencing reactions… We appreciate the ongoing support and care of the HF community,” Wakeley said.
A spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Labor confirmed that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) opened an investigation into Simonson’s employer, Joe’s Masonry, Inc., based out of Bensenville.
The company had one prior OSHA inspection in 2012 in which they received a citation for lack of guardrails on a scaffold.
OSHA will complete its investigation within six months and issue citations or propose monetary penalties if violations of workplace safety are found during their inspection.