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Snow, Ice, Slip and Fall Risks for Outdoor Workers

Published on Jan 8, 2018 at 6:39 pm in Posts.

While Illinois is known for cold winters, the recent stretch of arctic temperatures has tested even the most hearty Midwesterners. For those who make their living outdoors, the snow and ice not only can add up to unpleasant working conditions, but also can bring a risk of injury.

Specifically, outdoor workers during the winter months face a higher risk of slipping, tripping and falling than during other times of the year. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in 2014, there were 34,860 slip-and-fall injuries involving ice, sleet or snow requiring workers to take at least one day off to recuperate. The BLS also reported thousands of other slip-and-fall accidents that did not result in lost work time.

Seasonal Hiring and Workers’ Compensation Concerns

Published on Dec 15, 2017 at 6:38 pm in Posts.

The busiest shopping season of the year is upon us, and many industries are hiring extra staff to handle the higher demand. With thousands of new employees being thrown directly into a high-stress atmosphere and stores that are more crowded than usual, mistakes happen. Some of these mistakes can even leave employees injured on the job. This is the season when we must be extra vigilant about how we handle the causes and results of workplace injuries.

Fatigue: It’s More Than a Feeling; It’s Also a Risk

Published on Nov 21, 2017 at 6:36 pm in Posts.

We grind. We tough it out. The subtle suppression of yawns could almost be considered part of our necessary skill set. We close our eyes “just for a second.” Just a second. What could go wrong?

Fatigue and sleepiness are often used to describe the same thing. But they aren’t really synonymous. Sleepiness is the physiological desire to sleep. Fatigue describes a physical, mental or social impairment that includes tiredness, reduced energy and an increased effort to perform at top level. Fatigue happens to everyone, but some are more at risk than others.

Adults need an average of seven to nine hours of sleep each day, but 30 percent report averaging less than six hours, according to the National Health Interview Survey. Nearly four out of 10 employees in the United States suffer from sleep loss.

OSHA Enacts Silica Exposure Final Rule

Published on Oct 30, 2017 at 6:33 pm in Posts.

In late September of this year, OSHA began enforcing a new rule on respirable crystalline silica, a common material produced by industrial activities involving stone, glass, brick, and other materials. This is actually the first part of a two-step rule being rolled out, and only impacts construction industries; general industrial and maritime rules will begin enforcement June 23, 2018. The rule is aimed at reducing exposure to the airborne silica, thereby reducing cases of multiple diseases associated with its intake.

Is Standing On-the-Job Leading to Heart Disease?

Published on Sep 19, 2017 at 6:32 pm in Posts.

Anybody who has ever worked a job where they spend most of the day on their feet is well-aware of the physical toll it can take.

However, recent studies indicate that sore feet, a sore back, and other common aches and pains could pale in comparison to a much bigger threat for workers accustomed to standing all day: a dramatically increased risk of heart disease.

Any workers’ compensation attorney knows that workers with active jobs often face different risks than those with sedentary jobs. But with more information pointing to risks well beyond what active workers might expect, it is becoming more important than ever for employers to examine physical activity levels among workers.

Hospitals Are Most Dangerous Worksite For Illinois Employees

Published on Aug 30, 2017 at 6:30 pm in Posts.

A new study by Zippia finds that hospitals are the most dangerous work sites for Illinois employees. Illinois was also ranked nineteenth overall in most dangerous states to work in. Employees have rights to protection under Illinois law. Chapter 820 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes makes specific provisions for safety in the workplaceEmployers which do not follow these laws are subject to regulatory penalties (such as suspension of a business license), fines, civil lawsuits and even criminal charges.

Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Explore Coming-And-Going Rule

Published on Jul 25, 2017 at 6:24 pm in Posts.

Work-related injuries in Illinois are compensable to employees under two conditions:

  • The injury occurred in the scope of employment;
  • The injury arose out of the course of employment.

Injuries that happen on one’s work commute, however, are generally not deemed compensable, because courts have generally ruled that they do not satisfy the second prong. Specifically, one’s employer isn’t deriving a benefit from the commute, so the commute isn’t considered within the scope of employment because it’s not part of the ordinary course of one’s work.

But as our workers’ compensation attorneys can explain, this principle-known as the “coming-and-going rule”-is not absolute. There are numerous exceptions to the coming-and-going rule, so one should not assume an injury isn’t covered by workers’ compensation benefits just because it happened on the way to or the way home from work.

Study: Earning Pressure Raises Risk of Illinois Worker Injuries

Published on Jun 27, 2017 at 6:22 pm in Posts.

Illinois workers’ compensation lawyers know that on-the-job safety can be largely dependent on company culture. A firm that prioritizes worker safety is going to have fewer workplace injuries, and that holds true even for some of the most dangerous industries. That’s because most worker injuries are preventable, if employers take the time to properly train, equip and supervise workers.

But a new study finds that if companies are more focused on their bottom line and meeting earning quotas, workplace safety falls by the wayside, resulting in more reported injuries and workers’ compensation claims. Increasingly, companies throughout the U.S. are under intense pressure to meet stringent earnings expectations and quotas.

The study was published recently in the Journal of Accounting and Economics. It finds a causal correlation between high earning pressure and workplace injuries. The authors analyzed injury data from 870 companies, as provided to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OHSA) between 2002 and 2011. In all, there were 35,400 reports analyzed. What they found was that when companies met or just barely exceeded the financial expectations of their sector, their injury rate was 1 in 23. Meanwhile, companies that missed that substantially missed that mark – either falling short or exceeding it comfortably –  had an injury rate of 1 in 27.

States Consider Workers’ Compensation Reforms for First Responder PTSD

Published on May 25, 2017 at 6:21 pm in Posts.

A number of legislative efforts over the last year have focused on making it simply for first responders grappling with PTSD to obtain workers’ compensation benefits.

Post-traumatic stress disorder is probably best recognized as a condition afflicting combat soldiers. In those instances, the development of the condition typically arises from a singular incident or a brief exposure to trauma. First responders, meanwhile, typically incur what’s called cumulative PTSD, meaning it builds up over the course of many years. It’s a disorder characterized by failure to recover after experiencing or witnessing a terrifying event. But for police officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians and paramedics, PTSD can develop over decades of work-related stress.

V40 Head Hip Implant Recalled

Published on Apr 17, 2017 at 6:18 pm in Posts.

Hip implants are an unfortunate necessity for many Americans. They provide the mobility that may have been lost due to age, illness, or injury and restore quality of life that had previously been compromised. However, they don’t always live up to standards; implants and their accompanying mechanisms can fail, become misaligned, and succumb to numerous other malfunctions.

In the case of Stryker Corporation’s LFIT Anatomic CoCr V40 Femoral Head commonly referred to as the “V40 Head”, the device eventually fell victim to corrosion; causing the metal to break down and toxins to leak into the surrounding metal and bone tissue, leading to a product recall.

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