The Center for Construction Research and Training has organized data from the NIOSH Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation program to create a searchable database of construction fatalities. Using this database, they were able to identify trends in construction fatalities from 1982 to 2015.
They found that nearly half of all deaths in the construction industry during that window involved falls.
Workplace accidents can happen anytime of the year, but winter is an especially challenging time for outdoor workers in Illinois. Snow and ice accumulation. Frigid temperatures. Dangerous debris. These are real cold weather hazards that employers can’t ignore.
EHS Today recently reported on the four steps an emergency health and safety manager can take to protect employees. Our workers’ compensation attorneys urge employers to follow these steps to keep their outdoor workers safe.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 workplace. Employers 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.
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.
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.