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Articles Posted in Workers’ Compensation

Workers' Comp Claims for Overuse InjuriesIn Illinois, workers’ compensations do not have to involve work accidents. Any type of work injury can result in compensation so long as you can prove that it happened on the job. This could include injuries from repetitive motion that you perform on the job. Thus, not only can factory workers and construction laborers receive workers’ compensation, when they are injured while working but office workers may be eligible for it too.

The Causes of Repetitive Motion Injuries

You may be called on to perform the same duty many time a day at work. For example, you may work at a store and need to lift boxes on a daily basis. You could work at a factory and have to put take things off of a conveyor belt all day long. Alternatively, you might work in an office and need to use the keyboard and type every day, hurting your wrist. Even something as simple as using a computer mouse has the potential to cause you long-term injury.

Illinois Workers' Compensation Law Applies for Out-of-State WorkersMany people who work in Illinois do not live in the state. Alternatively, some Illinois residents will travel to Wisconsin, Indiana and Missouri for work each day. When these workers are injured, there is some question as to where they can claim workers’ compensation. The good news for them is that they can receive benefits so long as they figure out the right state in which to file.

Workers Compensation Claims Involving an Out-of-State Worker

Our first scenario involves a worker from Cook County who drives across the Indiana state line to work in Gary. The employee suffered a strained back at their factory job in Indiana and is unable to work for a year. In addition, they will need months of intensive physical rehabilitation in order to be able to return to work.

Amazon Workers and Documents More horrific news concerning Amazon workers has gained national attention in April 2018 since the nonprofit advocacy group National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (NCOSH) added Amazon warehouses to their “dirty dozen” list of America’s most dangerous workplaces. Amazon was given the title after developing a pattern of hazardous work conditions that tend to place efficiency and productivity over safety and employee livelihood. NCOSH spokesperson Marcie Goldstein-Gelb released a statement saying “this year, [we] will identify several companies who received specific warnings about safety hazards and failed to correct them. Workers paid the ultimate price for these failures.”

Unfortunately, their bad workplace practices are nothing new. Almost from the start, they have been known to focus most of their attention on fulfilling hundreds of thousands of orders quickly often at the cost of employee safety, who must do their jobs in unsafe working conditions at Amazon warehouses nationwide. A spokesperson for Amazon has responded by saying “we are proud of [the] safety record and thousands of Amazonians work hard every day innovating ways to make it even better.” The group released to report showing that Amazon had “a disturbing pattern of preventable deaths” were seven employees have died in Amazon warehouses since 2013. The report stated that “Amazon workers suffered injuries and sometimes lose their lives in a work environment with a relentless demand to fill orders and close monitoring of employee actions.”

The seven deaths involved various crashes in accidents. Two employees were crushed to death by warehouse forklifts, and another died after being run over by a truck. A fourth employee died in an accident involving an SUV driver, and another worker died of a fatal heart-associated incident that occurred while working overnight. The sixth employee was crushed to death by a pallet loader, and the seventh employee was crushed by an Amazon conveyor belt.

Extreme Sports or High Risk OccupationsJust how dangerous are sports when compared to some of the most dangerous occupations on the planet? It is a known fact that manual labor, construction and manufacturing jobs place workers at significant risk of injury or death, but sports can be just as deadly. Here we will take a look at the leading jobs and sports in the world in terms of the risks employees and participants take on.

The Most Dangerous Occupations on Earth

Men are far more likely to be killed or injured on the job than women due to the fact that they are far more likely to choose work in areas such as construction, manufacturing or occupations that require the operation of heavy machinery. In 2015 there were over 4,800 workplace fatalities reported in the United States. The vast majority of those killed were men.

Deliveries During the HolidaysIn recent years, Amazon, Target, Walmart and other leading online retailers are shifting their hiring practices for the holiday season. In the past, most of these companies primarily hired seasonal workers for their stores. However, with the search of online traffic and millions more choosing to do their shopping over the Internet, help is needed more than ever before in warehouses that fill trucks transporting goods to stores and fulfill online orders. But, this new strategy of filling seasonal jobs could place new workers in jeopardy due to the unexpected hazards a delivery company work environment.

In September 2017, UPS, the largest parcel delivery service in the world, release plans to hire almost 100,000 additional workers to handle and deliver packages through the holidays beginning in November and ending in January. FedEx stated the company would be hiring approximately 50,000 additional workers to handle the surge during the holiday season.

A Race to Deliver

workers comp claim settlementIn October 2015, Illinois Department of Corrections prison guard Lance Fracher collected an additional $48,000 as a part of his workers comp claim settlement involving injuries associated with his job. The prison guard claimed that his hand and wrist were injured by turning locks as a part of his job at the Menard Correctional Center.

Today, Fracher has filed five claims yielding more than $183,000 in cash payouts along with his salary that provides him $66,000 annually in his new job as a southern Illinois Vienna Correctional Center guard. This amount did not include payments for his medical expenses associated with recent surgery to repair Fracher’s shoulder injury.

The prison guard was a target of an Illinois fraud investigation when it was found that he participated in a local fishing tournament while collecting tax-free disability for his injuries. The investigation was launched by then IDOC Director Salvador Godinez once photographs had surfaced showing Fracher fishing on a boat. At that time, Godinez said he had “absolutely zero tolerance for employee misconduct of any type.”

workers’ compensation coverageIn May 2015, the Illinois appellate court ruled that a trucker who lost his leg through amputation after sustaining injuries in an accident was not an independent contractor but instead, an employee who is entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Court records show that trucker Radomir Cvetkovski hauled metal products and machinery for his employer, Steel & Machinery Transportation Inc. The truck driver had been employed by the company, based in Hammond Indiana, since March 2005.

In June of that year, Cvetkovski was dispatched by the company to haul a load from Indiana to Wisconsin. Because he picked the load up on a Friday, he drove his truck to spend the weekend at home making plans to deliver the shipment the following Monday. On that day, the trucker was involved in a motor vehicle crash resulting in the loss of his left leg through amputation below the knee. The following October, Cvetkovski filed a claim with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission in an effort to obtain benefits to cover his injuries, damages and losses.

Terms of the Hiring Agreement

Dangers of Loading DocksLoading docks can be dangerous places to work, especially when adequate safety measures are not taken or when workers are busy or hurried. Roughly one-quarter of injuries in warehouses occur on the loading dock and the vast majority of the accidents reported could have been reported had workers followed safety protocols, proper equipment or devices been made available or been more careful. Whenever heavy machinery is involved in accidents, the injuries are more severe and require longer periods of recovery before workers may return to work— if they can return at all.

The Most Common Causes of Loading Dock Accidents

Numerous people are involved in the loading or unloading of trailers and each person’s actions can have a negative impact on others who must work on the dock. Many accidents are the result of a chain reaction of negligent behavior that ultimately results in the injury of workers and it is worth the additional time to make sure that forklift operators and others occupying the docks are not in harm’s way. Common causes of loading dock accidents include the following.

Workers On Construction Site

The Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) is conducted every year by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Every year, the census reveals the number of work injuries that occur every year, and this provides the public with a general understanding of the current status quo of workplace safety.

In 2012, the CFOI reported that there were a total of 4,383 fatal work injuries recorded. The sad reality is that many fatal work injuries go unreported, either because workers feel that they do not have any rights. If you have been injured in a workplace, then you should get in touch with a worker’s injury lawyer who can help you today.

Increase in the Prevalence of Construction Injuries

The CFOI report has revealed that fatal work injuries in the private construction sector increased 5 percent in 2012. In addition, the CFOI report also found that fatal work injuries in the private mining sector also rose in 2012.

Given this increase in construction and private mining sector injuries, it is important for individuals to get help when they need it. For the construction sector, some of the common causes of injuries and fatalities at construction sites include the following:

  • Falls
  • Electrocutions
  • Being struck by an object
  • Being caught in between equipment

There are also some common causes that can account for a rise in the number of injuries and fatalities at mining sites, and these include:

  • Presence of explosive materials in the ground
  • Presence of harmful gases or chemicals around the area
  • Collapses in a mine
  • Lack of oxygen

If you or a loved one has been injured in any of these ways, then you should consider consulting a worker’s injury lawyer today. A worker’s injury lawyer can assess the circumstances that have caused an injury or fatality and help pursue the full amount you may receive under the law.

The Troubling Number of Fatal Occupational Injuries

There are other types of accidents that were commonplace in industrial settings in 2012. The BLS reports that roadway incidents, violence by other individuals, harmful contact with equipment and other transportation incidents were common in workplace environments. Falls, slips, and trips were also common in workplace environments. Even more troubling is that a total of 341 workers died in over 142 incidents in 2012.

Common Industries for Occupational Injuries

The research study also indicates that there are some industries in which injuries were common. Industries like construction, transportation and warehousing, agriculture and mining were all noted as industries in which workers were commonly injured.

Over 21.2 percent of all occupational injuries arose in the agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting industries. There were also over 15.6 percent of injuries that occurred in the mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction industries.

These statistics indicate that workers have a high likelihood of being injured in hands-on industries as opposed to industries like business services, government or education. In addition, the majority of workers who work on a contractual basis and were injured in 2012 were found in the construction and extraction occupations.

Getting Help for Your Injury Claim

Worker injury lawyers are available to help those who have been injured at a worksite. Worker injury lawyers can assist in contacting the appropriate governmental authorities to investigate the scene and potentially file a citation against you or your loved one’s previous employer. This may assist you in proving damages if your case must go to trial.

There are certain damages that individuals can recover when they have been injured on a worksite. These damages include the typical worker’s compensation benefits, but they can also include pain and suffering, medical expenses, loss of wages and loss of consortium. Those who have suffered any of these losses due to injuries from a worksite should speak with worker injury lawyers today.