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Chicago Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Work-related accident: Explosion at truck factory injures 6

Explosions at factories in Illinois or anywhere else can be devastating. It is the type of work\-related accident that can cause injuries or death to many workers in the blink of an eye. When an explosion at a truck factory in another state recently occurred, the consequences could have been much worse had most of the 1,000 employees not been off-site for training purposes. Only six workers were injured, and there were no reports of fatalities.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration arrived at the facility to investigate the cause of the blast. Reports by authorities indicate that a strong explosion rocked the factory -- which is part of Oshkosh Corp -- on a recent Wednesday morning. They say six employees suffered injuries, five of which remain hospitalized or under medical care.

Workplace accidents risks prevalent at Illinois roofing company

It is hard to see how business owners can have a complete disregard for the safety of those who ensure they make money. A roofing company in Illinois was put on the Severe Violator Enforcement Program of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, but the agency reported that a recent inspection determined that the company had made no effort to address employee safety, and employees remain at risk of being involved in workplace accidents. As many times before, OSHA issued citations for willful violations after the most recent inspection.

Following multiple inspections, citations and penalties since 2006, this business owner has ignored every order to establish a safety program to prevent accidents. Reportedly, with workers exposed to fall hazards on a daily basis, this employer still refuses to provide fall protection. Workers at heights exceeding six feet must wear fall protection.

3 thinks injured construction workers should know

Your wife and young children count on you being able to work to make ends meet. As a construction worker, you go to work each day knowing that you are at an increased risk for being injured because of an accident. Have you ever thought of what would happen to your family if you were injured? Would you be able to keep a roof over your head, your utilities on and food on the table? In many cases, filing a workers' compensation claim can help you to make ends meet. Here are three points that you should know about injuries at construction sites and compensation afterward.

MSHA says fatal work-related accident in coalmine was preventable

The lives of coal mine workers in Illinois and elsewhere who have to share their workspaces with 65-ton machines will always be at risk. The Mine Safety and Health Administration underscored the importance of compliance with safety regulations in a recent report after investigating the death of a mine worker in a neighboring state. Federal investigators determined that the employer was aware of the hazard that caused this fatal work\-related accident, but failed to address it.

According to MSHA, the workers carry remote-control devices that activate warning sounds and lights if they enter the danger zones near the massive machines. However, the company apparently failed to provide ways for the employees to attach the transmitters securely to prevent dropping them. This seems to be what led to the death of the 36-year-old employee last January.

Manufacturing accidents: Welders face various safety hazards

While there is some level of danger to any occupation, welders in Illinois and elsewhere know that the odds of suffering work injuries are significant. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration says a significant percentage of welders suffer fatal welding injuries. Manufacturing accidents caused by welding typically result in burn injuries but pose additional hazards that can include death.

The welding process melts metals, exposing the worker to temperatures that are extremely high. Some burn injuries can be minor, and they are typically regarded as par for the course, but others are severe. Due to the sparks usually caused by traditional and arc welding, other hazards exist. The sparks can set some objects in a workshop on fire, such as oil-soaked rags or even a worker's oil covered work clothes. A burning rag can quickly engulf a building in flames.

Forklift strike causes fatal workplace injury to Illinois worker

Whenever workers on foot share their work areas with forklifts, the chances of tragedies exist. The dangers of such circumstances were underscored by the recent death of a worker at the construction site of a suburban reservoir in Illinois. A 55-year-old carpenter died when a forklift struck him, causing a fatal workplace injury.

The medical examiner of Cook County pronounced the worker's death on a recent Monday afternoon. Reportedly, a forklift struck the man during snow clearing operations in the parking area at the Deep Tunnel construction project. An autopsy apparently indicated that his death was the result of multiple injuries.

Slip-and-fall in workplace can cause serious injury in winter

Although workers in Illinois and other states may typically not file legal claims against their employers if they are involved in work\-related accidents, exceptions exist. They can file claims with the workers' compensation insurance system. Only in the event of a serious injury that resulted from an employer's extreme negligence may the worker have a viable legal claim against the business owner.

The steps that employers must take to protect employees from the hazards of wintertime are listed in the safety regulations that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration prescribes. Employers must check for leaks and carry out repairs before temperatures drop to freezing levels because leaking pipes can cause hazardous ice-covered areas. An essential safety measure is the posting of warning signs wherever even the slightest danger of slip-and-fall incidents exist.

More than physical work injury may result from trench collapse

Those in Illinois and other states who have to spend time working in trenches put their lives on the line every time they enter such excavations. There are strict regulations for trench safety, and clear guidelines for precautions to prevent collapses. However, some business owners disregard these rules because of the costs and extra time required to safeguard trenches. A worker in a neighboring state recently suffered a work injury when he was trapped in a trench on a recent Wednesday.

An incident report indicates that a 40-year-old worker was in a trench at an apartment complex where he was doing repairs. The trench was 10 feet deep, and when the walls collapsed, four feet of mud buried the man up to his waist. Firefighters responded to the construction site at approximately 11:30 a.m., finding the worker trapped but conscious.

What if an Illinois workers' compensation claim is disputed?

Obtaining workers' compensation benefits after suffering an illness or injury on the job can be a very long and often frustrating process. One the ways to protect yourself and have the claim resolved is to seek legal counsel from an attorney experienced with handling workers' compensation claims.

Once you have reported your injury to your employer, for which, in Illinois, you have 45 days from the date the injury occurred or was discovered, you may be concerned that your claim will be disputed.

Gang-saw operator suffers fatal workplace injury

Lumberyards and sawmills are dangerous workplace environments, and employers in Illinois and other states have the responsibility to address all potential safety hazards. They must protect workers from the dangers posed by the massive machines such as gang saws that are part of the operations at these industrial facilities. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently completed an investigation into a fatal workplace injury that claimed the life of an employee in another state.

The accident report indicates that a 56-year-old saw operator who was a 20-year employee at a lumberyard lost his life after suffering an on-the-job injury. Investigators found that the saw operator noticed that a pin on the feeding table of the gang saw was stuck in the wrong position. While he attempted to adjust it, his clothes caught on a rotating shaft's unguarded sprocket.

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