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Chicago Workers' Compensation Law Blog

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.

Fatal fall through skylight days after similar workplace injury

When two similar on-the-job accidents occur on the same Illinois job site within days, it seems clear that the employer has disregarded the safety of employees. By addressing the safety hazard after one employee suffered a workplace injury on Nov. 3, the death of another worker might have been prevented. Sadly, this was not the case, and one family now has to cope with the sudden death of a loved one.

A report by emergency workers indicates that the fire department rushed to the scene of a reported workplace accident shortly before 8 a.m. on Nov. 12. The incident happened at a site where work was being performed on a warehouse roof. A man had fallen through a skylight, and emergency workers said the victim's multiple injuries were traumatic. The 20-year-old worker succumbed to his injuries on Nov. 15.

Head injury causes tree trimmer's death

Employees of three trimming companies in Illinois and other states have the rights to protection against workplace injuries. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration prescribes a list of safety regulations about the hazards of each industry. OSHA recently cited a company in a neighboring state after completion of an investigation into an August incident in which a tree trimmer suffered a fatal head injury.

Investigators said a tree limb struck the 25-year-old employee against his skull, causing his death. They determined that the employer failed to provide employees with training that would help them to recognize hazards and the precautions to take to prevent injuries. OSHA says each worksite in this industry poses unique risks, and a proper hazard assessment must be carried out at every site before work commences.

Fatal workplace accidents: 1 more life lost in Illinois factory

After an investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, a steel processing facility in Illinois faces proposed penalties of more than $53,000. Several citations for safety and health violations were also issued. As is common after fatal workplace accidents, the federal safety agency investigated the cause of the horrific June death of a 50-year-old worker at the facility.

An incident report indicates that the employee was removing scrap metal pieces that were stuck in the scrap pit. He was positioned on a pneumatically operated platform when one of the pieces of scrap metal apparently damaged the pneumatic line. As a result, the platform automatically returned to its inactive vertical position. The worker fell nine feet into the pit where the working parts pulled him in and caused his death.

Injured IL worker unsuccessful in holding railroad liable for major injury, P.2

In our previous post, we began looking at a workplace injury case involving a worker whose legs were amputated due to an accident on a railroad bridge scrap job. As we noted, before the case went to the Supreme Court, it was ruled that the case should go back to trial so that a jury could determine whether the railroad retained any control over the scrap job. If so, it was ruled, the railroad could be held liable for the worker’s injuries.

The Supreme Court ultimately ruled in the case that control of the scrap job was entirely given over to the scrap contractor that hired the injured worker’s employer. Because of this, the railroad could not be held responsible for the injuries. 

The basics of workers' compensation

In Illinois, employers are required to purchase workers' compensation insurance to cover their employees in case of a job-related accident or illness. If you have been injured on the job or have contracted an illness due to working conditions, you may be wondering if you will receive workers' compensation benefits.

Injured IL worker unsuccessful in holding railroad liable for major injury, P.1

Last month, the Illinois Supreme Court issued a ruling that highlights the types of legal challenges an injured worker can face in seeking to hold a third-party liable for workplace injuries.

The case involved an employee of a third-party contractor of Union Pacific Railroad whose legs had to be amputated in 2006 as a result of an injury that occurred while he was working on the removal of an abandoned railroad bridge. After the accident, the worker filed a complaint against the contractor that purchased the bridge from the railroad and employed the worker’s employer for the removal job. 

Electrician suffers fatal workplace injury on his first day

Three months ago, an Illinois man left his home for his first day at a new job. Sadly, he never made it home that night. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has completed an investigation into the incident in which this man suffered a fatal workplace injury. Investigators identified several serious safety violations at this facility, where mobile medical tractors are manufactured, and also at another one of the company's plants

An incident report indicates that a 58-year-old electrician was positioned underneath a trailer of a mobile medical tractor on which he was working. Reportedly, another employee unintentionally caused a puncture in a hydraulic line that held the trailer elevated. The heavy vehicle came crashing down onto the electrician's chest and head, causing his death.

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