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Chicago Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Untrained forklift drives suffers fatal work injury

An employee of Menards Inc. -- a home improvement chain with branches across the Midwest, including in Illinois -- believes the employer does not care about the health and safety of its employees. This follows the tragic death of a forklift operator at one of the company's outlets in another state. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration's records indicate that this was not the first fatal work injury in this company's history.

Reportedly, a 27-year-old employee who was new to the job lost his life on May 5. Apparently, the employer failed to provide adequate training before requiring the man to operate a forklift. The only training he received was watching a video with operation instructions, observing other forklift drivers and writing a test. The inexperienced driver then had to lift a 16-foot lumber load from a bunk that was between 10 and 14 feet high.

Work-related accident claims life of Illinois sewer worker

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration prescribe safety regulations to address the known dangers in every industry. However, some hazards exist in many different industries, and business owners must ensure that employees are protected from harm. One such a hazard is mechanical equipment such as lawn mowers. Following a recent fatal work\-related accident in Illinois, safety investigators are trying to determine whether non-compliance with safety regulations might have been the cause.

Authorities reported that an emergency call came in shortly before 1 p.m. on a recent Friday from a wastewater treatment plant. The available information indicates that a 50-year-old sewer worker somehow landed in the water and became pinned under a lawn mower. Paramedics rushed him to a hospital in the area, but he died at approximately 2:30 p.m.

Drowning death appears to have been a work-related accident

Sometimes, the life of a worker in Illinois or another state is lost when nobody is nearby to either help the victim or provide information about the circumstances that caused the death. In some cases, it is not even clear whether a work\-related accident caused the fatality. Although investigators will work to find the answers, the situation may cause additional traumatic for loved ones looking for explanations about what happened.

According to an official report, a 75-year-old worker who was on the night shift on a recent Friday evening did not return from a 5 a.m. break the next morning. This occurred at a power plant in a neighboring state. While searching for him, co-workers found personal belongings of the missing man, which led to a search by volunteer rescuers that started at about 7 a.m.

Vocational rehabilitation could help you get back to work

Sometimes, after a work-related injury, it is tough to resume job duties. Imagine that you suffered an injury while working in a machine shop. The injury did damage to your hand, limiting your ability to perform the same duties you had before the accident. To return to work, you will have to learn a new skill. This is where vocational rehabilitation comes into play.

Under Illinois workers' compensation law, you could be entitled to participate in a vocational rehabilitation program. While physical therapy helps people regain their abilities, strength and functionality after an injury, vocational rehabilitation is in place to help people learn new skills if they are unable to perform their former duties.

Can drones lower the number of fatal workplace accidents?

Workers in all industries in Illinois and elsewhere face serious injury hazards and even death on a daily basis. Figures released by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration revealed that the number of fatal workplace accidents in 2015 equaled approximately 13 deaths per day -- the total was 4,836. Reportedly, one of the most common causes of occupational fatalities is fall accidents -- either falls from higher levels or falls from trip or slip hazards.

One solution that is gaining support is the use of drones to move about dangerous areas that pose particular fall risks. Drones that can send high-resolution images for examination after carrying out remote inspections of dangerous industrial work sites. They can also be used to inspect the roofs of buildings for cracks and other damage, which will eliminate the need for workers to move about risky roofs at dangerous heights and face the risks of falling through hidden roof lights or from the sides of buildings.

Injured? Don’t let an employer force you back to work too soon

Every year, thousands of employees throughout the greater Chicago area suffer on-the-job injuries across every industry, and many of them must take time off of work to recover. Unfortunately, a surprising number of employers or their insurers begin to pressure employees to come back to work before they are fully healed from the injury.

Caught between what feels like a rock and a hard place, many employees cave to the pressure and return to work before it is medically wise to do so. Not only does this lead, in many cases, to subpar performance on the job, it denies an employee a proper recovery. Without a proper recovery, injured workers may suffer permanent disabilities that they might otherwise avoid.

Mechanic claims medical expenses and more for exposure to benzene

Benzene is a flammable, sweet-smelling chemical that is present in gasoline, parts washers, solvents such as cleaning agents and degreasers, and automotive paints. These are all products to which auto mechanics in Illinois and elsewhere are exposed every day. Furthermore, benzene is a known carcinogen and the cause of excessive medical expenses for many workers who are suffering the consequences of exposure to this dangerous chemical.

An auto mechanic who has been exposed to benzene since 1982 and developed cancer as a result recently filed a lawsuit. He named ExxonMobil, Rust-Oleum, BP, Shell and 10 other companies as defendants. The plaintiff claims he now suffers from multiple myeloma -- a cancer of the blood that originates in bone marrow. Cancerous white blood cells form in the bones after the accumulation of benzene that is absorbed by inhalation or through skin absorption.

Fatal construction worker injury kills Lake in the Hills man

Construction workers in Illinois often face life-threatening hazards on the job. It is the responsibility of all business owners to comply with federal safety regulations designed to prevent workplace injuries. It is also the employers' responsibility to monitor employee compliance with prescribed safety precautions. A recent fatal construction worker injury is currently under investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to determine the cause of an employee's death.

Reportedly, an incident that caused a fatal injury to a construction worker occurred on a recent Friday in Joliet. Authorities say the victim was a 33-year-old man. They pronounced his death shortly after 9 a.m. at the emergency room of a local medical center.

Fatal workplace injury kills employee of metal manufacturer

Employees in manufacturing facilities in Illinois are typically exposed to many life-threatening hazards whenever they are on duty. Industrial facilities have scores of dangerous machinery and equipment, each posing unique dangers. Furthermore, in factories, there are always risks of workers falling from platforms, being struck by heavy objects and more. A fatal workplace injury at a metal manufacturer's plant recently claimed the life of an employee.

Reportedly, a 57-year-old employee died while working in an industrial facility in Clinton. According to a preliminary report, a call about the incident was made shortly before 10 a.m. Emergency workers responded to the scene but found the employee already deceased. The county coroner pronounced him dead within 30 minutes after the emergency call was received.

Work accident kills worker who was also part-time performer

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration launched an investigation into the death of a paving company worker in Illinois. This fatal work accident touched the whole community because the deceased man, particularly due to the man's side gig moonlighting as a singer of old-time favorites in local venues. An official coroner's report is pending.

Reportedly, the local police received a report about the 58-year-old worker's death shortly before 2 p.m. on a recent Wednesday. The part-time performer also had a full-time job as a mechanic. It is unclear whether he was working on maintenance or repair of the asphalt paver at the time of the incident, or whether he fell from it. According to the coroner, the man had multiple traumatic injuries.

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