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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.

Although most snow and ice hazards are outside, manufacturing plants typically have workers moving in and out of buildings. Both foot traffic and industrial equipment such as forklifts can carry in snow, and anything moving over it will cause it to melt. These conditions can be extremely slippery and can lead to accidents resulting in serious bodily injuries.

Illinois workers who are suffering the consequences of slip-and-fall accidents in their workplaces may have to cope with high medical expenses. Any worker who suffered a serious injury may go ahead and file a workers' compensation claim to pursue financial relief. However, if the victim suspects gross negligence by the employer, it may be wise to consult with a skilled workers' compensation attorney to assess the circumstances for the viability of alternative legal action.

Source: ohsonline.com, "Tips for Winter Safety and Reducing Liability", Steve Greenwald, Dec. 5, 2016

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