Employees in the health care industry nationwide, including in Illinois, often face life-threatening situations in carrying out their duties. The prevalence of violent attacks by patients in hospitals and other health care settings is a matter of grave concern. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration says almost three-quarters of reported workplace assaults causing serious injury from 2011 through 2013 occurred in health care facilities.
The chief executive of the National Safety Council says impairment threatens the safety of workers nationwide, including in Illinois. Not alcohol or drug impairment, but the type brought about by a lack of rest or enough sleep to restore the proper functioning of the body. The executive says sufficient rest is the one thing that can prevent workplace accidents. In a recent survey of 2,000 workers, organized by the Council, more than one in four workers admitted to being at risk of suffering a work injury due to lack of sleep.
Hospitals across Illinois took note of the increased presence of workplace violence after a recent shooting incident in a hospital in another state. One doctor lost his life in that incident, and five other individuals were injured. The threat of suffering a work injury is part of the everyday life of every nurse, and authorities are working on establishing protocols to prevent violent incidents in health care facilities.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently called on all business owners, including those in Illinois, with employees that are required to enter trenches to review the safety protocols related to excavations. This followed the death of a worker who suffered a fatal work injury when a trench collapsed in a neighboring state. OSHA came down hard on the employer because the agency found similar safety violations at another site of the same company within a month of the fatality.
Groups of opponents to the proposed fracking in Illinois made their concerns known at a recent meeting at the offices of Carbondale Township. Their primary concern is the associated risk of exposure to radioactive material that hydraulic fracturing is said to bring about. Not only will it be a source of potentially serious incidents of work injury for those who will be employed at the proposed sites but may also be a health threat to surrounding communities.
Illinois workers in the construction or manufacturing industries might be surprised to learn that hospital workers face higher risks of suffering workplace injuries than they do. The truth is that hospitals are far more dangerous workplace environments with multiple sources of safety hazards that can cause work injury. Concerned parties say this should be a significant reason for action among leaders in the medical and nursing industries.
Workplace accidents are prevalent in all industries nationwide, including in Illinois. Many workers likely know that anybody can suffer a work injury at any time, and only compliance with safety regulations can protect them. However, sometimes lives are lost without witnesses, and investigators have to piece together evidence to form a picture of the circumstances that caused a fatality.
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.
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.
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.