The Law Offices of Millon & Peskin, Ltd.
Call for a free consultation today: 630-614-1352 Search

Chicago Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Complacency about roof safety can lead to workplace accidents

Keeping roof workers safe should be the priority of building owners and construction companies Nationwide, including Illinois. Too many roof workers suffer severe injuries or even lose their lives when they and/or their employers become complacent. Even companies that have never had to deal with a fall or other roof-related injury must avoid complacency because workplace accidents can happen in the blink of an eye.

An aptly named "competent person" must do a hazard assessment before work on a roof starts. This is to identify potential hazards and determine the appropriate types of protection. Factors to include in the evaluation are the height and pitch of the roof and the presence of openings like skylights, ventilation and other penetrations -- also the type and condition of the roof material. Furthermore, the existence or need to install roof anchors, tie-off points to which fall arrest or restraint systems can be secured, and guard rails must be evaluated.

About 7 loss-of-limb workplace accidents occur per day nationwide

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration reported that the number of amputations that follow workplace accidents is a matter of significant concern. Work-related loss-of-limb incidents are reported to be as many as seven per day nationwide, excluding Illinois and other states with their own safety and health programs. Amputations are catastrophic, even if only a finger is lost.

Although reported amputations include hands, feet, toes and other body parts, OSHA says that fingers make up approximately 90% of amputations. Even so, losing a finger can prevent a worker from returning to the same occupation as before the amputation. OSHA mandates that workers must be informed about amputation hazards, and employers must provide adequate safety training to mitigate these hazards.

Work-related accident kills 1, sends a co-worker to the hospital

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration was at the scene of a grain bin accident in Illinois on a recent Wednesday afternoon. Several teams of rescuers were involved in the effort to bring two workers to safety. Sadly, only one survived this work-related accident. According to the Manteno Fire Chief, an emergency call came in at about 11 a.m., and rescue teams rushed to the grain elevator.

Reportedly, two workers who were cleaning the grain bin were heading out of the 110-foot tall elevator for lunch when one of them fell. The 58-year-old employee, with a service record of 40 years with the company, became trapped when he landed on approximately 8,000 bushels of corn. His 28-year-old co-worker alerted employees at ground level, before climbing back down to help the older man.

Cold temperature cause of many workers' compensation claims

Along with the freezing weather this winter, comes the hazards of cold stress for outdoor workers in Illinois and across the Midwest. Low temperatures and strong winds cause many workplace injuries and related workers' compensation claims each year. Safety authorities say employees must receive training in how to recognize the signs and symptoms of cold stress in themselves and their co-workers.

Although hypothermia and other cold-related conditions can be deadly, timely medical intervention can limit severe consequences. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration provides safety guidelines to prevent cold stress, one of which is the buddy system that leaves no outdoor worker alone. Each worker has a designated buddy, and they watch each other for telltale signs of the onset of cold stress and take appropriate action as soon as a red flag is noticed.

Dropped object standards to prevent serious work injury

Dropped objects pose severe risks in Illinois and wherever work is done on different levels. Safety authorities adopted standards to mitigate dropped object hazards over a year ago, but such injuries continue to occur. Even a small object dropped from an elevated work area can cause a serious work injury if it strikes a worker at a lower level.

Employers must provide tool tethers, which are lanyards used to connect the tools to anchor points. Also, proper tool attachment point planning is required before work commences. These points are fitted to tools to serve as attachment points for the lanyards, and equally important is the pre-planning of the installation of secure anchor attachments to which tool lanyards must be tethered to prevent dropped tools.

Work injury: Cold stress can be deadly

Heading toward January, which is typically the coldest month in Illinois, employers must review their safety protocols and arrange safety training to ensure employees know the risks of cold stress. The effects of cold stress cause many a work injury. Workers must learn about the different types of cold stress and the red flags to look out for in themselves and co-workers.

Hypothermia is a life-threatening condition that starts when the body temperature drops to 95 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. At first, the worker will begin shivering but remain alert. However, when the shivering stops and the worker becomes confused and has slurred speech, his or her condition can deteriorate quickly. A slowing heart and breathing rate can lead to loss of consciousness and death.

Wall collapse causes serious head injury to construction worker

Construction workers in Illinois and across the country risk their lives on construction sites each day. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration launched an investigation into a construction site accident in a neighboring state. The incident left a construction worker with a serious head injury. If OSHA investigators find that noncompliance with safety standards led to the event, the employer will likely be cited and a fine proposed.

According to the police department, an emergency was reported at approximately 10 a.m. on a Thursday earlier this month. Upon arrival at the construction site, rescue personnel found an injured 26-year-old man at the third floor level of the building, which is under construction. Reportedly, a section of prefabricated concrete walling fell over, landing on top of the worker. Rescue workers say he suffered several crushing injuries.

Heavy fines after 5 amputations in manufacturing accidents

Workers in various industries nationwide, including Illinois, deal with amputation hazards each day. The level of risk is underscored by a report issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration that involves a wine-barrel maker in a neighboring state. Substantial fines were proposed after the company reported amputation injuries in five different manufacturing accidents in only 14 months.

According to OSHA documents, the latest amputation injury occurred in Feb. 2019. In that case, a worker lost a finger. Inspectors reported that workers were exposed to a chain and sprocket that was unguarded. Reportedly, the company was cited for the same violation one year earlier in Feb. 2018.

Safety violations expose firefighters to serious injury hazards

The Illinois Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently released a list of the top five safety violations that agency inspectors identified at fire departments across Illinois in the 2019 fiscal year. The agency hopes to reduce the serious injury incidents that happen when safety standards are violated. Number one on the list involves the lack of respiratory protection that exposes firefighters to harmful vapors, fumes, dust, fog, gases, sprays and smoke.

The lack of organizational structures at fire stations includes violations related to the frequency, type and amount of safety training provided. There must also be clear guidelines as to the duties of each fire brigade member. Hazard communication violations involve the lack of data sheets and label warnings on hazardous chemicals and sufficient safety training on working with dangerous chemicals.

Excessive noise can cause life-altering workplace injury

Machine shops in manufacturing facilities nationwide, including Illinois, typically expose workers to high levels of noise. A hearing-related workplace injury may develop gradually, and by the time it becomes evident, proving it to be work-related might be challenging. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires employers to inform workers of the hazards they will face, and also protect them from harm by providing personal protective equipment, including hearing protection.

Workers in manufacturing plants are typically exposed to noise levels that exceed 95 decibels, and when such exposure lasts for four hours or longer, those who do not wear hearing protection can suffer irreversible hearing loss. Safety authorities say even escalations of one or two decibels can significantly increase the danger levels of occupational noise. With the increase of every decibel, the time before damage starts is reduced, so much so that when noise levels rise from 95 to 97 decibels, the exposure time decreases by one hour.

Email Us For A Response

Call For A Free Consultation Today — 630-614-1352

Contact us

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Review Us

Wheaton Office
310 S. County Farm Road
Suite J
Wheaton, IL 60187

Phone: 630-614-1352
Fax: 630-260-1150
Map & Directions

Arlington Heights Office
Arlington Heights Office
Arlington Heights, IL 60004

Phone: 630-614-1352
Fax: 630-260-1150
Map & Directions

Rosemont Office
10700 W. Higgins Road, Suite 100
Rosemont, IL 60018

Phone: 630-614-1352
Fax: 630-260-1150
Map & Directions

Chicago Office
311 N. Aberdeen, 3rd Floor
Chicago, IL 60607

Phone: 630-614-1352
Fax: 630-260-1150
Map & Directions