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Industrial accidents could cause life-changing injuries

Illinois employees of manufacturers typically rely on their employers to provide safe work environments that are free of known hazards. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration expects employers to ensure that all machines are fitted with safeguards to prevent contact with dangerous, moving parts. Furthermore, energy control devices and procedures must be in place to protect workers from unexpected activation that could cause industrial accidents that may lead to amputations or deaths.

Failure to comply with these safety regulations led to proposed fines of almost $92,000 for a pallet manufacturer in New Lenox. Compliance inspectors determined that the lack of safeguards caused injuries to a worker who was performing maintenance on a pallet stripper and came into contact with the blade. This incident occurred in Oct. 2017.

The reports by OSHA revealed that the investigation identified 11 safety violations. Two of those were repeated violations, while three were classified as other than serious, and six were serious violations. While the company has 15 days to comply or request a conference with OSHA, the victim might have to suffer the consequences of the employer's apparent negligence for the rest of his life.

Victims of industrial accidents in Illinois are typically entitled to pursue financial relief through the workers' compensation insurance program, even in circumstances where employer negligence was not involved. An experienced attorney can provide guidance throughout the claims process. For those who suffered amputation injuries, there might be additional benefits to the medical expenses and lost wages that are typically awarded. Workers who are unable to return to their regular jobs may receive vocational rehabilitation to teach them new skills and prepare them for a different position.

Source: New Lenox, IL Patch, "OSHA Socks New Lenox Company With Big Fine", John Ferak, Jan. 24, 2018

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