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A dropped tool can cause a deadly workplace injury

Any Illinois workers who move about below others at higher levels will be at risk of being struck by falling tools. Even a small tool dropped from a significant height can cause a deadly workplace injury. However, it is not only workers on high-altitude work sites such as scaffolds and masts that must take care. Those on elevated areas of warehouses and other workplaces also have to be careful.

According to prescribed safety regulations, all tools used at heights must be tethered by lanyards to a tool belt worn by the worker, or to the structure on which he or she is working. Authorities say the question is not which tools to tether but rather which tools to take onto the elevated work area because every piece of equipment or tool must be tethered. For this reason, careful consideration is necessary when tools to take on the job are selected.

Legal requirements exist for tethering tools to prevent injuries and fatalities of workers. Employers must provide comprehensive training to teach workers about the tethering rules and enforce those rules. However, it is the responsibility of the employer to provide lanyards, traps and bags that are necessary to avoid putting tools on rails, steps, ledges or platforms from where they can fall.

Any worker in Illinois who has to cope with the consequences of a workplace injury might be entitled to workers' compensation benefits. An injury must be reported to the employer as soon as possible to be eligible. This will set the wheels in motion for a claim for benefits that will cover medical expenses and lost wages. Many workers choose to use the services of an experienced workers' compensation attorney to navigate the claims process for them.

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