Employees in warehouses, distribution centers and fulfillment centers in Illinois face various safety risks. Although every employer is expected to address all recognized hazards that could cause a workplace injury, workers' compensation benefits claims from warehouse workers are prevalent. Minimizing ergonomic risks factors can prevent musculoskeletal injuries caused by repeatedly twisting, bending, stretching and lifting -- often in awkward body postures.
Workers in the construction industry in Illinois may be smart not to put their safety entirely in the hands of their employers. Even though the Occupational Safety and Health Administration put the responsibility of workplace safety squarely on the shoulders of employers, profits are often prioritized instead. There are precautions to take for employees who are alert and aware to prevent workplace accidents.
Workers in the manufacturing industry in Illinois are always at risk of suffering injuries. Along with the long list of common safety hazards in such facilities, each factory typically poses additional unique dangers, depending on the products that are manufactured. It is the responsibility of each employer to protect the health and safety of employees by addressing hazards that could cause manufacturing accidents.
More and more business owners in Illinois recognize the benefits of ergonomics in workplaces. It is becoming clear that ergonomic changes can reduce the costs of work injury-related sprains and strains, and bring about direct and indirect savings linked to improved productivity. It was recently reported that ergonomic changes could even benefit forklift operators.
Construction company owners in Illinois are responsible for the safety of their employees. This includes those who work at heights, each of whom must be equipped with a fall protection harness and lanyards to arrest accidental falls. Although these safety devices can prevent workers from falling to their deaths, suspension trauma hazards are a significant concern.
An investigative report on the prevalence of occupational injuries in the chicken processing industry in Illinois and other states recently revealed that under-reporting remains to be a concerning matter. Many workers fear retaliation for reporting a work injury, and those injuries that are reported are often not recorded. Workers in this industry work long shifts with few breaks, performing repetitive motions for hours on end.
Not all occupational injuries result from accidents; disease causes some. One occupational disease to which all construction workers -- including those in Illinois -- are susceptible, is silicosis. Silica forms a significant percentage of the minerals that make up the crust of the earth. For that reason, any job that involves brick, rock or sand exposes workers to silica and the risk of inhaling crystalline silica dust. These particles can cause silicosis that will lead to long-term medical expenses.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is once again underscoring the hazards posed by trenches. In fact, the number of trench-related fatalities is on the increase, with 23 such deaths recorded in 2016. Workplace accidents involving excavations happen nationwide, including in Illinois, despite the strict safety regulations that govern trenches.