Many of the millions of occupational injuries that occur nationwide each year are caused by hazards deemed insignificant. While each workplace in Illinois might have unique hazards, some common work injury risks exist in all facilities, from kitchens to offices, factories, construction sites and more. Safety authorities say a significant percentage of injuries can be avoided if employers and employees familiarize themselves with these dangers and stay alert to identify and mitigate them.
Accidents involving slips on liquid spills and trips over debris or randomly placed objects can, and do happen in all work environments. Cleaning spills, removing debris and using proper storage for objects can prevent falls that could lead to fractures, soft tissue injuries and even traumatic brain injuries. Electrical hazards are also present in almost all workplaces. Extension cords, overloaded sockets, frayed wires and other electrical problems are often ignored, even tough they could cause death by electrocution.
A common threat in many workplaces is violence, which does not involve only physical harm. Bullying, sexual harassment and verbal abuse are all considered workplace violence. Employers must be aware that it is not always an internal problem, as visitors or customers and even random strangers can pose threats involving violence. This risk needs awareness by all, from management to workers, and safety training should include protection against workplace violence.
Illinois workers are typically entitled to workers' compensation benefits for any work injury or illness. Informing an employer of the injury as soon as possible is crucial as this is the way to set the ball rolling for obtaining benefits. An experienced workers' compensation attorney can assist with the claims process to get benefits to cover medical expenses and lost wages.