A brief examination of readily available statistics from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration reveals that fatal construction accidents continue to be a major issue here in the United States. To illustrate, the agency determined that 775 people lost their lives in construction accidents in 2012 alone.
As strange as it might seem, many people here in the Chicagoland area were more than likely grateful to step out of their front doors this morning into temperatures in the 20s. That's because the horror of last week's polar vortex -- the mass of arctic air that plunged southward into the central and eastern U.S. -- is still fresh in their minds.
Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration handed down a eye-opening number of citations and a rather substantial proposed fine to a food manufacturing company with corporate offices located right here in the Chicagoland area.
It may seem hard to fathom, but Thanksgiving is now less than a week away. While this means time with family and friends, and, of course, a turkey dinner, it also means that the holiday shopping season will soon be in full swing. Accordingly, all of the major retailers are currently busy preparing various sales blitzes designed to capitalize upon the hard-earned dollars of shoppers over the coming weeks.
Workers here in Chicago and across the state of Illinois routinely suffer debilitating musculoskeletal injuries. Typically, these types of injuries involve the neck, back, wrist, elbow or shoulder, and are brought on by a variety of risk factors, including tasks that require workers to take uncomfortable postures or make repetitive motions, or poorly designed workstations.
Believe it or not, some of the most dangerous working conditions in the entire city of Chicago can actually be found under the streets that we drive and walk upon each day. Specifically, those workers who brave the city's vast sewer system are always at an elevated risk of suffering serious and even fatal work injuries due to slippery walking surfaces, noxious gases and even high water levels.
While agriculture undoubtedly plays a huge role in the Illinois economic sector, there is still great concern regarding the safety of agricultural workers. There were more than 48,000 injuries to farm workers across the nation in 2011 and in 2012 there were 475 fatalities.
Last spring, our blog discussed how a terrifying industrial accident at a paint factory in the northwest suburbs of Chicago left both state and federal investigators with a multitude of unanswered questions.
Right now, college students throughout Illinois are busy preparing for the start of the fall semester. However, these college students aren't the only busy ones, as staff at these colleges and universities are busy preparing their campuses for the sudden influx of students and taking steps to ensure that the academic year proceeds as smoothly -- and injury free -- as possible.
There is no debate that Chicago is home to a thriving craft brewery scene that has experienced rapid growth over the last several years. In fact, beer aficionados from across the nation routinely flock to the Windy City to taste the ales, lagers and stouts offered by both the new and well-established craft breweries.