Workers' compensation and personal injury law in Peoria, Illinois

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Peoria Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Who actually qualifies for workers' compensation benefits?

An on-the-job injury can be absolutely devastating. Whether a person is the primary financial provider or working to pay off a few extra bills, any interruption in income can lead to serious issues. Unfortunately, some Illinois workers may not even realize that their injuries are covered by workers' compensation benefits. Here are a few things that victims of workplace accidents may want to consider.

To qualify for benefits, victims must be employees and not working under a different status, such as an independent contractor. A victim must have also suffered the injury as a result of employment. In isolated examples, an employee who was carrying out work duties when he or she was injured may not qualify for benefits. This could be because the victim was intoxicated at the time of the accident.

Workers' compensation for routine injuries

Do you think that workplace injuries are only caused by serious and devastating accidents? This is a common misconception. In reality, many workplace injuries are the result of far less dramatic circumstances. You may have recently been injured at work, but because it was not a serious accident, maybe you did not think you could get workers' compensation. Here are a few common workplace injuries that do not stem from big accidents.

Many workers in Illinois are at risk for repetitive stress injuries, and they do not even realize it. Office workers, health care workers, manufacturing employees and many more can develop serious injuries because of repetitive movements. These are usually stress injuries that can cause long-term pain and problems. Repetitive stress injuries can even put some people out of their line of work.

Long shifts raise risk of injury, need for workers' compensation

Working long shifts might be good for a person's paycheck, but bad for one's safety. Unfortunately, not many people realize the negative impact that longer shifts can have on their health and well-being. A recent study examined how long shifts and inadequate training impact the risk of injury among miners, although the information could potentially also be applied toward Illinois workers in other industries who need help securing workers' compensation.

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago carefully analyzed approximately 546,000 worker injury reports in the mining industry that were filed from 1983 to 2015. Of those that were injured, an average of 9.6% had been working for nine hours or longer. However, the effects of long shift work changed over time. In 1983, only 5.5% of injured workers had pulled long shifts on the day they were hurt. In 2015, that percentage jumped to 13.9%, and miners working long shifts had a 32% higher chance of experiencing a work-related fatality.

Workers' compensation: Risk of injury increases with long shifts

Depending on the industry, working long shifts is simply a fact of life. However, just because something is normal does not mean that it is safe. Workers who spend longer hours on the job face an increased risk of injury, which can lead to both short and long-term physical and financial problems. Workers' compensation can help injured workers address those issues.

Researchers at an Illinois university decided to examine how longer shifts impact the risk of injury for miners. They found that when miners worked shifts that were nine hours or longer, they had a higher chance of being killed or injured in an accident involving at least two workers. Additionally, they found that the workers who suffered injuries while working long shifts were also more likely to have irregular schedules or to have been working in the industry for under two years.

Workers' compensation needed frequently in certain industries

The construction and transportation industries have grown increasingly dangerous over recent years, and the problem does not appear to be getting any better. Injuries and even death among workers are more common, particularly among certain age groups. Workers' compensation plays an important role as Illinois workers continue to suffer serious injuries while on the job.

In 2017, approximately half of all worker fatalities occurred in the construction and transportation sectors. Many of those deaths and injuries in those industries affected either older workers or younger employees who had spent three months or less on the job. However, many injured workers fall outside of these two age groups, which could be in part due to some employers lowering their hiring standards. With a shortage of workers across these industries, many companies are now hiring applicants who barely pass or even fail drug tests.

Farm And Agricultural Work Are Still Dangerous Professions

Over the past century, farming has become much easier and safer than ever before. Mechanization has greatly reduced the number of workers needed to grow and harvest crops, and has lessened the physical burdens each worker faces.

These are welcome changes, but agricultural work still has dangers that many of us fail to recognize. As Illinois farms prepare for planting this spring, now is a good time to discuss some of these hazards. Specifically, today’s post will focus on the dangers workers face at grain handling facilities.

Report all injuries to validate workers' compensation claims

While construction workers in Illinois face an endless list of safety hazards, it is not uncommon for some injuries never to be reported. Regardless of the reason for keeping quiet about an on-the-job injury, it is never a good idea. Reporting even near misses can benefit the construction company and all its employees. If it involved a previously unrecognized safety hazard, plans could be put in place to mitigate it. Furthermore, only reported injuries are valid for workers' compensation claims.

Safety authorities say many reasons exist for workers not reporting injuries. These include workers being embarrassed about making an error that led to an injury, fearing disciplinary action, or even being put off by the amount of paperwork that might be involved in a report. However, reporting injuries can help to create a safer work environment by making sure it does not happen again.

Help children avoid dog bites

It is hard to walk down the street and not find a house with a dog sitting at the fence or tied up in the yard. It is easy to think that all dogs will be friendly, especially to children, but that is not often the case. Dog attacks in children are prevalent and can result in trips to the hospital. Because of this, it is important for parents to understand why dogs attack children and what can be done to avoid this.

 

Workers' compensation: Benefits can help after tragic death

No matter how many safety standards, protocols and policies are in place at an industrial facility, employees will likely face some risks on the job. Whether an injury is minor or severe, most employees may be eligible to file workers' compensation insurance claims to cover medical expenses for work-related injuries. Because some injuries are fatal, this system also allows for qualified family members to file for death benefits. Illinois workers will be sad to learn that one family and community is grieving the loss of a factory employee after a recent fatal work injury.

According to union representatives for the employees of the General Electric refrigerator factory, the employee had worked for the factory for 24 years. His co-workers report that he was well-liked and always willing to assist other employees with their work. The events that led to the man's accident have not been reported, but it is known that he became pinned by a large machine on the factory assembly line.

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