Workers' compensation and personal injury law in Peoria, Illinois

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Peoria Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Workers' compensation for fatigue-related injuries

Worker exhaustion is often praised as an example of excellent commitment to a job. People who leave a job late and show back up still tired the next day are said to have good work ethics. Regardless of a person's commitment to a given job or position, being fatigued at work is actually quite dangerous. Some Illinois workers may even need workers' compensation benefits for injuries related to on-the-job fatigue.

According to the Illinois Department of Labor, workplace fatigue is a growing epidemic. In a recent news release, the department's director stated that on-the-job fatigue is not a failing of the worker, but is a workplace safety problem. Perceptions about what workplace safety entails -- such as safety training and equipment -- has perhaps prevented some people from paying as much attention to the problem of fatigue.

Can workers' compensation help victims' mental health?

Suffering an on-the-job injury can be a life-changing experience, and not in a good way. Most people in Illinois know that physical pain and financial problems are issues for workers who have to take time off to recover. Unfortunately, injured workers' mental health is often overlooked. Without the right support -- such as workers' compensation -- the outlook is not bright for these victims.

The National Safety Council says 4.6 million people are injured on the job every year, which comes out to about one injury for every seven seconds. Past research has already showed that, when compared to workers with less severe injuries, workers who needed to take a week or more off following an injury had a 20% higher chance of dying for any reason. Additional research had already identified increased risk factors following an injury, including depression, long-term income loss and frequent opioid treatment.

Workers' compensation: Scaffolds a threat to workers' safety

Construction workers fulfill an important need in communities and cities all across Illinois. From performing renovations to working on new builds, these workers are essential for growth. Sadly, many construction workers are spending shifts in unsafe working conditions that put them at risk for serious injury and even death. Workers may want to know about one of the biggest threats to their safety and how workers' compensation can help them if they are injured.

Scaffolding accidents are the most common type of construction accident. This may be partially due to frequent use, as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration -- OSHA -- estimates that approximately 65% of all construction workers frequently work on scaffolds. Some of the most common scaffolding accidents include falls caused by improperly installed or unreasonably safe equipment. Injuries are also made worse when employers do not provide adequate safety or protective equipment. Workers on scaffolds are also at risk for being by falling objects.

Workers' compensation: Woman killed in construction accident

Construction work can be extremely satisfying as well as lucrative. While most construction workers in Illinois may be fairly happy with their jobs, the industry is notoriously dangerous. Not only are injuries relatively common among construction workers, fatal injuries are a real and terrifying possibility. In these situations, surviving family members may be able to obtain death benefits through the workers' compensation system.

A 56-year-old construction worker was recently killed in a terrible workplace accident. The woman was working as a traffic flagger at construction site located on the road when she was hit by a dump truck. The driver of the truck was backing up and apparently did not see the co-worker before it was too late.

Three habits can help motorists avoid trucking collisions

Commercial trucking collisions can have a variety of causes, including poor vehicle maintenance, equipment failure, inclement weather, improper cargo loading and others. However, one of the most common causes is driver error.

Driver error can sometimes be caused by the truck driver. A trucker could neglect to use a turn signal, speed or tailgate another vehicle. A trucker could also drive when drowsy, drunk or on drugs.

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.


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