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.
Problems finding qualified workers are especially problematic in the trucking industry. As fewer trained drivers are seeking employment in transportation, those who are qualified end up driving longer distances for longer periods of time. According to a The National Survey of Long-Haul Truck Drivers Health and Injury, around 33 percent of truck drivers admit they have fallen asleep behind the wheel at least once.
Even if a industry is experiencing a lack of qualified applicants, there is no excuse for lapses in safety. When Illinois employers cut corners on things like training and providing necessary safety equipment, workers are the ones who end up suffering. Workers' compensation is an essential benefit that can help injured workers or families who have lost loved ones. These benefits provide financial compensation that can bridge the gap created by lost wages and medical bills.