Could Wellness Programs Reduce Workers Compensation Risks?

Posted: April 5th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Illinois workers comp, Workers Comp, Workers compensation attorney | Tags: , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

wellness program, workers compensation, lawyer, attorney, IllinoisResearch out of Denver shows that companies could save a lot of money and improve the overall well-being of their employees by investing in a health and wellness program. This is the first study of its kind to look at the impact of a wellness program statewide, examining workplaces in Colorado using a Health Risk Management program. Alongside other benefits, the study results indicate that workers’ compensation risks might be reduced through wellness program implementation

More than 300 employees were included in the study. Under the program, participants experienced a 25 percent decrease in cancer risk, a 25 percent decrease in depression risk, and a 35 percent decrease in smoking rates in only three years. The authors of the study are looking to determine the exact measurements for the improvements on workers’ compensation risks, but early signs indicate that overall risk reduction will influence the workplace positively.

Nutrition and stress were two other areas where workers saw improvements. Program participants decreased stress risk by 23 percent and saw double-digit increases in nutrition and fitness levels. Employees participating in the program begin with the creation of a wellness profile. For the duration of their involvement, workers had access to resources to help stop smoking, telephone coaching, and online assistance. Some employees also included incentives for participating in the program.

Management can have a significant impact on reducing risk and encouraging wellness in the workplace. Making employees aware of such benefit programs could help cut down on the number of workers’ compensation claims, injuries, and other employee complaints, ultimately making the workplace better for all. Managers play a critical role in employee safety.

Unfortunately, workers compensation accidents still happen across Illinois and around the country, especially in places where prevention isn’t prioritized. Contact an Illinois workers’ compensation attorney today if you have been hurt on the job.

Repetitive Stress Injuries: Types & Causes

Posted: March 31st, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Personal Injury, Repetitive injury, stress injury | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Bursitis, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Cook County repetitive strain injury lawyer, Diffuse RSIX Dupuytren’s Contracture, injured at work, Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio, repetitive stress injury, stress injuries, work related injury, workers compensation, workers compensation attorneyInjuries can be caused by a single incident like a car crash or falling on slippery ice, or they can be caused by repeatedly straining a joint, muscle, or tendon until serious damage is done. Sometimes this repetition is done at work while trying to complete an activity necessary to complete one’s job. If you suffer a stress injury at work, you can file for worker’s compensation benefits for your pain and any time that you must take off of work.

The Medical News Today website defines repetitive stress injuries as those caused by performing the same motion over and over again.

  • Bursitis occurrs when the bursa, or the cushion between tendons, muscles, bones, and joints, is inflamed. Pain is then felt at site of inflammation;
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is when the median nerve in the carpal tunnel of the wrist area is compressed, and thus does not allow blood to flow freely to the fingers and hands. This results in pain and numbness, felt in the fingers and hands;
  • Diffuse RSI is when nothing is physically found to be wrong, yet the patient complains of pain;
  • Dupuytren’s Contracture, an uncommon hand deformity, occurs when connective tissue, located under the skin of the palm, contracts and toughens over time. It causes one or multiple fingers to bend into the palm of the hand;
  • Epicondylitis is when bone and tendon join together as a result of overuse of the muscles and tendons;
  • Ganglion occurs when fluid-filled swellings form on tops of joints or tendons in wrists, hands, and feet that appear to be firm or spongy liquid sacs, filled with “sticky, clear, thick, jelly-like fluid”;
  • Rotator Cuff Syndrome occurs when shoulder tendons and muscles become inflamed;
  • Tendonitis is when tendons becomes inflamed;
  • Tenosynovitis occurs when the inner lining of the sheath surrounding the tendon becomes inflamed;
  • Trigger finger is when a finger or thumb becomes stuck in a bent position, and the tendon sheath, along with the tendon, both becomes inflamed as well.

If you have suffered from one or more of these injuries and you believe it is due to repetitive strenuous tasks at work, contact a workers’ compensation attorney. Located in Cook County, Ill., attorneys at the Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio can assist you in court today.

What if You Suffer a Mild Brain Injury at Work

Posted: March 24th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Brain Injury, Illinois workers comp, Personal Injury, Workers compensation attorney | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

brain injury, mild brain injury, head, lawyer, attorney, injury, workers compensation

Most jobs have some chance of injury. It may be a construction job with big, heavy machinery, a restaurant job with slippery kitchen floors and hot surfaces, or an office job that may involve heavy boxes or repetitive stress injury. When you are injured at work, it is important to protect your own health by taking time to recover, but also to protect yourself financially by requesting workers’ compensation benefits.

One injury that can occur at work is a mild brain injury. A mild brain injury is defined as “any brain trauma that is the result of a blunt hit, that is mild in force” by the Brain Association of America. If you have been struck by machinery or if you have even fallen and hit your head at work, be sure to seek medical attention for a proper diagnosis of your injury.

Early symptoms of a mild brain injury include the following:

  • Headaches;
  • Dizziness or vertigo;
  • A lack of awareness to one’s own surroundings;
  • Nausea;
  • Memory dysfunction, usually short term involving the trauma;
  • Vomiting.

After hitting your head, even if you  do not suffer these symptoms, there is no guarantee that you have not suffered from a mild brain injury. Other symptoms may arise later in time such as:

  • Persistent, but not severe, headache;
  • Feeling light-headed;
  • Inability to pay attention or concentrate;
  • Ringing in one’s ears;
  • Excessive or easy to feel fatigued;
  • Intolerance to loud noises;
  • Intolerance of bright light, including the sun, or difficulty focusing one’s vision;
  • Anxiety or depressed mood  that was not previously present;
  • Irritability or a low tolerance to become frustrated .

If you have chosen not to receive immediate medical attention, but you have noticed these symptoms after suffering a head trauma, you should seek medical help. If you have missed work due to symptoms or you have had medical expenses due to the trauma, you are likely entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.

Contact the Law Office of Francis J Discipio for assistance in seeking your compensation benefits today. Workers’ compensation attorneys are ready to help in a Cook County court.

Scars, Disfigurement, and Workers’ Compensation

Posted: March 17th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Scars & Disfigurement, Workers Comp Benefits, Workers compensation attorney, Workers Compensation Insurance | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

scars and disfigurementMany workers’ compensation injuries impact your physical ability to perform the tasks of your job, but scarring and disfigurement can bring up a whole new set of problems for you. After being injured in an accident that resulted in scars or disfigurement, you might physically be able to perform your job, but your life will be forever changed.

If you have been seriously scarred or disfigured in such an accident in Illinois, you should know that you may be entitled to 162 weeks of benefits under workers’ compensation. This applies to individuals with permanent disfigurement to the face, head, neck, chest above the armpits, leg below the knee, arm, or hand. Before a hearing can be held to determine the extent of the disfigurement, six months of healing must have taken place.

The Workers’ Compensation Commission evaluates the impact of the physical impairment and the influence of the disability on the employee’s life. Some of the factors commonly considered in these types of claims include pain, stiffness, the person’s age, the occupation, training, skill, and ability or inability to engage in certain activities.

A patient can be eligible for both permanent partial disability benefits and disfigurements, and you need to consult with an attorney to determine if this applies to you.

Scarring and disfigurement can take a toll on you physically and mentally. While you are hearing and struggling to adjust to your new life, financial difficulties can arise. Scarring and disfigurement cases can be extremely complex and it’s essential to have someone representing your interests.

Being a victim of an accident that leaves you with serious scars or disfigurement will change your outlook and your life significantly. You may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits that will help you move on with your life. Learn more by contacting an Illinois workers’ compensation attorney today.

Scaffolding & Construction Accidents in Illinois

Posted: March 11th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Construction Accident, Construction Workers, Illinois workers comp, Personal Injury, Workers compensation attorney | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

scaffolding accident, construction worker, construction accident, workers compensationPeople go to work and do any number of tasks, from filing paperwork to driving trucks across the country, to cleaning strangers’ teeth, to playing a football game, to constructing houses and buildings. Each of these jobs has different dangers involved. For construction workers, a very dangerous part of their job involves scaffolding.

 There are about 2.3 million construction workers, which make up about 65 percent of the construction industry, that work on scaffolds.

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) within the United States Department of Labor reported information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries as follows:

  • Fifty four fatalities in 2009 were due to scaffolds;
  •  Scaffold accidents that resulted in injuries were attributed to either the planking or the support on the scaffold giving way, or the employees slipping or being struck by an object falling, by 72 percent of the injured workers.

The OHSA most recently updated it’s scaffolding standards in 1996 and has since reviewed studies from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which reported the following:

  • Twenty five percent of workers that were injured on scaffolds had received no scaffold safety training;
  • Seventy seven percent of scaffolds were not equipped with guardrails.

By correctly following the OHSA standards for scaffolds, it is estimated that 50 lives and nearly 4,500 accidents can be prevented every year. These standards include various regulations such as training to prevent employees hazards like “falls, falling objects, structural stability, electrocution, or overloading.”

If you are a construction worker and you have been injured on the job by a scaffold accident, or another work related accident, contact a workers’ compensation attorney for legal assistance. Lawyers at the Law Offices of Francis J Dscipio in Cook County, Ill. are ready to help you file a claim for your scaffold injury today.

The Dangers of Scaffolding for Construction Workers

Posted: February 28th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Construction Workers, Illinois workers comp, Uncategorized, Workers Comp, Workers Comp Benefits, Workers compensation attorney | Tags: , , , , , , , | No Comments »

scaffolding, injury, workers compensation, lawyer, attorney, IllinoisEmployees working around scaffolding are some of the most at-risk for workplace injuries. According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, 72 percent of all scaffold accidents occurred when the support of planking gave way, the employee slipped, or falling objects struck the employee.

These dangerous conditions highlight the importance of extra safety precaution at worksites using scaffolding in order to prevent serious injuries and workers’ compensation claims.

One of the leading causes of occupational death is falls, according to the Centers for Disease Control. That’s why government regulators require that construction worksites using scaffolds and other raised platforms implement safety protocol, harnesses, and other guidelines to protect workers on the job.

An employer supervisor is responsible for maintaining a safe work location for all of his or her employees, but accidents can and do still happen, compromising the life and the livelihood of the employee.

Regulations regarding scaffolding include proper rope shielding, properly designed and constructed platforms, use of fall equipment, use of structural members for anchor points, and proper safety training of all employees.

If you or someone you know has been injured as a result of a scaffolding accident, you likely have the grounds for a workers’ compensation claim. You might be suffering from broken bones, internal injuries, low back or neck injuries, or even a brain injury as a result of the incident.

If you believe you need to file a workers’ compensation claim, you need to let your employer know in a timely manner. Your employer is prohibited from discriminating against you due to a claim or your intent to file a claim, but you will want to retail legal counsel so that you have someone in your corner advocating for the maximum benefits you deserve under workers’ compensation. If you have been hurt in a scaffold accident, contact an Illinois workers’ compensation attorney today.

Spinal Cord Injuries at Work

Posted: February 20th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Back Injury, Illinois workers comp, Personal Injury, Spinal cord injury | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

spinal cord injuryEmployees of all kinds can be injured at work, from working at a manual labor job to reaching for a high shelf and straining back muscles in a corporate job. That is why workers’ compensation benefits exist. If you are injured on the job, you may be entitled to these benefits.

The central nervous system is made up of the spinal cord and the brain; the spinal cord sends and receives all information between the brain and all other organs in the body. If the spinal cord is injured, the brain’s communication pathway to the rest of the body is impaired.

Injury can occur from disease in the spinal cord or surrounding bones, tissues, or blood vessels, along with various physical damages, according to the New York Times Health Guide.

Safety precautions tend not to be geared towards workplace injuries, but it is still likely that a spinal cord can be injured or a previous injury can be made worse at work. If the spinal cord has been weakened from bone disease or age, minor injuries can also cause serious damage.

Direct injury may occur from:

  • Cuts from bone fragments or metal fragments;
  • The spinal cord being moved in irregular ways such as being pulled, pressed sideways, or compressed;
  • Buildup of blood or other fluid that may cause swelling in or around the spinal cord, creating pressure.

If you are concerned that your spinal cord has been injured or you have risk factors that may lead to spinal cord injury, you should visit your doctor. Exams can be done on your brain and nervous system to identify an injury and its location.

After being injured at work, it is important to seek medical attention. If you find that you have an injury to your spinal cord, contact a workers’ compensation attorney to help you file a claim against the person at fault for the accident.

Survey Says 21% of Employees have Missed Work due to on the job Injury

Posted: February 14th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: How to File a Worker's Compensation Claim, Illinois workers comp, Workers compensation attorney | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

workplace accident IMAGEA recent survey indicates that more than 1/5 of employees have missed time at work following a workplace accident. The survey researchers asked 1,000 workers about their connection to workplace injuries. Sixteen percent indicated that they had suffered one injury, while five percent spoke about more than one injury. If you have been injured in a workplace accident, you need legal advice from a workers’ compensation attorney.

The study found that the most common types of injuries were the following:

  • musculoskeletal problems;
  • slips and falls involving strains or broken bones;
  • motor vehicle accidents;
  • repetitive motion;
  • injuries after being struck by an object; and
  • burns.

The study found that men are more likely to be injured on the job when compared with women, although the most common injuries for men and women were musculoskeletal. Following that, men were most likely to be hurt by machinery or being struck by an object, whereas women were most likely to have a repetitive motion injury.

One of the most interesting findings from the study is that almost 1 in 10 employees opted not to report their workplace injury due to fear of retaliation. Employers are forbidden from retaliating against you or discriminating against you after you file a workers’ compensation claim, but anxiety about submitting a claim is certainly keeping some injured employees from pursuing their rights under a workers’ compensation claim.

For some employees, the main concern is being harassed or ignored for promotions, but others are concerned about keeping their job at all. Safety incentive programs where employees and coworkers are financially rewarded for not reporting injuries can also discourage an injured worker from coming forth about the accident.

If you have been injured, you may be passing up your chance to receive the compensation you deserve under a workers’ compensation claim. Contact an Illinois workers’ compensation attorney today.

Police Employee Wins Workers’ Comp Battle

Posted: February 7th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Francis J. Discipio, How to File a Worker's Compensation Claim, Illinois workers comp | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

  workers' comp IMAGEWhen a police officers out in the field or construction workers working with big machines and dangerous tools get hurt, there are guidelines to cover medical needs. But what about when an employee of the police force has a pre-existing injury and it causes strain and more injury by walking up and down stairs in the police station?

John Simons was a community service officer at Villa Park in 2007. Much of his work consisted of filing paperwork, including placing it in the correct area of the office, forcing him to walk up and down stairs at least six times a day. In January 2007, Simons fell on a patch of ice, injuring his knee, and had surgery scheduled for later in the year. On April 5, before the surgery, Simons fell down a set of stairs at work after his knee gave out and injured his lower back upon landing.

After having his knee repaired in surgery, Simons still had knee pains, so he filed a complaint, which was denied by the arbitrator. The workers’ compensation commission, though, ruled in his favor, stating that Simons was forced to use the stairs.

Although the final ruling went back and forth many times, the final result of the ruling was that Simons’s superiors were aware of his injury and still forced him to be in a risky situation on the stairs. Francis J. Discipio represented Simons, using the personal comfort doctrine in his defense.

Discipio stated that even injuries occurring during lunch or bathroom breaks are compensable because they “occur during the course of employment,” as did the injuries that Simons’ suffered after his fall on the stairs. He estimated that Simons will receive about $15,000 for his injury.

If you have been injured at work, contact the Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio for a workers’ compensation attorney. The office is located in Cook County and has attorneys ready to assist you today.

Signs of a Repetitive Stress Injury

Posted: January 31st, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Illinois workers comp, Workers compensation attorney | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Your hands are extremely complex, with more than 25 bones in each hand. Depending on your work requirements, you may find that you are experiencing the signs and symptoms of a repetitive stress injury. If you have been the victim of such an injury, you need to consult with an Illinois workers’ compensation attorney to ensure that your rights are being represented.

 repetitive stress injury IMAGEAccording to the Cleveland Clinic, one of the most common types of injuries is tendonitis. Tendons are essential for connecting muscle to bones, and doing the same movements over and over in the course of your jobs can lead to inflammation or injury. Two of the most common forms of tendonitis are often referred to as tennis elbow and trigger finger.

There are several different symptoms that you might experience as a sign of tendonitis are pain, stiffness, weakness, sensitivity to cold and heat, swelling, or tingling. If you start feeling these symptoms, you need to speak with a medical professional about treatments and impacts on your life. Even if you feel like the pain is mild, repetitive stress injuries can get much worse over time, especially if you continue with the same job duties that are causing the initial injury.

A repetitive stress injury can be treated a few different ways, including elevation, splinting, rest, and icing. Rest is one of the most important treatments for a repetitive stress injury, but if you continue to ignore the pain and repeat the same behavior, it can get worse and create challenges for your work environment and daily life.

If you believe you have the grounds of a workers’ compensation claim, you need to file a report with your employer after you get medical attention. It’s a good idea to have an Illinois workers’ compensation attorney at your side for the duration of your claim as this can help to ensure that your rights are protected at each stage.