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Archive for September, 2014

Teens More Likely to be Injured on the Job

September 17th, 2014 at 11:39 am

 

Teen Worker InjuryAccording to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), young workers are at the highest risk of any age group to be injured or killed on the job. Workers who are under 25 years old face more than double the risk of older workers of being injured. The majority of young workers are unaware of the legal workplace rights they have.

The DOL statistics reveal that in 2012, more than 170,000 of younger workers were injured on the job and another 361 were killed. That means that a teenager is hurt on the job every nine minutes in this country.

The OSH Act of 1970 requires every employer provide workers with a safe work environment, without dangerous recognized hazards. Working teens are also covered under this law and have the same right to a safe workplace as working adults. In many incidents where teens have been hurt on the job, there was a lack of training and education on the part of the employer that contributed to the incident.

Some of the most common injuries teens receive in the workplace are caused by inadequate safety training, lack of proper supervision, unsafe equipment, dangerous work that is inappropriate and illegal for teen workers, stressful conditions and pressure to perform their work at a faster pace.

The Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health (MassCOSH) has developed a work safety program directed specifically at young workers called Teens Lead @ Work. The program focuses on peer-to peer training by teaching teens to develop the skills to teach other teens about healthy and safe workplaces. The teens are also taught about child labor laws and encouraged to reach out to all teen workers, including those who are the most vulnerable, such as undocumented and illegal teen workers.

If you or someone in your family has been injured on the job, contact an experienced Chicago workers’ compensation attorney to find out what civil recourse you may have for compensation for pain and loss you have suffered.

Protection of Employees under Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act

September 4th, 2014 at 9:03 am

workers compensationIllinois Workers’ Compensation Act 820 ILCS 305 clearly outlines the responsibility that employees have when a worker is injured on the job.

There are many factors that determine the amount of benefit an employee will receive if they are injured. The amount of pay the injured employee was earning is used to determine the workers compensation benefit and/or settlement amount he or she is entitled to receive.

Another factor considered is the severity of the employee’s injury and what body part is involved. What future medical costs be, as well as what limitations the permanent injury will place on the employee’s life, are also used to determine what settlement amount the employee will be awarded.

The purpose of the law is to protect employees because often, an employer and their insurance company will try to avoid responsibility for the injury, which is why it is critical for an injured employee to hire a workers’ compensation attorney. If the employee has received a prior injury of the same body part, the insurance company’s attorneys could argue that the current injury is related to the prior injury and, therefore, they are not responsible for benefits.

That is what happened in a recent case that went before the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. The employee, who worked as a truck tire builder, filed a claim in January 2010 after being diagnosed with spurring and impingement syndrome of his left shoulder and both elbows, which was caused by repetitive stress of building tires. He eventually had surgery on both elbows and also on his shoulder.

The employee had previously undergone surgery of his left shoulder in April 2007 due to another work injury. At that time, he was awarded a settlement for 25 percent loss of use of his left arm. Because of the prior injury, an arbitrator only awarded the employee benefits and medical costs for the injuries to his elbows, but did not include an award for injury to his shoulder.

The Commission disagreed with the arbitrator’s ruling. They said that surgery in 2007 took care of the prior injury, evidenced by the employee’s return to full-time work. They awarded the employee temporary total disability, as well all medical costs for the left shoulder injury. They also awarded the employee a 7.5 percent loss of use of the person as a whole, which can be found under Section 8(d)2 of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act.

This case exemplifies why it is so important to have an experienced Chicago workers’ compensation attorney representing you if you are injured on the job.

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