"AMERICA, HOME OF THE FREE, BECAUSE OF THE BRAVE" OFFERING FREE CONSULTATIONS 630-574-2288
Chat
Espanol

Archive for February, 2015

Reduce Injuries and Workers’ Comp Claims with OSHA Approved Footwear

February 26th, 2015 at 7:00 am

OSHA approved footwear, Chicago workers’ compensation lawyerWith the enactment of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, the 91st Congress gave birth to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration or OSHA.

Operating under the United States Department of Labor, OSHA’s main function is to assure the safe and healthy working conditions for all American laborers. By enacting and enforcing workplace standards, OSHA has been able to significantly reduce workplace accidents and lower the number of workers’ compensation claims through training, outreach, education and assistance.

Often responsible for federal and state regulated programs, OSHA’s jurisdiction reaches the vast majority of private sector workers, as well as federal, state, and local employees. However, it does not govern the safety requirements for those who are self-employed, are farm workers, or are with various federal agencies.

For those residing in Illinois, the issue of workplace safety falls under OSHA approved state plans for all public employees. Federal OSHA regulations apply to private sector employees.

For those beginning a new position in the construction, maritime, healthcare, or even the foodservice industry, OSHA rules and regulations regarding safety shoes have been in effect since the inception of the agency.

Under Title 29 of the Code of Federal OSHA Regulations (29 CFR), the use of industry appropriate safety shoes was enacted to lessen the risk of traumatic and debilitating foot injuries, as well lessening the percentage of workers’ compensation claims.

To promote workplace safety, the following industries require employees to wear safety protective footwear to ward against injury by falling objects, vehicles, moveable materials or electrical components.

General Private Sector Industry

Regulations for this category, under general industry regulations (29 CFR 1910.136), generally apply to the healthcare, foodservice, and any other industry that presents an increased risk of possible foot injuries.

Heavy Equipment and Construction Industry

For those working in these fields, the safety regulations require that all employees wear protective footwear while performing their daily duties. Steel-toed or other industry approved boots are specifically required under OSHA regulations.

Shipyard, Marine and Longshoring Industry

Private sector employees in these industries are also required to adhere to OSHA standards of protective footwear under 29 CFR 1915-1918 respectively.

OSHA regulations also dictate that all safety footwear meets the standards of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). For those working in regulated industries, all protective footwear must bear the ANSI Standard Z41 label to comply with OSHA regulations.

Although there are exceptions to OSHA regulations, such as an electrician wearing steel toed boots to guard against accidental foot injury, the benefits of adhering to OSHA standards guard against personal injury, increases workplace safety, and lessens the volume of workers’ compensation claims to keep America working.

If you recently suffered a debilitating foot injury while on the job, the experienced Chicago workers’ compensation lawyers of the Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio urge you not to wait to contact an attorney. To find out if you are entitled to benefits under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, contact our offices today at 630-574-2288.

Police Officer’s Injuries Fall under Traveling Worker Doctrine

February 12th, 2015 at 7:00 am

Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer, Traveling Worker DoctrineUnder most circumstances, employers are not liable if an employee is injured while traveling to or returning home from work at the end of a required shift or commitment. However, there are several jobs which require employees to travel during work hours in order to fulfill the duties of their job. Hence, many states have adopted some variation of the traveling worker doctrine.

In an appeal of a case heard before the Illinois Workers Compensation Board, the board agreed with the original arbitrator’s ruling that the traveling worker doctrine was correctly applied in an original ruling which favored a claimant.

The claimant, a police officer with the Forest Preserve District of Cook County, had testified that he was driving in his assigned patrol car when he received a call from district headquarters. He was asked to drive to one office to pick up requested documents and to then drive to another office to deliver the documents.

The officer drove his vehicle to the first location and parked it in a parking lot owned by the district. The claimant testified that he was aware that it was getting close to the end of his shift. Therefore, he only had so much time to complete his assigned task. He left the vehicle and walked toward the building. While doing so, he checked his watch and then tripped on an elevated sidewalk which was located in the front of his vehicle.

The fall resulted in injuries to the claimant’s right knee, should and arm, as well as injuries to his left knee. The arbitrator who heard the original case awarded the claimant benefits under the traveling employee doctrine. The arbitrator based the finding on the following facts:

  • The arbitrator determined that because the officer had been assigned a patrol car for his job, as well as the required duties of patrolling various locations both on and off district-owned property, this confirmed that the claimant was indeed a traveling employee.
  • Regarding the “reasonableness” of the officer’s claim, the arbitrator determined that the act of the officer walking across the parking lot in order to complete the assigned task was a “reasonable” action. The arbitrator further stated that because the claimant was only given a certain amount of time to complete the task, the act of checking his watch—although a distraction which resulted in him missing the sidewalk and falling—was also a “reasonable” act.

The board agreed with the original findings of the arbitrator and agreed that the claimant’s injuries fall under the traveling worker doctrine.

If you or a loved one has suffered a workplace injury, please contact a knowledgeable and experienced Chicago workers’ compensation attorney to represent you and make sure you receive the compensation you are entitled to under the law.

Back to Top Back to Top Back to Top