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Archive for 2017

Older Workers at Risk

November 30th, 2017 at 8:00 pm

Chicago workers’ compensation attorney, older workers, workplace accidents, workplace injury, older employee injuriesOlder workers are at risk, according to an analysis of federal statistics performed by the Associated Press. While overall workplace accidents have been on the decline in the last few decades, older workers, those aged 55 or older, are more at risk than their younger counterparts. This goes against other typical accidental injury trends, such as traffic collisions, where younger people are at more risk.

If you were injured on the job, regardless of your age, or you developed a chronic injury or illness as a result of the work that you have done for many years, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation. To find out more, contact a Cook County workers’ compensation attorney today.

Risk Factors of Working into Old Age

The average retirement age has gone up, and is continuing to go up from the old standard of 65 years of age. More workers are having to work, or are enjoying their careers, later into their lives than many past generations, and it is not uncommon for workers to continue on well into their 70s and even 80s.

As our bodies wear down, we become more prone to chronic stress injuries, illnesses, falls, and other accidents. As reported in CBS, getting old and continuing to work “could potentially make a workplace injury into a much more serious injury or a potentially fatal injury,” according to epidemiologist Ken Scott, with the Denver Public Health Department.

Risk factors include the following:

  • Fading vision and depth perception;
  • Hearing loss;
  • Lower bone density;
  • Poor balance;
  • Muscle loss; and
  • Tendon weakness.

However, simply because you were injured as an older employee does not mean that you are any less entitled to workers’ compensation. Whether you threw out your back, broke a leg, or have developed a repetitive motion injury, you deserve to pursue the benefits that your employer owes to you.

As Retirement Age Increases, Employers Must Make Changes to Accommodate Their Employees

These days, roughly 35 percent of fatal workplace accidents involve a worker who is 55 years old or more. Is enough being done to protect workers as they advance in age? Often, older workers are more productive and more skilled than younger, newer workers, but are they being valued as they should?

According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and reported by the Insurance Journal, the following are accommodations that employers should make to reduce older employee injuries and fatalities:

  • Increase job flexibility, including schedules, tasks, and location;
  • Increase movement and avoid creating a workplace that is sedentary;
  • Mitigate noise, slip and fall hazards, and other physical hazards; and
  • Create an ergonomic work environment.

Call Today for Help

If you were injured at work, we strongly encourage you to contact our passionate Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys as soon as you can to receive the benefits that could help get you back on your feet sooner rather than later. Contact the Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio today for immediate assistance.

Source:

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/deadly-workplace-accidents-hitting-older-workers-higher-rate-ap/

Can Uber Drivers Get Workers’ Compensation?

November 14th, 2017 at 6:44 pm

DuPage County workers' compensation attorney, Uber drivers, workers compensation, workers’ compensation coverage, workers’ compensation benefitsUber and Lyft are two large, and quickly growing, transportation companies that operate primarily with part time or contract workers. What has made these two companies grow so quickly and take over the jobs of thousands of taxi drivers and other conventional transportation companies? Convenience plays a large role, but so too does cost. And one of the main ways Uber and Lyft keep their costs down is because they are not required to provide workers’ compensation coverage, or any benefits at all, to their employees, who are actually classified as part time contract workers.

But as ride sharing—or ride sourcing—grows, will the laws transform to meet the demand of hundreds of thousands of Uber drivers in this new “gig” economy? If you were injured while driving on the job for Uber or Lyft, you may have options by contacting a workers’ compensation attorney for help.

Class Action Lawsuits Bring Results for Uber Drivers, Narrow Wide Gap Between Part Time Contractor and Employee with Benefits

Uber has come under fire from thousands of its part time contractors, who wish to be considered employees and benefit from the insurance that comes with that title. Uber employs 600,000 people across the country, according to The New York Times.

Recently, a federal judge in North Carolina gave the “okay” for initial steps for giving Uber drivers the status of employees. There are 18,000 Uber employees who opted out of arbitration, meaning that they have the right to sue Uber, who will be crucial to the class action lawsuit, which is being brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

According to one of the lawyers working on the case, “The ruling today is going to allow drivers across the country to band together to challenge Uber’s misclassification of them. They are employees and should be getting minimum wage and overtime as required by federal law.”

Not only would Uber drivers be given minimum wage and other benefits, including overtime, if they were considered employees, but they would be entitled to workers’ compensation as well.

There Are Options to Take Today

Uber and Lyft drivers face many dangers while out driving, according to Wired, including verbal abuse, physical violence, and, of course, the ever present threat of being involved in a car collision or being hit by a drunk driver during the midnight hours.

While Uber and Lyft do not have to offer workers’ compensation benefits to their injured drivers, you may still be able to seek a settlement or even file a lawsuit against one of the companies if you are seriously injured on the road. The first step is to reach out to a passionate DuPage County workers’ compensation attorney at our office for help.

Sources:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/12/business/uber-drivers-class-action.html

https://www.wired.com/2016/03/uber-lyft-can-much-keep-drivers-safe/

Occupational Truck Accident Injuries

October 25th, 2017 at 7:04 pm

DuPage County workers' compensation attorney, occupational truck accident, occupational truck accident injuries, occupational injury, dangerous occupationsThis summer, a Chicago man, who was set to retire in just two months, was crushed to death by a concrete truck while working on it, according to WGN 9 News. The mechanic was told that the booster of the cement truck was locked.

The booster is the wheeled-section at the back of a cement truck, which is normally seen in the upright mode during transportation. The booster fell when he was working on the truck, killing him. According to the man’s son, time and time again he allegedly said that “someday this job will kill me.”

Communication Errors

While the occupation of truck driver is, of course, dangerous, so too are the jobs of the people who provide maintenance and loading of trucks, and everyone who works around trucks. One of the most common causes of injury or fatality is during backing up. This is typically caused by miscommunication. While one employee may be buckling down a strap, moving an object onto or off of the truck, using a forklift, or attending to some sort of maintenance, the driver of the truck begins to back up, or move forwards, causing the other worker to be crushed or pinned in between the truck and another object.

Just recently, a worker was taken to the hospital in extremely critical condition in Effingham, Illinois, when he was pinned between a semi-trailer and another object at Pinnacle Foods, according to Effingham Daily News. Pinnacle Foods is a warehouse operation that distributes food products including Duncan Hines, Log Cabin, and Mrs. Butterworth. This is the second incident of this particular employer in the same year. In February, an employee was pinned between a forklift and racking equipment.

Caught-In Hazards

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), caught-in hazards are one of the leading causes of construction fatalities. Caught-in hazards include getting pinned between falling objects such as machinery, equipment, merchandise or products, collapsing walls or beams, and, of course, trucks and other vehicles. Nearly 300 workers die each year from caught-in accidents.

Contact an Attorney Today for Help with Your Workers’ Compensation Case

Whether your employer was at fault or not, if you were struck by a truck, pinned, or were the victim of another type of caught-in accident, you deserve to be swiftly awarded workers’ compensation.

Contact a dedicated DuPage County workers’ compensation attorney at our office today. We will advocate aggressively on your behalf to help you recover the compensation to which you are rightfully entitled.

Sources:

https://www.osha.gov/dte/grant_materials/fy08/sh-17792-08/caught_in_english_r6.pdf

http://www.effinghamdailynews.com/news/local_news/worker-critically-injured-after-being-pinned-by-semitrailer/article_46d34910-4ae0-11e7-b92b-e763b1a267ed.html

http://wgntv.com/2017/05/25/man-crushed-to-death-by-truck-at-work/

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