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Archive for the ‘Back Injury’ Category

3 Major Causes of Work-Related Back Injuries and How to Prevent Them

October 25th, 2018 at 9:06 am

Illinois workers' compensation lawyersBack injuries are one of the leading causes of missed time on the job. They are also one of the most common reasons that employees file for workers’ compensation. Sadly, even paid claims often fail to cover an employee’s basic living costs. As such, it is important that workers attempt to avoid back injuries, whenever possible. The following sections can help you learn the most common causes of work-related back injuries and how to prevent them. You shall also discover how a seasoned workers’ compensation attorney can assist you in receiving the most compensation possible if you or a loved one has suffered a serious back injury while on the job. 

Insufficient Back Safety Training 

Employers know that back injuries can result in numerous expenditures for the company, which is why most provide back safety training, right at the very start of an employee’s career. Sadly, there are still companies that fail to provide critical safety training for their workers. Some simply assume that an employee should already know how to properly lift heavy items. Others are disorganized and offer insufficient training. Then there are employers who simply lack concern for the safety of their employees. In situations where safety training is required and not received, employees may be owed additional compensation after a back injury. Talk to a skilled attorney to learn more. 

Complacency in the Workplace 

Initial back safety training can help employees avoid early injuries, but as time passes, old habits can reemerge. Workers can also become desensitized to the potential risk that they are facing if they are constantly lifting heavy items on the job. Employers can combat such issues by providing ongoing training and job coaching, but most fail in this area. As such, workers have to be extra mindful to prevent an on-the-job injury. Take notice if you start experiencing even mild back pain on the job, as this could be a sign that you are twisting your spine or lifting incorrectly. Ask for help or coaching from a supervisor if necessary. 

Deadlines, Rushes, Time Crunches, Understaffing

When workers are in a hurry because they are on a deadline, time crunch before the end of their shift, understaffed, or in the middle of a rush, proper lifting techniques often fall to the wayside. As a result, the risk of injury is increased exponentially. In fact, one study found that employees are more likely to cut corners – including those that pertain to work safety – when they feel rushed or are on a deadline. Mental state, which can be altered by time crunches, has also been linked to a higher incidence of work-related injuries. Employees can mitigate their own risk by holding steadfast to their work safety standards, even when production demands are increased. 

Contact Our Cook County Work Injury Lawyers

If you have been injured on the job, contact the Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio. Our experienced Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer is dedicated to ensuring you get the most compensation possible. We can also decrease your risks of a denied claim, and we can help you seek additional compensation if your injury was related to employer negligence. Schedule a free consultation by calling our offices at 630-574-2288 today.

Sources:

https://ascelibrary.org/doi/full/10.1061/%28ASCE%290733-9364%282006%29132%3A2%28182%29

https://www.ishn.com/articles/103452-deadlines-can-erode-safety-and-promote-risk-taking

https://safetymanagement.eku.edu/resources/articles/understanding-human-factors-in-occupational-safety/

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/back-pain/art-20044526

https://www.webmd.com/back-pain/news/20140325/low-back-pain-leading-cause-of-disability-worldwide-study

 

7 Safety Tips for Employees Who Handle Drywall

September 19th, 2018 at 4:27 pm

Handling drywall can lead to life-changing injuries and evenCook County workers' compensation attorney death for employees. If you are a carpenter, installer, or other type of worker who has to work with drywall, there are certain tips you should follow to reduce your risk of injury and a workers’ compensation claim. Here are seven safety tips for employees who handle drywall:

1. Determine the Weight of the Drywall

You should avoid handling drywall until you are aware of the weight of the sheet. Once you know its weight, you can make sure you have enough employees to help you complete the job. Drywall sheets may weigh anywhere between 55 to 120 pounds, so knowing the weight in advance can make it safer for you to transport and position the drywall.

2. Ask for Help When Lifting Heavy Sheets

Be sure to ask another employee to help you out any time you have to lift heavy and large drywall sheets. In addition, lift one layer at a time rather than trying to lift multiple sheets at the same time.

3. Try to Avoid Transporting Drywall

If possible, avoid having to transport the drywall. Ideally, the drywall sheets will be delivered directly to the site of installation. In the event this is not possible, use forklifts, dollies, or trucks to transport the drywall sheets safely to the installation site.

4. Be Careful with Vertical Pieces

Hanging vertical pieces of drywall can be particularly dangerous. When you are hanging them, lift the sheet, shift grips to opposite sides of the sheet, and rotate into an upright position.

5. Do Not Install Drywall By Hand

One of the most common reasons drywall accidents occur is because workers use their hands during the installation process. You should avoid using your hands and allow a drywall lift or drywall jacks to assist you.

6. Complete a Training Program

Handling drywall is no easy feat. Therefore, you should refrain from working with it until your employer has trained you on how to do so safely. Understanding the right installation and lifting techniques can significantly reduce your risk of an injury.

7. Take Breaks and Hydrate

In order to prevent overexertion, be sure to take frequent breaks from your drywall projects. You should also stay hydrated and try to rotate your tasks.

Contact Our Cook County Workers’ Compensation Lawyers

If you get hurt on the job while handling drywall, you should reach out to our highly skilled Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys. We can explain your legal options and help you file a workers’ compensation claim. Call our offices today at 630-574-2288. We offer free consultations to workers who have been hurt on the job.

Sources:

http://www.safetyandhealthmagazine.com/articles/9670-handling-drywall-safely

Spinal Cord Injuries at Work

February 20th, 2014 at 12:47 pm

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.

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