Roofing Among Most Dangerous Construction Work

Posted: May 6th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Construction Accident, Construction Workers, Illinois Workers Compensation Attorney | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off

roofing, workers comp, Cook County workers compensation lawyerRoofing is one of the most dangerous civilian occupations in the United States. Not only are workers prone to injuries from carrying heavy loads, using dangerous equipment, and becoming fatigued from being exposed to the elements for many hours at a time, but the added risk of a fall is what makes the job truly perilous. According to the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) Data Center, a study found that roofing actually made up one-third of fall-related fatalities within the construction sector from 1992 to 2009. This is striking, because roofers do not make up anywhere near one third of construction workers. Additionally, the study found troubling data that showed that roofers who were employed by smaller companies, as well as those roofers who were residential construction workers, Hispanic roofers, and immigrant roofers had the highest rates of fatal roofing accidents.

More Than 2,000 Roofing Fatalities From 1992 to 2009

In total, there were 20,498 occupational fatalities in the construction industry from the years 1992 to 2009, according to EHStoday.com. Statistics show that 6,591 of those were from falls, and of those, 2,163 fatalities were the result of a roofing fall. Falls, not surprisingly, account for 76 percent of roofing fatalities and roofers are three times as likely to die on the job than other construction workers. The study suggests that roofing contractors need to have written fall protection programs, as well as adequate fall training and equipment. Often, the proper equipment is not used in roofing projects. While 34 percent of the roofing deaths were from residential work, only 18 percent of all construction deaths occur on residential projects. This suggests that fall protection equipment is not used sufficiently in residential work. Likewise, the smaller the roofing crew or construction company, the more likely it is that those workers will suffer serious injury or death from a roofing fall. Two-thirds of fatal roofing falls occurred when the crew was made up of fewer than 10 employees. Finally, Hispanic workers accounted for a disproportionately large number of fatal falls. They make up 25 percent of all construction fatalities, yet made up 35 percent of fatal roofing falls.

Roofing a Short-Lived Career Due to Chronic Pain

There are other dangers aside from falling on the job while roofing a home. In a separate study, researchers found that 10 percent of roofers left their trade within one year. The younger the worker, the more severe the economic impact was, and those who left for health reasons suffered mild to severe economic implications. The reason for leaving: chronic pain and degenerative health from the physical implications of roofing. Laura Welch, M.D., the lead author of the paper, said that, “A 54-year-old worker is considered to be in his or her prime in most industries,” Dr. Welch obvserved. “They’re knowledgeable, experienced and can serve as mentors to younger workers. But construction puts extremely high demands on the body, day after day. And workers are in high-hazard environments. When you have chronic low back pain, as many of these workers do, you’re lucky to get to work every day.”

If you or a loved one have suffered any serious injuries related to employment, such as chronic pain or a fall, contact an experienced Chicago workers’ compensation attorney with the Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio today at 630-574-2288. Our attorneys can help ensure you are compensated for your losses.

 

Sources:

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022437512001247

http://ehstoday.com/construction/falls-roofs-account-one-third-construction-fall-fatalities

http://ehstoday.com/health/ergonomics/msd-injuries-health-problems-roofers-early-retirement-9921


Reduce Injuries and Workers’ Comp Claims with OSHA Approved Footwear

Posted: February 26th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Construction Workers, Illinois workers comp | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off

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.


Protection of Employees under Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act

Posted: September 4th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Construction Accident, Construction Workers, Employer Liability, Francis J. Discipio, How to File a Worker's Compensation Claim, Illinois workers comp, Workers Comp, Workers compensation attorney | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off

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.