Hazardous Chemicals

Posted: October 13th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Workers Comp Benefits, Workplace Injury | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off

Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys, harmful chemicals, hazardous chemicals, OSHA regulations, workers' compensation claimsOne of the greatest dangers that people face while on the job is the exposure to harmful chemicals. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), hazardous chemicals cause more than 190,000 illnesses and 50,000 deaths every year for workers in the United States. These chemicals can not only endanger workers’ health by causing respiratory or skin irritation or increasing the risk of diseases such as cancer, they present physical dangers such as flammability and corrosion.

Employees who receive an injury or contract a disease after being exposed to toxic substances are eligible to receive workers’ compensation to cover expenses including medical bills and lost income.

OSHA Regulations

OSHA provides safety to workers by requiring employers to meet certain standards, including:

  • Worker education and training - Employers must label hazardous chemicals, provide safety data sheets, and train workers in how to appropriately handle chemicals and take measures to protect themselves from exposure.
  • Exposure limits - Employers must monitor respiratory hazards in their workplaces and ensure that they do not exceed the applicable Occupational Exposure Limits (OELs). These limits include OSHA’s Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs), as well as PELs established by state authorities and Recommended Exposure Limits (RELs) established by federal agencies.

Controlling Exposure

OSHA has described four ways that employers can control their employees’ exposure to hazardous chemicals:

  • Elimination/substitution - Employers should make an inventory of potentially harmful chemicals, identify the hazards which present the greatest safety concerns, and determine whether alternative chemicals or processes could be used to improve worker safety.
  • Engineering controls - Employers should put physical controls in place to reduce or eliminate hazards to workers. These controls can include altering or isolating work processes to minimize contact with chemicals, using wet methods to reduce the generation of particulates, and implementing dilution ventilation.
  • Administrative and work practice controls - Employers should establish efficient procedures and adjust employees’ work schedules as necessary to prevent overexposure to harmful chemicals.
  • Personal protective equipment - Employers should ensure that employees always use the proper equipment that will limit their exposure to harmful chemicals, including protective clothing, eye protection, gloves, and respiratory equipment.

Contact a Workers’ Comp Attorney

If you have been exposed to harmful chemicals while at work, and you suffered an injury or contracted a disease as a result, the dedicated attorneys at the Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio can help you receive the compensation that you deserve. Contact our Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys today to schedule a free initial consultation.

Source:

https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/hazardoustoxicsubstances/


Warehouse Accidents

Posted: September 29th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Workplace Injury | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off

DuPage County workers compensation attorneys, warehouse accidents, forklift accidents, forklift falls, workplace accidentWarehouses are notorious for the injuries they cause to even the most skilled and experienced employees. A combination of loud noises, heavy machinery, forklifts, stacked merchandise, and potential for fire and electrical shock makes the fast-paced arena of a warehouse dangerous. Yet, some of the most common types of injuries are chronic, such as hearing loss and back pain.

If you have suffered any type of occupational injury or illness during your time as a warehouse worker, it is your right to pursue workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation pays for things like medical bills and your wages while you take time to recover. For help with your case, do not hesitate to reach out to a skilled attorney immediately.

Common Warehouse Injuries

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), across the country over 145,000 employees work in warehouses—an occupation that has an injury and fatality rate much higher than the average occupation.

The most common warehouse injuries include:

  • Forklift accidents;
  • Stacking products;
  • Improper use or failure to use personal protective equipment;
  • Failure to follow lockout or tagout procedures;
  • Poor fire safety procedures; and
  • Repetitive Motion Injuries (RMIs).

Dangerous Places and Machinery in Warehouses

  • Docks: Loading dock injuries often involve forklift accidents and falls. A fall from even a four or five foot ledge can result in a traumatic brain injury, broken ribs, fractured limbs, or even a severed spinal cord. Chronic, lasting back pain or soft tissue damage is a more common result of taking such a fall, and can be difficult to be compensated for if there is no X-ray showing a fracture. Yet, the chronic pain from taking a loading dock fall can last years or a lifetime and seriously deteriorate your quality of life, especially if left untreated.
  • Conveyors: Common conveyor accidents occur when an employee gets a hand or finger caught in between a belt or other moving part of the conveyor. Falling objects can crush feet, hands, and injure other body parts, while the most common injury associated with conveyors are chronic repetitive motion injuries. A repetitive motion injury occurs from doing the same movement, such as awkwardly bending over to pick up an object or box, over and over again throughout the span of months and years.
  • Forklifts: Forklifts, which account for nearly 100,000 workplace injuries every year, are dangerous even when operated by experienced drivers. In fact, a forklift driver was tragically killed in a workplace accident last summer in Des Plaines, according to the Chicago Sun Times.

Reach Out to an Attorney for Professional Help with Your Case

If you were injured in a workplace accident or have a chronic injury due to a repetitive motion, do not hesitate to contact the dedicated DuPage County workers’ compensation attorneys at our law office today for legal assistance in receiving the compensation that you deserve. We are prepared to help you immediately.

Sources:

https://www.osha.gov/Publications/3220_Warehouse.pdf

http://chicago.suntimes.com/news/man-killed-in-forklift-accident-at-des-plaines-warehouse/


Gas Explosions and Workers’ Comp

Posted: August 28th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Workers compensation attorney, Workplace Injury | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off

Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys, gas explosions, occupational incidents, deadly explosions, blast injuriesMultiple people were injured and one worker was killed during a Canton, Illinois gas explosion in the downtown district. Utility workers had been attempting to fix a gas leak that was caused by a contractor’s excavation, according to ABC7 Eyewitness News.

While the utility crews said they had turned off the gas, the explosion still caused devastation to homes and shops, as glass was blown out all over the area, showing how strong the explosion was. According to police chief Rick Nichols, “The impact of this blast was tremendous and that caused some serious, serious damage.”

One utility worker was killed and three were injured; two remained in the hospital for extended recovery. In total, 12 people were rushed to the hospital.

The National Transportation Safety Board opened an investigation, while engineers are methodically checking the integrity of the blast-affected buildings and structures before issuing repairs. Sadly, nothing can be done to take back the life of the fallen worker. His family, however, may be entitled to workers’ compensation death benefits to help with the financial damage of his passing, while the other injured workers will be covered by workers’ compensation to take care of their medical bills and cover part of their wages while they are out of work.

Explosions are Rare, but Deadly

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2015, a total of 4,836 workers were killed during occupational incidents. Just 121 of those deaths were caused by fires or explosions, which shows how rare explosions typically are. However, when they do happen, severe injuries, and fatalities, often occur.

Types of Blast Injuries

The more energy released by the explosion and the closer the victim, the more serious the injury will likely be. There are four types of blast injuries, according to Medscape:

  • Primary blast injuries are caused by the direct blast pressure upon tissue;
  • Secondary blast injuries are caused by flying objects or shrapnel;
  • Tertiary blast injuries are caused by very high-energy explosions that cause the victim to fly through the air; and
  • Quaternary blast injuries account for all other types of explosions.

Specific injuries may include traumatic brain injury, broken bones, deep contusions, internal bleeding, lacerations, burns, loss of hearing, loss of eyesight, spinal cord damage, and more.

Contact a Workers’ Compensation Attorney at Once

Workers’ compensation is no-fault insurance to which employees are entitled. This means that you are eligible to receive benefits virtually immediately, regardless of an investigation or finger pointing by your employer. However, if your employer or your employer’s insurance carrier wishes to make it so, it can be very difficult to procure these benefits. Reach out to the dedicated Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys at the Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio today for professional assistance with your case.

Sources:

http://abc7chicago.com/news/man-killed-in-canton-ill-gas-explosion-identified/1611711/

https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/cfoi.pdf

http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/822587-overview