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Archive for the ‘Workplace Injury’ Category

The Top Types of Workplace Safety Violations in 2017

December 14th, 2017 at 9:02 am

Chicago workers’ comp attorneys, workplace safety violations, OSHA standards, workplace injury, safety equipmentEach year, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) releases a list of the 10 types of safety violations that are most frequently cited in the United States. Employers have a duty to keep their employees safe while they are on the job, and they should take steps to maintain compliance with OSHA’s rules. Workers should also be aware of their rights, including their ability to seek workers’ compensation if they are injured on the job.

Here are the top 10 violations, including explanations of what they entail:

  1. Fall Protection in Construction – Employers should make sure surfaces have the strength to support workers, and provide protection at the sides and edges of surfaces, roofs, holes, openings, excavations, or equipment which are at least six feet above a lower level.
  2. Hazard Communication – Employers must provide their employees with information about hazardous chemicals or toxic substances, including labeling hazardous substances, providing safety data sheets, and training employees on appropriate work practices, the proper use of protective equipment, and emergency procedures.
  3. Scaffolding – Scaffolds must be able to support their own weight and at least four times their maximum intended load, and they must provide proper guardrails or other fall protection systems.
  4. Respiratory Protection – Employers must provide respirators when they are necessary to protect their employees’ health, and they must have a written respiratory protection program that defines worksite-specific procedures for the required use of this equipment.
  5. Lockout/Tagout – Employers must have procedures in place to protect workers’ safety when they are performing maintenance on a piece of equipment.
  6. Ladders – Ladders must be able to support at least four times their intended load.
  7. Powered Industrial Trucks – Employees must receive proper training on the use of equipment like forklifts or motorized hand trucks.
  8. Machine Guarding – Equipment must contain proper guards to protect employees from hazards such as rotating parts, flying chips, and sparks.
  9. Fall Protection Training – Employers must provide employees with proper training on how to recognize and avoid fall hazards, including the proper use of protection equipment and systems.
  10. Electrical Wiring Methods – Proper methods must be used to protect workers’ safety from electrical hazards in the workplace.

Contact an Illinois Workers’ Comp Attorney 

If you have been injured while at work because of a violation of OSHA standards, the experienced attorneys at the Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio can help you receive workers’ compensation that will allow you pay medical bills and recover any lost income. Contact our Chicago workers’ comp attorneys today at 630-590-9609 to schedule a free initial consultation.

Sources:

https://safety.blr.com/workplace-safety-news/safety-administration/OSHA-and-state-safety-compliance-enforcement/Breaking-OSHA-announces-top-10-violations-for-FY-2/

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/oshas-top-10-violations-for-2017-revealed-at-national-safety-council-congress–expo-300525928.html

Hazardous Chemicals

October 13th, 2017 at 9:55 am

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

September 29th, 2017 at 8:01 am

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/

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