Archive for September, 2016

Illinois’ Steel Industry and Fatal Accidents

September 23rd, 2016 at 1:12 pm

steel, Chicago workers' compensation lawyerThe state of Illinois is one of the country’s largest steel manufacturers. Working with steel comes with even more perils than standard manual labor, and, because of that, it is one of the more dangerous industries. The risks that go along with steel manufacturing are broad in scope and depend on the specific work a steel worker carries out. The use of heavy and/or dangerous equipment, toxic chemicals, burns, pinning and crushing injuries, hearing loss, carpal tunnel syndrome, and even explosions are some of the risks and injuries that employees face working in the steel industry. While worker safety statistics are generally compiled to address fatalities, of which the steel industry has fewer than logging or fishing, not all accidents end without casualties, of course. Injured workers on the job are entitled to no-fault workers’ compensation benefits. And, in terms of injuries, steel foundries are the third most dangerous industry in America, with 12.7 workers suffering from nonfatal injuries and illnesses per 100 workers annually, according to US News and World Report.

If you have suffered an injury on the job, you may be eligible to receive compensation. However, it is imperative that you reach out to an experienced attorney immediately for help with your claim.

Steel Industry the Third Highest for Sick and Injured Workers

There were 28 fatalities within the primary metal manufacturing industry, of which steel is the largest component, in 2014, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Comparatively, roofing, fishing, and logging have much higher numbers of fatalities on a yearly basis. While the steel industry may not be among the most fatal occupational sectors, it does have a very high rate of injuries and illnesses among its workers, ranking third among all industries in the U.S. These injuries and illnesses can include hearing loss, carpal tunnel syndrome or other chronic overuse injuries, crushing injuries, falls, cuts, burns, traumatic brain injuries, respiratory illnesses, and other serious illnesses. Mesothelioma and asbestos poisoning are both on-the-job risks of working in the steel industry. The steel and iron industry used to be among the most dangerous manufacturing arena in the U.S., with horror stories such as an accident of the early 20th century when a pot of molten steel was dropped onto wet sand, causing a huge explosion that engulfed the entire mill, injuring 30 men and killing four.

Hurt in the Steel Industry?

While modern safety procedures have drastically decreased the likelihood of such horrendous accidents, explosions still occur, workers still become injured and sick, and employers should be held accountable for providing workers’ compensation benefits to help their employees recover. If you were injured or if you became sick because of the work you performed in the steel industry, contact passionate Chicago workers’ compensation attorney Francis J. Discipio today at 630-574-2288. We are eager to assist you with your case.





Fines for Ohio Plant After Unsafe Equipment Causes Texas Amputation

September 9th, 2016 at 12:39 pm

equipment, Chicago workers' compensation attorneyNo amount of financial compensation can bring back the death of a loved one or fix an irreparable injury. When a serious injury or fatality is the fault of an employer due to improper training or an unsafe working environment, the frustration and agony felt by the employee or the family can be compounded exponentially. While workers’ compensation may take care of the medical bills, there is often a feeling of contempt for the company and people that let a serious accident happen. Whether the injury was a result of employer carelessness or the more sinister corner cutting to protect company profits, retribution is often necessary. Such retribution can actually create a safer work environment for that company’s employees into the future. This may be the case in a recent incident in which a Texas employee lost his hand due to a jam in a piece of machinery. If you have suffered an injury, contact a Chicago workers’ compensation attorney today.

A Johns Manville employee lost his hand in a Texas manufacturing facility due to unsafe equipment and a clear lack of safety measures outlined by his employer. Half of all workplace amputations occur in the manufacturing sector, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The company produces roofing and insulation products, and while performing his job, the employee’s hand became severed off while he attempted to clear the machine of a jam. Johns Manville was issued a proposed total of $49,600 in fines by OSHA. The company was cited for the lack of machine guards on a conveyor belt, which would have protected the employee from hazards. As well, they were cited for having an unguarded, protruding shaft to stick out over one and a half times its diameter. A Johns Manville plant here in Ohio was cited for the same violations. Additionally, three serious violations were issued, according to the OSHA report:

  • The energy control procedures did not clearly and specifically outline the steps for shutting down, isolating, and blocking and securing machines to control hazardous energy;
  • Regarding lockout for energy control, the periodic inspection did not include a review, between the inspection and the authorized employee, of that employee’s responsibilities under the energy control procedure being inspected; and
  • Authorized employees did not receive training in the recognition of acceptable hazardous energy sources, the type and magnitude of the energy available in the workplace, and the methods and means necessary for energy isolation.

According to OSHA’s Fort Worth area director, “Johns Manville’s flawed procedures to control hazardous energy sources and a lack of machine guards ultimately led to an amputation. The company should have evaluated its lockout/tagout program and provided proper machine guarding. It is simply unacceptable that a 34-year-old father of four young children suffered a gruesome injury, and has had life forever changed by an incident that was preventable.”

If you have been injured on the job, contact an experienced Chicago workers’ compensation attorney today with the Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio at 630-574-2288. We do not charge anything for consultations, and will inform you on what your best options are to receive the workers’ compensation that you deserve.





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