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Archive for the ‘Construction Workers’ Category

What Jobs Are at Risk of Occupational Diseases in Illinois?

August 4th, 2021 at 4:52 pm

Occupational-Risk-Attorney-Oak_BrookWork-related injuries are common in Illinois and throughout the U.S., especially for employees who perform extensive physical labor or who work with heavy machinery and equipment. Thanks to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, many injured workers qualify for benefits that cover their medical care and some of their lost wages. Employees who develop or contract a disease or illness in the course of their work may also be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, though these cases are often more complicated.

Occupations With High Incidences of Work-Related Illness

Occupational diseases tend to develop after prolonged and repeated exposure to a hazardous condition, rather than a one-time event. Some occupations in which occupational diseases are more common include:

  • Construction and manufacturing – Workers in these occupations may be exposed to a variety of risks, including hazardous materials like asbestos, chemicals used in the manufacturing process, and dangerous particles in the air. These hazards can lead to skin diseases, respiratory conditions, and certain types of cancer.
  • Firefighting – Firefighters are at risk of respiratory conditions due to smoke and ash inhalation.
  • Mining – Workers in the mining industry, especially coal miners, are also exposed to the risk of respiratory disease from the inhalation of harmful particles.
  • Agriculture – Farm workers may develop lung conditions from inhaling grain dust and other particles, or other diseases due to exposure to chemicals in fertilizers and pesticides.
  • Health care – Doctors, nurses, EMTs, and other health care providers may be exposed to infectious airborne or bloodborne pathogens that may cause diseases like COVID-19, hepatitis, and AIDS.

Recovering Compensation

According to Illinois law, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if you have a work-related disease or illness. However, you will need to be able to demonstrate that your condition meets certain criteria. Namely, the disease must have arisen in the course of your work, or have been aggravated by your work to the point of disablement. Generally, this means you will need to establish a causal connection between some hazard present in your work and the specific condition you have contracted or developed.

 

It is often beneficial to hire an attorney for a workers’ compensation claim involving an occupational illness. A lawyer can help you take the necessary steps to pursue benefits as soon as you become aware of the condition, as well as gather evidence of the connection between your work and the disease. Occupational illness claims are commonly denied, and if this happens to you, your attorney can help you appeal the denial.

Contact a Chicago Workers’ Comp Lawyer

At the Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio, we know how important it is to get the care and treatment you need for an occupational disease. We can work with you to file and pursue a claim for workers’ compensation benefits that make this possible. Call us today at 630-574-2288 to schedule a free consultation with a Cook County workers’ compensation attorney.

 

Sources:

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2016/0615/p1000.html

https://www.bls.gov/iif/oshdef.htm

https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/96-115/diseas.html

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2431&ChapterID=68

 

 

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

How to Stay Safe While Working in the Heat

August 15th, 2018 at 11:15 am

DuPage County workers compensation attorneys, heat stroke, working in the heat, workplace injury, workplace safetyWorkers who perform their job duties outside in the heat are prone to heat stroke. Heat stroke is a dangerous condition that must be treated immediately in order to reduce the risk of disability or even death. 

Anyone who works outside should be mindful of heat stroke and make an effort to avoid it. Let’s take a closer look at the signs of heat stroke, how workers can keep themselves safe while working in high temperatures, and whether filing a workers’ compensation claim is an option.

Signs and Symptoms of Heat Stroke

The most common sign of heat stroke is body temperature that is 107 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. Excessive sweating or no signs of sweating, confusion, challenges with walking, a throbbing headache, dizziness, nausea or vomiting, skin redness, difficulty breathing, and an elevated heart rate may also indicate that a worker is suffering from heat stroke.

Tips for Avoiding Heat Stroke While Working Outside

Fortunately, there are ways for workers to lower their chances of heat stroke and stay safe while working outside on hot days. Consider the following tips that can help:

  • Stay hydrated: Workers should get into the habit of drinking at least two full glasses of water each hour. It is a good idea to keep a water bottle by their side at all times.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol: Caffeine and alcohol can cause dehydration and increase heat stroke risk, making it important for workers to avoid it while they are on the job.
  • Take breaks: By taking breaks and cooling off in air conditioning, workers can relax their bodies and prevent heat stroke.
  • Dress appropriately: Prior to going to work, workers should put on light-colored, loose-fitting clothing comprised of linen or cotton and cover as much of their exposed skin as they can. Applying sunscreen and wearing a wide-brimmed hat is also vital.
  • Be strategic about work times: If possible, workers should perform their outdoor tasks in the early mornings or evenings when the UV rays are not as harsh.

Employers can also do their part to prevent heat stroke at work by making their workers familiar with the dangers of hot weather and heat stroke, creating rest periods, and supplying water.

Contact Our DuPage County Workers’ Compensation Attorneys

If you have sustained a heat-related injury while on the job, you may be able to file a workers’ compensation claim and obtain benefits to cover your medical bills and lost wages. Contact our compassionate DuPage County workers’ compensation lawyer today to find out whether you have a valid claim.

Source: 

https://www.osha.gov/OshDoc/data_Hurricane_Facts/heat_stress.pdf

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