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How Does COVID-19 Affect Illinois Workers’ Compensation Claims?

February 26th, 2021 at 7:53 pm

IL injury attorney, Illinois workers comp lawyer, The year 2020 will always be remembered for the COVID-19 global pandemic. Government and health officials issued executive orders limiting gatherings, requiring masks to be worn, and enforcing social distancing in public places. In addition, many non-essential businesses such as bars, restaurants, movie theaters, salons, and casinos were closed to keep people safe and healthy. However, some employees were allowed to work remotely from home. Despite state and local efforts to stop it, the highly contagious virus spread throughout the country, resulting in approximately 500,000 deaths. An effective and safe COVID-19 vaccine was recently approved, which is a critical component in reducing coronavirus-related hospitalizations and deaths. With many workers returning to office buildings now, employees may be required to get vaccinated before returning to work. It is important to understand how COVID-19 and vaccine-related illnesses impact workers’ compensation claims.

Phase IB

In January, Phase 1B began in Illinois, allowing frontline essential workers and residents 65 and older to get the vaccine. Frontline workers include those who carry a higher risk of COVID-19 exposure because of their work duties, often because they are unable to work from home, or they have to socially distance in order to perform their job duties. This includes first responders and healthcare workers, as well as those in the following fields and industries: K-12 education, food and agriculture, manufacturing, corrections officers and inmates, postal, public transit, grocery stores, and daycare centers.

House Bill 2455

Legislation signed into law provides worker compensation benefits for those essential workers who contract COVID-19 while on the job under specific conditions. Governor J.B. Pritzker signed H.B. 2455 into law, which provides death benefits for first responders who were infected with COVID-19 on duty and also revises state code to expand unemployment benefits and enhance sick pay and leave for workers who contract the virus. However, under the bill, employers can refute claims under certain conditions:

  • An employer can show that the company was adhering to public health guidelines for 14 days prior to when the employee claims they contracted the virus.
  • The employer can prove that the worker was exposed by a source outside of the company.
  • The employee was working remotely from home for a minimum of 14 days before filing the claim.

Call a Chicago Workers’ Comp Attorney

The coronavirus pandemic has impacted our daily lives in many ways. With a vaccine being distributed now, Illinois employees may be wondering if COVID-related illness is covered by workers’ compensation benefits. At the Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio, our reputable Cook County workplace injury lawyers are well-versed in workers’ comp laws, including new legislation regarding the virus. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 630-574-2288.

 

Sources:

https://coronavirus.illinois.gov/s/phase-1b

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2430

What You Should Know About Exposure to Radiation in the Workplace

November 18th, 2020 at 12:34 pm

IL occupational illness lawyer, IL work injury attorney, exposure to radiation in the workplace lawsuit,Radiation is a form of energy that travels through space in waves. The sun, for example, produces massive amounts of radiation in the form of heat and light and upon which we rely for our very existence. Similarly, a microwave oven uses radiation to agitate water molecules in food, which, in turn, heats the food, leaving it perfectly safe to eat. Even the music you hear coming from the speakers in your car are being transmitted to your ear as radio waves—yet another form of radiation. Some kinds of radiation, however, are not quite so benign, and they have the power to cause injury and even death.

Every day, thousands of workers in hundreds of different jobs are exposed to various types of radiation in the course of their work. If you have been exposed to unsafe levels of radiation, and you have suffered illness or injury as a result, you may be entitled to collect workers’ compensation benefits.

Recognizing Harmful Forms of Radiation

When most people think of harmful radiation, they tend to think of “ionizing” radiation. Ionizing radiation is a type of radiation that carries enough energy to ionize atoms, which can destabilize molecules within the body’s cells and cause tissue damage. Beta particle radiation, x-rays, and gamma rays are particularly dangerous types of ionizing radiation.

“Non-ionizing” radiation, by comparison, is much less powerful than ionizing radiation, and the applications of non-ionizing radiation are generally considered to be much safer as well. Microwave, radio wave, very low frequency (VLF), and extremely low frequency (ELF) radiation are all non-ionizing forms of radiation. Long-term exposure, however, to non-ionizing radiation can lead to cumulative effects on the body—especially to the skin and eyes.

There are many different jobs in which exposure to radiation is common. These include but are not limited to:

  • Airplane pilots and flight crews
  • Radiologic technicians
  • Dental hygienists
  • Nurses
  • Surgeons
  • Security personnel using metal detectors or x-ray machines
  • Cell tower workers

Hazardous material removers

Radiation Poisoning Symptoms

Indications of radiation exposure or poisoning are not always immediate. In fact, only the most severe cases usually cause immediate symptoms. Usually, symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, and other indicators are not evident until several hours or even days later. More serious symptoms, such as hair loss and bodily infections, may take even longer.

If you are concerned that you were exposed to harmful radiation at work, it is important to seek medical attention at the first signs of any radiation-related symptoms. In most cases, symptoms generally appear in two distinct phases. The first phase usually includes malaise, nausea, and vomiting, which may dissipate completely before the second phase of more serious symptoms develops.

Call a Chicago Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

Overexposure to radiation at work can lead to extremely serious problems, including cancer and death. If you have been exposed while on the job, it is important to seek guidance from an Illinois workers’ compensation attorney. At the Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio, we can help coordinate your medical care and get you the benefits to which you are entitled under the law. Call 630-574-2288 for a free consultation with a member of our team today.

 

Source:

https://www.osha.gov/radiation

7 Ways to Prevent Construction Site Injuries

July 25th, 2018 at 3:44 pm

 construction site injuries, DuPage County workers compensation attorneys, construction site falls, construction site safety gear, OSHA guidelinesThe National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) states that approximately 6.5 million people work at construction sites across the country. Sadly, fatalities in this industry are far more common than they are in other industries. The good news, however, is that construction site injuries can be prevented when certain safety precautions are implemented. Consider the following seven ways employers can reduce the risk of construction site injuries:

  1. Provide Safety Training

Construction site workers must undergo a thorough training program before they begin work. They should know exactly how to handle dangerous equipment such as power tools and forklifts and properly dispose of chemicals. Understanding how to read Material Safety Data Sheets is important as well.

  1.  Invest in the Proper Equipment

Prior to visiting a job site, equipment must go through an inspection. Any equipment that has been poorly designed or is broken should be disposed. Employees should also be trained on how to properly use the equipment.

  1. Require Employees to Wear Safety Gear

Employers should encourage their employees to wear safety gear at all times. Hats, goggles, and shoes with steel toes are all examples of safety gear that may protect employees from sustaining serious injuries.

  1. Ensure a Clean Work Site

All walkways should be free of debris and employees should get into the habit of storing tools and materials when they complete a job. It is also crucial to keep waste and trash in special containers.

  1. Consider a Fall Protection System

The top cause of construction accidents are falls. Therefore, it is a wise idea to install fall protection systems to protect employees who work in construction. Fall protection systems can feature screens, canopies, nets, orr guardrail systems.

  1. Recognize Hazards and Design a Plan

Prior to beginning any construction project, the site should be inspected for unusual hazards. By taking the time to assess the risk of the site, employers can protect their employees. Once the risk assessment has been completed, preventive measures should be implemented.

  1. Follow OSHA Guidelines

Employers should educate themselves on OSHA guidelines and make sure they adhere to them to a tee. If employees notice any violations, they should report them immediately.

Contact Our DuPage County Workers’ Compensation Attorneys

If you are a construction worker who sustains an injury while on the job, you should seek experienced legal representation right away. Reach out to our DuPage County workers’ compensation attorneys to receive guidance on the claim process and ensure your rights are protected.

Source:

http://stopconstructionfalls.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Fatal-and-Nonfatal-Injuries-from-Falls-in-Construction-2013-update.pdf

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