Archive for the ‘OSHA’ tag

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.





The History of Workers’ Compensation and Who It Covers

July 8th, 2016 at 11:57 am

workers, Chicago workers compensation attorneyIf you were injured on the job, your employer may be legally bound to provide workers’ compensation to replace your wages while you recover from your injury or illness. Many workers have questions regarding their eligibility, to whom the compensation can be awarded, the amount of payment they should receive, and other questions. In some cases, employers may attempt to deny an injured worker the compensation that they deserve. If you have been denied coverage, it is in your best interests to retain a skilled attorney who can discuss the options available to you..

History of Workers’ Compensation

During the industrial revolution of the 1800s, workplace injuries and fatalities skyrocketed. Factories were famously hazardous and workers were offered little to no protection during their long, dangerous hours on the job. In order to be compensated for an injury, an employee would have to sue their employer for negligence, which was simply impossible for most workers, as they had neither the time, money, or other resources necessary to find success in a courtroom in this manner. Additionally, the court usually sided with the employer in these cases.

It was not until the early 1900s that state-specific legislation was proposed to protect the rights of workers to be compensated for their injuries and fatalities. Wisconsin was the first state to provide a permanent workers’ compensation plan back in 1911. With higher standards and employers being held accountable, fatalities and injuries have fallen dramatically in the century since. However, 13 people are killed on the job every day, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

What Does Workers’ Compensation Cover and Who Receives Benefits?

The injured employee can receive compensation to cover their medical and rehabilitation costs, which are often the highest in a serious workplace accident. Workers’ compensation can also cover lost wages, which can be awarded to a fatally injured worker’s dependents as well. These death benefits may also cover a worker who was killed in the very unlikely event of a terrorist attack. Workers’ compensation is no-fault insurance, which means that an employee will be eligible for compensation regardless of fault. However, workers’ compensation usually takes away the employee’s right to sue their employer for negligence in the event that the injury or illness was the fault of their employer. There are exceptions to this rule, however. If the employee believes the injury or illness was caused by an intentional act, they may bring a lawsuit for an intentional tort. These intentional acts, that may end in physical or emotional damage, include:

  • Assault;
  • Battery;
  • Conversion;
  • Defamation;
  • False imprisonment;
  • Fraud;
  • Invasion of privacy;
  • Intentional causation of emotional trauma; and
  • Trespassing.

What Mandatory Workers’ Compensation Laws Exist in Illinois?

In Illinois, compulsory workers’ compensation begins at 40 hours per week for 13 weeks of the year. If you have been denied, or offered too little for you injuries or illness, it may be time to contact an attorney. Call a skilled Chicago workers’ compensation attorney at the Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio today at 630-574-2288.




OSHA Standards Set to Rise by Summer 2016

June 24th, 2016 at 8:22 am

OSHA, Chicago workers' compensation lawyersWhile job safety has been on a rapid rise over the last half century, there is still a very long way to go before the most dangerous jobs are considered safe. The Occupational Safety Hazard Administration (OSHA) is about to roll out a new program that will eliminate some of the dangers associated with particularly hazardous work environments. According to Forbes, some of the most dangerous jobs include:

  • Airline pilots;
  • Animal caretakers;
  • Construction workers;
  • Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT);
  • Enlisted military personnel;
  • Firefighters;
  • Tractor trailer operators;
  • Loggers;
  • Parole or correctional officers; and
  • Police officers.

Not on the list are the exceptionally dangerous occupations of roofers and fishermen. Miners, taxi drivers, convenience store employees, athletes, farmers and ranchers, landscapers, garbage and recycling collectors, electrical line workers, bus drivers, and driving/sales workers are also at high risk. No matter what type of work, there are risks involved. It is the responsibility of the employer to ensure that those risks are minimized to the greatest possible extent.

With thousands of on-the-job deaths every year, the majority of those fatalities are the result of transportation collisions (traffic accidents), falls, being struck by an object or being pinned between objects, electrocution, and even homicide. Injuries and serious illnesses, of course, are more prevalent. Serious injuries can range from debilitating repetitive motion injuries to paralysis from a spinal cord injury. Luckily the most dangerous occupations are about to be thrown a life preserver in the form of a new standard for analyzing the workplace accidents of various industries and specific companies.

OSHA Set to Increase Spotlight on Irresponsible Employers

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is putting into motion a new rule to create a more modern way of collecting workplace injury data, according to reports. Through behavioral economics, OSHA believes the new standard will help improve workplace safety. Specifically, the data collected from companies will be made available to the public, bringing to light which companies take safety seriously, and which do not. This, in theory, should help force the hand of employers to increase their safety protocols and treat safety as their number one priority. The new system will require 432,000 high-hazard workplaces that employ 20-249 employees and 34,000 high hazard workplaces with over 250 employees to send their individual injury and illness information to OSHA each year. The information will be used to track trends and give employers means to make comparisons to other companies in the same field, while also putting public pressure on the shoulders of the company to set higher standards for safety. By revealing the intimate safety data of a company, workers can see whether their employer is on the right side of their particular industry’s safety average.

Contact an Attorney for Help

Unfortunately, far too many injured employees may be denied the compensation that they rightfully deserve. As such, if you were injured on the job, contact an experienced Chicago workers’ compensation attorney today with the Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio at 630-574-2288 and learn how we can assist you.





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