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Lake County Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Don't discount claiming workers' compensation after an injury

We recently discussed the serious nature of on-the-job spinal cord injuries. These aren't the only type of injury that can occur at work that is catastrophic. For many workers, head injuries, being crushed by heavy equipment or items, broken bones or amputations are all very real and serious possibilities.

One thing that is troublesome about many work-related injuries is that they are preventable. There is a chance that the worker will be unable to continue working due to the nature of the problem. For some people, this ends their entire career. This is hard to fathom, but it is a stark reality for many. It can mean they don't have the income to pay their bills. They might have to try to scrape to cover even the basics. The cost of medical care might be frightening, but workers' compensation can certainly help pay for this and possibly other expenses.

On-the-job spinal cord injuries are serious matters

Many workers, including those in the construction and manufacturing industries, are at risk of falling or having items fall onto them. These situations can lead to spinal cord injuries. In some cases, the impacts of the injury are only temporary; however, a catastrophic injury will affect the person for the rest of their life.

There are many points that you need to remember about spinal cord injuries in these cases. It can be hard to think of everything at once. Here are a few important facts to keep in mind:

  • Injuries higher on the spinal cord have more loss of function
  • The area impacted by the injury is always lower than the location of the damage
  • Spinal shock can make the injury seem worse in the first days and weeks
  • Complete injuries have more serious effects than incomplete injuries
  • Medication, surgery and therapy might all be used to treat spinal cord injuries

Vocational rehabilitation may offer a positive change

Whether you love your job or you tolerate it, the fact is that you need it. Your paycheck covers your mortgage or rent, buys groceries, and allows you to afford the many things you and your family need throughout the week. If you lost your income, it would not take long before your family would begin to struggle.

This is why your primary focus after suffering a workplace injury is getting well so you can get back to work and provide for your family. However, if your injuries are severe, you may be unable to return to your previous job or to the position you held before your injury. If this is the case, you may have the right to additional services under your employer's workers' compensation policy.

Protect your hands -- they might be your most valuable tools

If you work on an assembly line in an Illinois factory, your hands are likely your most valuable tools. Will you be able to do your job of you lose the use of one of your hands? Thousands of workers visit emergency rooms every year with serious injuries to their hands, and many of them are unable to return to their jobs for extended periods -- if at all.

Your job exposes your hands to multiple threats that could cause anything from superficial hand and wrist injuries like abrasions, blisters, bruises and minor cuts, to serious lacerations, electrical dangers, thermal and chemical burns and fractures. Catastrophic injuries could lead to amputations. However, if your employer provides adequate safety training and the necessary personal protective equipment that includes safety gloves, your hands might be safe.

Poultry processing injuries: An invisible problem?

There are various safety risks that could come up for people who work at poultry processing plants. This includes musculoskeletal injury risks. Examples of such injuries poultry processing workers sometimes suffer include:

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Lower back injuries
  • Tendinitis
  • Muscle strains

6 ways to increase workplace safety

Managers in manufacturing may equate increased safety with slowing down, thus decreasing productivity. In truth, improved safety can increase productivity. Convergence Training, a developer of training management software for industrial and manufacturing sectors, offers these tips for increased safety in manufacturing environments:

Use equipment properly – Misuse of tools or not following proper procedures are the most common cause of workplace injuries. Regular reviewing best practices is smart, as is regular cleaning and equipment inspection.

What are ways to prevent forklift accidents?

How dangerous is a moving forklift? According to Prolift, the average weight of a forklift is nine thousand pounds, plus a forklift can reach speeds of six to twelve miles per hour. However, since forklifts often work in the vicinity of Illinois pedestrians, this machine can present a life threatening hazard to a person who is not aware of a forklift's presence. Proper safety measures, however, can help prevent a tragic accident.

OSHA points out that when a forklift approaches a pedestrian, the pedestrian possesses the right of way. For this reason, a forklift driver should take all possible measures to alert the pedestrian of the forklift's presence, including slowing the forklift's velocity and pressing on the horn. There are also occasions when a forklift approaches a place where a pedestrian may emerge into the forklift's path. The lift driver should take the same precautions. If a visible pedestrian does not appear to heed the forklift's presence, the forklift driver should halt the vehicle.

One-Fourth of Small Businesses Don't Have Workers' Comp

In Illinois, if you own a business and have even a single employee, you are required to have workers' compensation insurance. However, the high cost of workers' comp coverage results in some small-business owners not purchasing coverage.

That's unwise. Businesses face serious risk if they do not carry workers' comp insurance. For starters, there are potential penalties. A business owner can be fined $500 for every day an employee goes without workers' comp coverage. In Illinois, willfully failing to obtain workers' compensation is felony.

What are ways to help workers lift heavy objects?

In an Illinois workplace where you handle heavy objects and loads, in many instances it is a bad call to try and move something by yourself. Even if you understand how to properly lift a heavy object, some loads are simply too much for your arms alone. Attempting to lift such loads can injure your back and put you on the mend for a long time. That is why workplaces should equip their workers with tools and vehicles that can cut down the risk of workplace injury.

The website for Creative Safety Supply advises workers to reinforce their bodies with weight belts. These belts offer more support to your lower back and decrease the possibility of pulling a back muscle. You can also attach a lifting strap to the object for added support. This helps especially if the object is awkwardly shaped and does not provide an easy grip for the human hand.

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Hannigan & Botha, Ltd.
505 E Hawley St.
Ste. 240
Mundelein, IL 60060-2473

Toll Free: 866-533-6590
Phone: 847-388-0874
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Mundelein Law Office