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Lake County Workers' Compensation Law Blog

How can nurses' patient-handling injuries be reduced?

Doctors typically get the most respect -- and the most money -- of anyone working in a hospital or other health care setting. However, nurses are the ones who do much of the heavy lifting -- literally. That's one of the reasons they have more job-related injuries than any other health care professionals.

Many of these injuries are musculoskeletal. They often involve the lower back and can be painful and disabling. A primary cause of these injuries is patient handling. In fact, patient-handling injury (PHI) is a recognized term. Programs have been implemented to deal with safe patient handling and mobility (SPHM).

New drug can reduce fatalities among brain injury patients

The earlier a traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be diagnosed and treated, the better the prognosis typically is for the patient. A new study provides one more reason that addressing brain injuries within the first few hours of the injury can mean the difference between life and death.

A drug called tranexamic acid (TXA) inhibits the breakdown of blot clots, which can result from brain injuries. This medication prevents clots from bleeding into the brain.

Illinois man wins over $3 million in suit against former employer

Illinois workers have rights under the law after suffering an injury on the job. When employers violate those rights, they can and should be held responsible. Last month, a man who was denied the ability to return to work at Dean Foods after a disabling injury prevailed in court. It was a long road, however.

The Wonder Lake man was first injured shortly after he went to work at the milk processing facility. He says that, despite a doctor's note about his physical limitations, his supervisors required him to haul a nearly 500-pound load up an incline in 2009. That caused him to re-injure himself.

Illinois employers must pay for personal protective equipment

Does your employer provide you with the necessary personal protective equipment to keep you safe in your work environment, or do you have to buy your own PPE? The Occupational Safety and Health Administration mandates that your employer must protect you from known hazards that could cause injury or illness. This responsibility includes personal protective equipment to keep you safe when administrative and engineering controls provide insufficient protection. This applies to all industries in Illinois, regardless of whether you work in a hotel kitchen, construction site or factory.

Personal protective equipment serves to protect you from the hazards of your occupation. Do not let your boss tell you a hard hat is all you need. A hard hat will not protect you from hearing or vision loss, nor will it prevent respiratory harm or amputation injuries.

Hotel employees face a multitude of health and safety risks

People who work in hotels face a number of health and safety risks. The type of risk often depends on what kind of work they do.

Those who work in housekeeping are prone to soft-tissue injuries like shoulder and back strains. These can be caused by flipping mattresses, carrying large stacks of laundry and making up multiple beds every day. Those extra fluffy towels, robes and bedding we enjoy on vacation are very heavy for have to lift and carry them.

Who pays workers' comp after a merger?

When a company goes through a merger or sale, what happens to its employees who are receiving workers' compensation benefits? One Illinois truck driver found himself in the middle of a fight between two companies as well as its workers' comp insurers. To complicate matters, his original workers' comp insurer was liquidated by the state. The matter has just been settled by an Illinois appellate court.

The trucker was injured when he slipped on ice back in January 2000. That was not long after his employer, Fox Midwest Transport, went through a merger with a subsidiary of Transit Group. Eventually, the company became part of Priority Transportation.

New study looks at mental health disorders after head injuries

A head injury can do a lot more damage than what a person might be able to feel physically. It can cause serious mental health issues. According to a study that recently appeared in JAMA Psychiatry, approximately 20% of people who suffer even a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) will experience some type of mental health disorder within six months. These can include a major depressive disorder and/or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The study, which followed over 1,100 people who were treated in an emergency room for mTBI, identified some risk factors that made certain patients more likely to develop one of these disorders following their injury. The disorders were more common in:

  • African Americans
  • People with a history of mental illness
  • People with lower education levels

What injuries most commonly plague commercial truck drivers?

Commercial truck drivers are in one of the most dangerous professions around. Of course, they face the risk of being involved in a serious accident during long hours on the road -- particularly here in Illinois where winter often brings treacherous road conditions. However, even when everything goes smoothly on their trip, the demands of the job make them prone to a wide variety of injuries.

Truckers suffer more nonfatal injuries than people in any other profession. It's no wonder they have a higher rate of workers' compensation claims than people in most other lines of work.

Surprisingly, data entry operators face severe health risks

Thousands of people in Illinois spend their workdays staring at computer screens as they enter data for hours on end. You might not realize the adverse impact your job can have on your health. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the health problems in this industry can cause permanent harm if data entry operators are unaware of potential dangers.

If your job involves continuous, intense data entry work on a computer for prolonged periods, taking frequents breaks is essential. Even if your breaks last only five or 10 minutes, you should get up and move about or do other tasks that take you away from your chair and the computer screen. Some of the potential health consequences can be severe enough to cause temporary disabilities.

Police say man fired employee returned wielding knife

We've talked before about the increase in violent and often fatal attacks in workplaces across the country. Sometimes they're by customers or people who have no connection to the business or anyone who works there. Often, they involve disgruntled or mentally unstable current or former employees. They may be perpetrated by spouses or significant others of employees who follow them to work to attack them, sometimes making others their victims as well.

Police say that a man who had recently been fired from a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant in Valparaiso, Indiana, returned later the same day, August 21, with a knife. According to a Chicago TV news reporter, the 26-year-old man was terminated when he reported to work earlier in the day.

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