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Lake County Workers' Compensation Law Blog

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.

The most common causes of on-the-job brain injuries

We've learned a lot about concussions in recent years. For example, we know that repeated concussions, as well as other brain injuries, can cause significant physical, emotional and cognitive issues well into a person's future.

Pro football players aren't the only ones whose jobs put them at risk of suffering a concussion or traumatic brain injury (TBI). People in many lines of work are at risk on a regular basis. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 25% of all fatal workplace-related TBIs are suffered by construction workers. They also suffer more non-fatal brain injuries every year than people in any other line of work.

Court: Injured Illinois worker waited too long to sue contractor

An Illinois man who suffered a serious workplace injury did not sue the electrical contractor he holds responsible for the accident within the statute of limitations. That was the finding this month of a state appeals court.

The plaintiff was employed by a food supply company in Wheeling, in suburban Chicago, in 2015, when the accident occurred. He was repairing a fudge maker when an employee in another room, who was unable to see him, turned the machine on. His right hand was injured and he lost several fingers.

Take care of your body -- overexertion can be deadly

Regardless of the industry in which you earn a living in Illinois, you will be at risk of suffering musculoskeletal disorders if you do not take care of your body. From office and call center workers to those involved in construction, manufacturing, transportation and logging, all risk overexertion. MSDs affect muscles, tendons, nerves, ligaments, blood vessels, joints, spinal discs and cartilage.

Your employer can prevent musculoskeletal disorders by addressing ergonomics in the workplace. This involves fitting each job to the employee who will do it.

Why shift work can be particularly dangerous

Some 15 percent of American workers don't have "traditional" work hours. Doctors, nurses, police officers, truck drivers, mini-mart employees and many more people do what is known as "shift work."

People who work during nontraditional hours -- particularly those who work throughout the night while most people are sleeping -- are throwing their body's biological clock out of whack. That clock, also known as "circadian rhythm" tells our bodies to become sleepy when it gets dark by producing melatonin, which is a chemical that promotes sleep. Therefore, even if a person has the time to get eight hours of sleep during the day before they go to work, their body resists.

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Hannigan & Botha, Ltd.
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Mundelein Law Office