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Workplace injury results in fine for company based in Illinois

Some workplaces are predictably unpredictable. For example, police officers do not know what to expect in the constantly changing circumstances of their jobs. The lack of predictably creates sometimes unsafe working conditions that are difficult to control. In other jobs, however, employers can take measures to ensure that their employees are able to complete their job responsibilities without risk to their personal safety. When a workplace injury occurs, such as one that happened recently at a company based in Illinois, an investigation begins to determine how the incident occurred and how a similar one can be prevented in the future.

An investigation was sparked by an incident that happened in March. An employee received extreme burns after attempting to light a boiler. Representatives from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration stated that similar incidents in the past have resulted in tragic outcomes. In fact, five people have been killed at the same plant in the last five years.

As a result of the investigation, approximately $185,000 in fines has been levied against the company to cover 30 claims of safety and health violations. In this specific circumstance, the OSHA representatives claim that the accident was caused by the company's failure to properly store hazardous materials and provide employees with adequate equipment to ensure their safety. The company, Packaging Corp. of America, has 15 days to pay the fine or contest it.

Regardless of the company's ultimate decision regarding the allegations of violations, the current well-being and recovery process for the injured employee should be the top priority. Thanks to laws in states such as Illinois that require employers to provide their employees with workers' compensation benefits in the case of a workplace injury, the man is likely entitled to compensation for his medical bills and lost wages as he recovers. However, the process can sometimes be difficult and lengthy; others in similar situations have sought assistance in securing the compensation to which they are rightly entitled.

Source: Insurance Journal, Illinois Based Company Fined $185K for Injury at Wisconsin Plant, No author, Sept. 11, 2013

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Hannigan & Botha, Ltd.
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