In December and November of the 2010 - 2011 legislative sessions, the Illinois Senate and the House of Representatives conducted hearings regarding employers' concerns that the cost of workers' compensation in Illinois was excessive and driving employees out of Illinois. During the 2011 veto session, the legislators could not agree on a bill and therefore, no workers compensation reform was even voted upon. In May 2011, a bill emerged with substantial changes and reform that should have brought workers' compensation insurance premiums down significantly. The amendments will be discussed later in this article. Prior to that vote both the ISBA and ITLA urged legislators and the governor's office to pass legislation that required transparency with the approximate 400 insurance companies that were vying for business in Illinois. Employers argued that in order to compete with Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa and Missouri we must lower the benefits that are paid on behalf of the injured worker. Labor's argument was that this was nothing more than a "race to the bottom" (states competing to lower WC costs by limiting or denying benefits to the injured worker).
An Illinois worker is claiming that he was fired for filing a workers' compensation claim with his employer. The man was an employee for a transport company and when he endured injuries. He claims that he was wrongfully terminated shortly after filing his workers' compensation claim.
It appears that employees of Hyatt hotel locations in Illinois and across the country may have an increased risk for a work accident. Hotel employees have protested and picketed at the annual shareholder meeting to voice their anger. There are claims that the hotel giant embraces an environment of unsafe work conditions, putting their employees at risk of a work accident.
The chemical Styrene has recently been delegated as a carcinogen, which in turn could lead to more workers' compensation cases for those who have been exposed to this substance. Styrene has recently been ruled as an ingredient in certain industrial processes to cause elevated risks of cancer and other diseases. This finding, which has been upheld by a judge, could bring the possibility of Styrene-related workers' compensation cases.
Working in an industrial environment exposes employees to a wide range of dangers. Even the most experienced industrial workers can have a workplace accident, which occasionally leads to serious or even fatal injuries. Fortunately, an Illinois state worker is expected to recover completely from the injuries he sustained while working at a Department of Transportation service depot. The man was burned in the industrial accident and required treatment at a local hospital.
It is every workplace's responsibility to ensure that their workers are protected from any potential dangers on the job. Failing to do so can result in hefty fines, or, in the worst case scenario, a work accident that can cause injury, illness or death. An Illinois fitness center is now facing potential penalties by the federal OSHA for failing to provide safety equipment to workers who use hazardous chemicals. Fortunately, no injuries have occurred as a result of the company's alleged safety violations.
Truck drivers face many dangers on the job, even when they are not actually traveling on the road at the time that an incident occurs. Accidents are always a possibility both inside and outside of the truck. Recently, one Illinois truck driver learned this the hard way when he suffered a work-related injury after falling from his truck during a stop in a nearby state.
Emergency response workers are frequently exposed to danger as part of their jobs, but most are willing to face the risks in order to help those in need. Three crew members in an Illinois medical helicopter, a pilot and two flight nurses, were tragically killed in a fatal work accident when their helicopter crashed. Inclement weather is suspected to have contributed to the accident.
Some occupations are innately more dangerous than others. Illinois workers who make a living in dangerous occupations are aware of the risks involved, and take a wide range of precautions to protect against injury while on the job. However, there are instances in which no measure of caution on the part of a worker can prevent a tragic work injury.
An Illinois company has received OSHA citations for safety reasons. The Cargill Meat Solutions Corp. has been cited for three safety violations after allegedly failing to protect their workers from the machines unexpectedly starting up. A violation like this one can result in a serious or even fatal work accident.