Over the years, many states have become safer for workers. Safety standards have increased, exposure to toxic and cancer-causing materials has decreased, and better worker education have resulted in fewer severe injuries and fatalities. In fact, the country as a whole, including Illinois, has come a long way from past decades. However, Illinois has been slipping as of late. According to the Insurance Journal, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has reported a 28 percent increase in worker fatalities since 2013. In 2016, alone, at least 36 Illinois workers were killed on the job. If you were injured while working or a family member lost their life in a work-related accident or resulting illness, contact a skilled attorney today for immediate assistance.
Struck-by Hazards and Falls
Those at considerable risk of fatal injury are construction workers. Being struck by an object or falling are the two largest hazards for construction workers. According to the Center for Construction Research and Training, falls accounted for 33.3 percent of construction worker fatalities and being hit by an object accounted for 17.6 percent of fatalities. Transportation accounted for 26 percent, while “exposure” accounted for 15.7 percent. Exposure fatalities include death by electrocution, air pressure changes, caustic and noxious substances, and temperature extremes.
OSHA Calls for Illinois Employers to Review Safety Programs
In order to decrease fatalities and set Illinois back on path for having a safe environment for all employees, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is recommending that employers evaluate hazards, develop procedures to minimize hazards, make sure machinery and equipment is in good condition, and provide and enforce the use of personal protection equipment. Ken Nishiyama Atha, OSHA regional director in Chicago, commented, “These injuries, illness and workplace deaths that are occurring in Illinois are preventable. Employers must develop good safety and health programs to ensure a safe and healthy workplace. These programs should include management leadership, worker participation, and hazard identification. Properly employed, a culture of safety can be created in any workplace.” Furthermore, OSHA has required employers to report to OSHA within 24 hours severe workplace injuries, such as hospitalization, amputation, or the loss of an eye. Employers must report workplace fatalities within eight hours.
Injured on the Job?
Getting the benefits you deserve is not as simple as one would think. Even if you were clearly injured on the job and have supporting evidence and witnesses to back up your claim, and even if the injury is severe and is causing you to miss work and spend thousands on medical bills, your employer may still attempt to deny your rightful benefits. To get the benefits you need and deserve for your work-related injury or illness, contact our experienced Kane County workers’ compensation attorneys. Call 630-907-0909 for a free consultation at Kinnally Flaherty Krentz Loran Hodge & Masur, P.C. today.