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Champaign Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Meat industry workers suffer job injuries from repetitive motions

Sitting down to a supper of chicken or beef might not cause many people in Illinois to wonder about the conditions in which the animal was killed. For the employees of slaughterhouses, however, it may be impossible to avoid doing so. Job injuries occur at an alarmingly high rate in this industry, and they are not necessarily all the result of industrial accidents. Instead, repetitive actions and an environment that focuses on the end result -- not the employee -- puts workers in dangerous positions.

A former official from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration believes that part of the problem is the very model on which the meat business is built. In order to produce a higher quantity that yields higher profits, worker safety must be sacrificed. Data from OSHA in 2014 demonstrated that processing employees who work with pork and beef experience injuries from repetitive motions at a rate of seven times higher than other industries. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health found that in one processing plant alone, over 75 percent of employees suffered from the same abnormal nerve condition in one or both hands.

Industrial accidents at Goodyear facility lead to multiple deaths

Drivers in Illinois might be familiar with Goodyear as a manufacturer of vehicle tires, but they may not be aware of its reputation for dangerous workplaces. Multiple industrial accidents at an out-of-state Goodyear facility have resulted in several deaths over the course of a single year. The fourth and most recent accident left a 40-year-old worker dead.

The exact nature of the accident that led to the death is not clear, but employees claim that, despite multiple improvements, the facility remains an unsafe place to work. The deceased worker left behind a wife and a teenage son. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration launched is currently investigating the accident to determine what ultimately caused the accident.

I-64 construction accident sends worker to hospital

A fallen beam is likely to blame for a horrific accident that injured an Illinois man. The construction accident occurred on I-64, where roadwork has been going on for several years already. Although the injured worker has not made any type of statement, his brother recently stated that the victim was resting at home after being released from the hospital.

It is not clear what exactly went wrong at the site of the $36.5 million construction project, but one of the responding police officers noted that it looked as if some type of beam had fallen on top of a construction worker. An ambulance later transported the injured man to an area hospital. There, he was diagnosed with multiple broken vertebrae, cracked ribs and serious bruising. He was released sometime that same day and taken home to rest.

Air conditioning workplace accident leaves one woman dead

Handling heavy pieces of equipment and consumer goods comes with the territory of certain jobs, but it can also be an incredibly dangerous endeavor. Illinois employers must provide adequate safety equipment for workers who are tasked with handling and moving especially heavy items. Sadly, even with the proper equipment, a workplace accident can still happen, such as the incident that cost one-out-of-state woman her life.

The 37-year-old victim had been employed at Johnson Controls through a staffing agency since April of 2016. The temporary worker was in the process of helping move a commercial air conditioner unit at the time of the accident. After she and other workers moved the 3,200-pound air condition onto a nearby trailer, the unit fell, landing directly on her.

Ride operator injured on the job at local fair

What was intended to be a fun event for an Illinois community turned tragic recently. A carnival worker was injured on the job a piece of equipment from a fair ride fell on him, causing serious injuries. None of the attendees at the fair were involved in the accident, as the ride was undergoing maintenance at the time.

The ride involved in the accident -- Speed -- operates by spinning riders around in the air. As the ride was serviced by other workers, the ride's operator was standing nearby. Without warning, a piece of the ride dropped, striking the operator.

Workers' comp claim contested after snake causes workplace injury

Company owners in Illinois are responsible for the safety of their employees while they are at work, and safe workplace environments are included in workers' rights. However, in some cases, workers have to fight to get compensation after suffering a workplace injury. One such incident was recently reported from another state.

Reportedly, a woman was preparing to go on her lunch break at work when she felt a sudden shooting pain in her foot, along with a feeling of wetness. Her first impression was that the moisture came from a leaking roof, but when she looked down, she saw the snake still attached to her big toe. The snake was apparently later identified as a young copperhead. The worker was hospitalized for three days for anti-venom treatment before she started physical therapy.

Maintenance worker injured on the job after serious fall

Maintenance crews are responsible for a wide variety of tasks that often put them in varying degrees of danger. Even the most adept maintenance workers in Illinois can suffer serious injuries when employers violate important safety protocols. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is currently investigating possible safety violations after an out-of-state maintenance worker was injured on the job.

A two-man maintenance crew was involved in an accident while performing repair work on a wind turbine's generator. Both men were suspended on a work platform approximately 120 feet above the ground. The platform apparently gave way and dropped without any clear reason or warning, and one of the workers fell to the ground. The other worker was secured by a lifeline and lowered himself to the dropped platform before safely disembarking.

Collapsing scaffolding injures 4 in construction accident

Construction workers utilize a number of methods in order to complete work that takes place several stories above the ground. Scaffolds are common fixtures at most work sites, but they also pose a serious threat if not erected properly. A recent construction accident seriously injured four workers in Illinois after the scaffolding they were working on suddenly collapsed.

A crew of eight men was on site of surgical expansion for an area hospital when the accident happened. At shortly before 8 a.m., the scaffolding's center section gave way without any warning, causing four of the workers to suffer injuries. It is not clear if the men were actually on the scaffolding at the time or if they were hurt by falling debris.

Worker buried in terrifying construction accident

There is perhaps no end to the possible risk for injury while on a construction site. Many construction workers in Illinois have to deal with malfunctioning equipment, unstable scaffolding and neglected safety regulations on an unsettling common basis. Safety was apparently not a top priority on an out-of-state site where a construction accident ultimately killed one person.

A construction crew was in the process of completing a sewer project when the accident happened. For reasons that are still not clear, the worker -- who had been employed by the construction company for quite some time -- was hit by a backhoe type of vehicle. That collision somehow ended with him being pushed into a different vehicle that held hot asphalt. He was then buried by the asphalt before being retrieved.

Man killed by hydraulic press in workplace accident

An out-of-state family is without a loved one after a terrifying accident. Workers' compensation benefits are an invaluable resource to victims who are injured on the job, but surviving family members are typically less sure of the benefits to which they are entitled. When an Illinois loved one is killed in a workplace accident, his or her family can apply for temporary death benefits through the workers' comp system.

The accident occurred early in the morning when the victim and at least one co-worker were working with a hydraulic press. Other employees were also present in the press area at the time, but none appeared to have been directly involved in the accident that the company has since blamed on some type of miscommunication. Ultimately, the victim was somehow caught in the hydraulic press and crushed, suffering catastrophic head injuries.

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