March 19, 2010

Teacher’s Workers’ Compensation Claim for Electrical Accident May Be Under Dispute

The workers’ compensation claim of a middle school teacher who was injured in an electrical accident last February may be under dispute, claims her lawyer. Kristy Ejazk, a teacher at Pearson Middle School, suffered shock-related and burn injuries to her hand when she was injured by a light switch during an electrical shock accident.

Ejazk was taking kids back from an art class last February when the work accident happened. A loose screw had caused the light switch to come into contact with an interior metal junction box.

Following the incident, school was closed so that an investigation could take place. Grounding insulation was added to the light switches.

Ejazk was treated at a burn center for her injuries. Although she took time off work following the electrical accident, she is back teaching school and has been wearing a protective glove over her hand.

While the workers’ compensation claim has not been officially denied, the school district’s insurance carrier has submitted a form to indicate that there may be differences in opinion over some issues related to the work accident. However, Ejazk has been getting workers’ compensation for related medical costs, as well as wages and benefits for when she took time off work to recover.

Chicago, Illinois Workers’ Compensation
In the event that your workers’ compensation claim is denied or there is a disagreement with your employer about how much you are owed, it is important that you not give up your right to receive your work injury benefits.

Lawyer: Burned Winsted teacher's workers compensation claim disputed, The Register Citizen, March 19, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Electrical Injuries

Electrical Burns, MayoClinic

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January 13, 2010

Workers in Certain Industries Face High Risks of Injuries and Death on the Job

Every year, thousands workers are killed during accidents that occur on the job. Hopefully, their families were entitled to death benefits through employers’ workers’ compensation plans. An injured worker and his/her family cannot sue an employer for personal injury, but the employee is usually entitled to Illinois work injury benefits regardless of who or what was the cause of the work accident.

With help of data from the Department of Labor, compiled a list of the most dangerous jobs in America for 2008. Included in the list:

• Fishing-related jobs. 50 fishing workers died in 2008. Dangerous weather, rough seas, and logistical challenges that can make it impossible to get help during emergency situations contribute to the high death risk these workers face in their line of work.

• 82 Logging workers died from work injuries. Faulty cutting equipment and falling trees were two common causes of logging deaths.

• 90 pilots aircraft pilots died in plane crashes and other work accidents.

• There were 37 structural iron and steel worker death. Common causes of worker fatalities included welding accidents, working at elevated heights, and working with heavy materials.

• 317 rancher and farmer deaths occurred. Heavy machinery hazards is the number one work danger for farm workers and ranchers.

• Traffic, dangerous materials, and heavy equipment are common reasons for recyclable and refuse material collector injuries. 31 workers died in 2008.

• 69 roofer deaths. Hot weather and the hazards of working at elevated heights are two of the most common work dangers for employees in this profession.

• 35 electrical power-line repairer and installer deaths. Electricity and working at elevated heights are two of the most common dangers these workers face.

• 815 trucker deaths. Traffic and fatigue were the two most common causes.

• 69 taxi driver and chauffer deaths. Navigating through traffic is the drivers’ number one work hazard.

Overall, transportation accidents was the most common cause of worker death. 2,053 workers died in vehicle-related crashes. 923 workers died from equipment accidents and objects-related injuries.

Regardless of your profession or the risks involved with doing your job, work accidents and illnesses do happen. An experienced Chicago, Illinois workers’ compensation law firm can make sure you receive all of the benefits that your employer’s insurer owes you.

Fishermen, loggers have most dangerous jobs, MSNBC, September 8, 2009

In Pictures: America's Deadliest Jobs, Forbes, August 26, 2009

Related Web Resources:

US Department of Labor

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

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November 28, 2009

Electrical Shock Accidents on the Job Result in Two Worker Deaths and One Injury

A worker was killed on Friday when the semi-trailer he was driving made contact with power lines at a demolition site. Gary D. Colvin was 48. According to police, Colvin suffered electric shock as he was exiting the truck, which was dumping a load of metal at a demolition site.

Unfortunately, Colvin was not the only worker to die from electric shock last week. On Wednesday, 59-year-old James Bea was pronounced dead when he was electrocuted while removing temporary lighting. Another worker, age 24, sustained critical electrical burn injuries.

The catastrophic work accident occurred when workers came into contact with a power line.

Electrocution Accidents
Electrical shock accidents can be very dangerous for workers. Electrical burns, kidney failure, neurological problems, blood clots, muscle tissue damage, eye injuries, and instant death are some of the more serious injuries that can result.

Most workers are entitled to obtain Illinois workers’ compensation whenever they are injured at work. It doesn’t matter who or what caused the work accident. This should make it easier for everyone involved. The worker gets paid work injury benefits (or the family of a deceased worker receives death benefits) and the employer doesn’t have to contend with an Illinois personal injury complaint or wrongful death lawsuit.

Unfortunately, there are instances when an employer and/or the insurer will attempt to deny or delay a work injury or death claim.

Arlington County employee electrocuted, Washington Post, November 26, 2009

Ohio man fatally shocked at Ind. demolition site, Chicago Tribune, November 27, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Workers' Compensation, Justia


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November 2, 2009

OSHA’s 2009 Top 10 Safety Violations

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued its list of the 10 most common workplace safety violations for the year:

9,093 Scaffolding violations: Most common causes of scaffolding accidents involve the support or planking giving way or the employee slipping or getting hit by a falling object.

6,771 Fall Protection violations: Workers in the general industry working at a height of four feet or greater must be adequately protected. In the construction arena workers must be protected when working at six feet or higher.

6,378 Hazard Communication violations: Chemical makers and importers must evaluate the hazards of their products and develop safety data sheets and labels so that downstream clients are made aware of these hazards.

3,803 Respiratory Protection violations: Workers must be protected against dangerous dusts, smokes, fogs, gases, mists, sprays, vapors, and inadequate oxygen environments. Failure to do so can result in lung impairment, cancer, and other diseases. It can also lead to deaths.

3,321 Lockout-Tag Out violations: Employees must be protected from hazardous energy released during maintenance or service. They also must be protected from the unexpected activation of equipment and machinery.

3,079 Electrical Wiring Violations: Electricians, engineers, sales people, office workers, and other employees must be protected from the hazards of working directly or indirectly with electricity.

3,072 Ladder violations: Falls from ladders can result in traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and death. Fall accidents cause 8% of all occupational-related fatalities involving trauma.

2,993 Powered-Industrial Trucks violations: Tens of thousands of people are injured each year because of forklift accidents.

2,556 Electrical violations

2,364 Machine Guarding violations: Protecting workers from any part, process, or function that can injure or kill a worker.

Compared to same time period last year, the number of top 10 violations has gone up nearly 30%.

Regardless of who or what caused a work accident, most workers are entitled to Illinois workers’ compensation benefits.

OSHA Reports on Top 10 Safety Violations for 2009, Reuters.PR Newswire, October 27, 2009

Related Web Resources:

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August 20, 2009

Electrocution Accident Claims the Life of Worker Who Was Installing Wiring

A worker who was installing a new air compressor wiring died yesterday when he was electrocuted. A subcontractor who worked for the DC metro hired the man. This is not the first electrical accident to cause injury to a worker in the last couple of months.

Last week, a worker sustained burn injuries while working on power lines. The work accident happened while the worker was in a bucket truck and he received an electrical shock.

Also last week, a worker employed by an electrical subcontractor was shocked while working on electrical systems at a construction site. He was shocked unconscious.

In July, two National Guardsmen suffered electrical shock injuries at a Tennessee county fair. According to witnesses, a man was using a control box to elevate a climbing wall, which was part of the National Guard recruiting station, when the control box fell on top of him. Another man who tried to help suffered electrical shock injuries, as did a second person who rushed to help. The two men were transported by air to a hospital.

Our Chicago workers’ compensation law firm knows that it can be hard to regroup after getting injured in an Illinois work accident. It is important that you file your work injury claim with your employer as soon as possible.

Electrical Shock
A person can suffer from shock after coming into contact with an electrical source. If the electrical energy enters the person’s body, he or she could suffer from electrical shock. Burns is the most common kind of electric shock injury. A person might also sustain a spinal cord injury, internal injuries, pain in the foot or hand, broken bones, and electrical mouth burn.

While in some cases, it is obvious that someone has sustained an electrical shock injury, some signs indicating that a person may be suffering from electrical shock include:

• Burns to the skin
• Tingling
• Numbness
• Hearing problems
• Paralysis
• Speech problems
• Unconsciousness

Electrical Worker Killed at Bus Garage, The Washington Post, August 19, 2009

Nixa employee injured in electrical accident, city administrator says, News-Leader, August 12, 2009

Nixa Lineman Shocked, KSPR, August 12, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Electric Shock, EmedicineHealth

Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission

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June 2, 2009

Two Workers Hurt in Electrical Accidents Sustain Burn Injuries

A worker is in the hospital after he was injured in an electrical accident on Tuesday afternoon. Brian Arnold was testing an electrical line when his tools made a flash burn happened. He sustained second-degree burns from the work accident. According to a supervisor, Arnold was wearing the required goggles, helmet, gloves, and uniform and that this likely minimized his injuries.

In another electrical accident that occurred last week, a 38-year-old construction worker sustained burn injuries on his feet and hands when the crane he was operating came into contact with a live electrical line. The electrical shock threw the worker into a pool of water. Paramedics had to wait until the power was turned off before they were able to retrieve him.

Electrical Power Line Accidents
Electrical power lines can be a cause of work injuries in the event that a worker comes into contact with a live power line. Crane operators, painters, and construction workers are just a few of the groups at risk of getting really hurt in an electrical power line accident. In certain instances, the use of certain tools around power lines, such as metal ladders, scaffolds, backhoes, cranes, aluminum paint holders, and concrete pumpers, can increase the chances of an electrical accident happening on the job.

In the event that you are injured in an Illinois work accident, you need to let your employer know immediately so that you can receive your workers’ compensation benefits as soon as possible.

In an ideal world, obtaining workers’ compensation should be an instant, automatic process. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. However, Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer Steven J. Malman can make sure that you receive all the work injury benefits that you are entitled to receive.

Man Suffers Burns After Industrial Accident In Lebanon,, June 2, 2009

Construction worker in hospital due to electrical accident, 680 News, May 25, 2009

Related Web Resources:
How to Prevent Electrical Accidents

Electrical Accidents, CDC

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April 7, 2009

Illinois Appellate Court Upholds Electrician’s Repetitive Trauma Claim Even Though He Had Varied Work Responsibilities

An Illinois worker is allowed to make a workers' compensation claim for repetitive trauma even if he had varied work duties. The Illinois Appellate Court made the decision to uphold the award for the claimant, an electrician who injured his upper extremities while on the job.

Because of the worker's hand intensive, repetitive work, the claimant sustained cubital tunnel, bilateral carpal tunnel, and pronator syndrome. He sought to receive past and future medical benefits by filing an adjustment to his claim.

During testimony, he explained how he had to work with a number of tools and that he used vibratory tools for at least five hours of his work day. His doctors said he sustained his injuries because of engaging in this repetitive work. Meantime, the claimant’s employer had argued that since the electrician performed so many tasks and not just one task, repetitive trauma was not warranted.

The Illinois Appellate Court, however, determined that there was enough evidence to support the electrician’s claim that he got hurt from doing his job. The court refused to reverse an award for proposed medical treatment that his doctor said was needed to help alleviate the repetitive trauma symptoms.

Cubital Tunnel Syndrome: Can be caused by frequently bending the elbow to lift, reach, or pull. Regular, direct pressure on the elbow can also lead to this condition. Irritation can occur while operating machinery or leaning on the elbow.

Pronator Syndrome: Can easily be mistaken for carpal tunnel syndrome. Can occur when the median nerve next to the forearm muscles get compressed. Can cause tingling and numbness. Condition may grow worse due to forceful twisting and gripping.

Bilateral Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Involves carpal tunnel syndrome in both wrists.

Varied work duties fail to short circuit electrician's repetitive trauma claim, Risk & Insurance, February 11, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, AFSCME

Pronator Syndrome,

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February 13, 2009

Recent Electric Worker Accidents Highlight Dangers that Come with the Job

An electric crew worker died on Tuesday when the pole he was working on broke. Andrew Reichwein died from his injuries. The 35-year-old electric worker was helping restore power in Kentucky following last month’s deadly ice storm. Reichwein plunged some 40 feet and was struck by a transformer located on top of the pole.

In an unrelated accident involving another electric worker, 61-year-old Ernie Russell was killed after he was electrocuted during a work accident. Russell was a senior electrical supervisor employed by Ashton Construction. According to a company spokesperson, Russell appears to have been putting up a light post when it struck power lines. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the cause of the deadly work accident.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics:
• Electrocution is a leading cause of construction worker deaths.
• From 2003 – 2005, 121 electrocutions happened each year.
• Earth drillers, electrical power installers, and repairers appear to be among the workers at most risk of dying from electrocution.
• Electrical power installers, supervisors, managers, repairers, construction laborers, and electricians are the construction occupations that seem to have the highest average for electrocution fatalities.
• Types of electrical workers: Supervisors, electricians, apprentices, helpers, electrical installers, and electrical repairers
• Main cause of electrocution for electrical workers: contact with live wiring and energized equipment.
• Other causes of electrocution injuries include live light fixtures and the failure to deenergize and tag or lock out electrical equipment and circuits.
• Electrical injuries may include electrical burns, electric shock, arc blast effects, heat burns, and falls after suffering from electric shock.

As an injured Chicago electrical worker, you are entitled to Illinois workers' compensation benefits if you sustained an electrocution-related injury on the job. If your loved one died in a Chicago work accident, you are likely entitled to workers' compensation death benefits.

Andover man dies while helping restore power in Kentucky, ABC Newspapers, February 12, 2009

Ashton employee ID'd in electrocution, Arizona Daily Star, February 12, 2009

Deaths from Contact with Electricity, eLCOSH, December 2007

Related Web Resources:
Occupational Safety & Health Administration

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers

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January 8, 2009

Family of Truck Driver Killed in Electrocution Work Accident Files Illinois Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Trucker Brian Johnson was driving to Reno Farms to make a cattle feed delivery on January 12, 2007 when his tractor-trailer made contact with a power line. He died from his electrocution injuries.

Now, in St. Clair County Circuit Court, Johnson’s family is suing M.J.M. Electric Cooperative, Fletcher-Reinhardt Service Company, and Cooper Power Systems for his wrongful death. According to their Illinois wrongful death lawsuit, M.J.M. Electric Cooperative acted negligently because it failed to make sure that the hazardous power line (which it owns) and its reclosures were properly maintained, failed to ensure that the power line was suspended at the correct height, and did not warn Johnson about the power line’s presence.

The complaint accuses Fletcher-Reinhardt Service Company of defectively rebuilding and improperly maintaining the power line’s circuit reclosure so that the circuit line could not be de-energized when contact occurred. Cooper Power Systems, the family contends, was negligent in its design and manufacture of the circuit reclosure. Johnson’s family is seeking a judgment exceeding $250,000 plus costs.

Third Party Lawsuits and Illinois Workers’ Compensation Claims
Most Illinois workers are guaranteed workers’ compensation and death benefits anytime they are injured or killed on the job, regardless of who is at fault. While Illinois workers’ compensation law prevents employees from suing their employers for their work injuries, third parties that may have been responsible for causing a victim’s work accident are not immune from liability.

Electrocution injuries are serious injuries that can be catastrophic, if not fatal, for the victim. Medical and recovery costs may be expensive, and you could need all the help you can get. For families who have lost someone they love in a work accident, compensation from third parties can provide a great deal of needed financial support to your existing Illinois workers' compensation death benefits.

Truck driver's electrocution subject of wrongful death complaint, The Madison/St Clair Record, January 7, 2009

Related Web Resources:

M.J.M. Electric Cooperative

Fletcher-Reinhardt Service Company

Cooper Power Systems

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