January 18, 2011

Cook County Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed Over Fatal Blue Island Work Accident

The family of Brain Fuller is suing several counties for his Illinois wrongful death. Fuller, who was employed by George J. Roll & Sons, suffered fatal Cook County crush injuries last February in a Blue Island work accident. At the time, he was working the hydraulic components under an elevated dump truck when the pump released.

Now, the 48-year-old La Grange man’s loved ones are suing those involved in the repair and building of parts used in the truck. They claim that Energy Manufacturing, Inc., which constructed the pump, is liable for the pump and controls defects that caused the pump to get stuck and then release at the wrong time. The family’s Cook County wrongful death lawyer says that EMI is also responsible for the “product design issues,” which included placing the controls below the dump body rather than outside the truck’s bed frame.

Chandler Services Inc., Williams Machine and Tool Co., and Groen’s Towing and Truck Repair and Buyers Products Co are the other defendants named in this Blue Island wrongful death case. All of these companies played a role in the maintenance or manufacture of the cable that was supposed to hold the dump frame’s hydraulic lift and keep the dump body in place.

Remember, not only are injured workers and their families likely entitled to Illinois workers’ compensation benefits, but also, they may have grounds for filing a Cook County personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit against liable third parties.

In other recent work injury news, a worker died in a Will County, Illinois industrial accident on December 30 after he ended up trapped beneath three tons of granite. The victim was 23-year-old Chicago resident Emilio Gallardo. He died at the work accident site.

Suit filed over workplace death in Blue Island, Chicago Sun-Times, January 17, 2011

Chicago Man Killed in Romeoville Industrial Accident, Woodridge Patch, December 30, 2011

Related Web Resources:
Illinois Workers' Compensation Act (PDF)

Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission

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November 24, 2010

Illinois Workers’ Compensation: Fingertip Injury Warrants Permanent Partial Disability Award

The Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission says that a journeyman ironworker’s fingertip injury merits a 20% permanent partial disability award for loss of use (rather than 35%). Finger pain, high sensitivity in the injured area, and the sensation of coldness are among the evidence to sufficiently support the award.

The ironworker got hurt while working as a ground man. At the time, he was working with a crane and a group of other workers to raise 100-pound joists. The tip of the claimant's left finger was ripped off when a coworker pushed one of the joists that he was aligning. Per medical records, the ironworker suffered a 4-centimeter fingertip laceration.

After returning to work while having limited use of his left hand, the claimant continued to experience pain inside his fingertip. He says that he hasn’t received medical care for his injury since after the work accident and that whenever his finger hits against an object he feels pain. The claimant said that his doctor “talked him out" of seeing a hand surgeon.

Permanent Partial Disability (PPD)
Permanent partial disability refers to the partial or complete loss or loss of use of a body part or the entire body as a whole. “Loss of use” refers to the worker’s inability to do certain tasks that he/she would have been able to prior to sustaining the work injury. PPD benefits are Illinois workers' compensation benefits that are paid to a worker after it becomes clear that his/her disability will not get better.

Ironworker secures PPD benefits for fingertip injury, Risk and Insurance, January 22, 2010

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August 28, 2010

Illinois Grain Bin Accident Kills Worker

A 49-year-old grain bin worker was killed on Friday during an Illinois work accident at the Hillsdale Grain Elevator in Geneseo. Henry County Coroner David Johnson says that he believes that Raymond Nowland died from asphyxiation. An autopsy will be conducted to verify his cause of death.

The deadly Illinois work accident happened at around 3pm as Nowland was removing wet corn from inside the bin. The corn collapsed on the worker and covered him.

Rescuers in grain removal trucks and with their equipment were unable to rescue Nowland in time. OSHA is going to investigate whether proper safety precautions had been put in place and whether the deadly Illinois work accident could have been prevented.

Illinois Workers’ Compensation
Our Illinois workers’ compensation law firm wants to remind you that if your family member was killed in an Illinois work accident, you should file your claim for survivors’ benefits as soon as possible. An experienced Illinois workers’ compensation lawyer can make sure you receive the maximum that you are owed.

Some reasons why grain bins are a suffocation hazard:
• New grain bins tend to be large in size, as are grain handling rates
• Often, grain bin workers work solo when moving or monitoring grain
• A worker may start grain transfer without realizing there is a co-worker in the bin
• Inadequate rescue response plan
• Inadequate safety measures

It doesn’t matter whether anyone was at fault in causing an Illinois grain bin accident. Employers should provide their employees with Illinois workers’ compensation for their work-related injuries or illness. Family members of a worker killed because of his/her job should get survivors' benefits.

Worker dies in Geneseo grain elevator accident, WQAD, August 27, 2010

Suffocation Hazard in Grain Bins, University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture (PDF)

Related Web Resources:


OSHA Lambasts Grain Companies for Workplace Deaths and Injuries, FairWarning, August 5, 2010

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August 13, 2010

BP Must Pay $50.6 Million Fine for Deadly 2005 Refinery Blast that Killed 15 Workers and Injured 170 Others

Energy giant BP has agreed to pay a $50.6 million fine for safety violations related to a March 23, 2005 refinery accident involving explosion that killed 15 workers and injured 170 others. Some of the victims were contract workers. The deadly blast happened during the restarting of a unit after it had undergone repairs.

When workers began to fill a tower with gasoline, the tower overflowed, sending excess gas into a back-up unit that also overflowed. A geyser of gasoline then shot up into the air. The gas created a large vapor cloud on the ground, which was likely ignited by an idling truck. Several office trailers filled with workers were destroyed.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration originally fined BP $21 million dollars for failing to take sufficient action to protect workers from the blast. After determining that BP still had not met its commitments to worker safety, last year the fine was increased to the current amount.

The wrongful death and injury attorneys for those that were injured and killed are hoping that now that BP has admitted that it has repeatedly failed to meet safety standards the company’s criminal probation will be revoked. BP reached a $373 million plea deal in 2007 over the 2005 Texas City refinery blast, a number of investigations related to an oil pipeline leak, and price fixing in the propane gas market.

BP is also now liable for billions of dollars in compensation payouts and fines following the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico this year. There was also the blast that sank the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, which BP had leased, last April. 11 workers were killed when the rig exploded.

Chicago Worker Injuries
In Lake County, Will County, DuPage County, and Cook County, Illinois, our Chicago workers’ compensation lawyers represent workers with work injury claims against their employers. We also represent employees with third party Chicago injury and wrongful death lawsuits related to their work injury accident.

BP to pay 50 million dollar fine for deadly 2005 Texas blast, AFP/Google, August 12, 2010

Relatives Fear the Dead Oil Rig Workers Are Forgotten, AOL News, May 23, 2010

The Explosion At Texas City, CBS News, October 29, 2006

Related Web Resources:
BP Global

Illinois Workers' Compensation Act (PDF)

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July 30, 2010

Mount Carroll Illinois Work Accident Deaths in Grain Bin Were Preventable, Says OSHA

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, an Illinois grain bin accident that killed two teenagers and injured a third was preventable. The teens that died are 14-year-old Wyatt Whitebread and 19-year-old Alejandro Pacas. A third worker, 20-year-old William Piper, is at a Rockford hospital.

The Illinois work accident happened on Wednesday morning in a bin belonging to Haasbach LLC. Rescuers had to cut holes in the bin’s sides and drain thousands of pounds of corn to retrieve the victims. The rescue operation took about 12 hours and more than 2 dozen firefighters.

According to a preliminary investigation, the three workers were not using safety harnesses or life lines at the time of the incident. Also, at age 14, Wyatt was under the legal age limit allowed for who can work in a grain bin.

Illinois Workers’ Compensation
Although employers are supposed to follow regulations and do what is necessary to keep workers safe, this isn’t always the case and even when it is, work accidents can happen. OSHA statistics report that from 1998 to 2008 there were 16 Illinois grain bin accidents.

Workers injured in grain bin accidents should file an Illinois workers’ compensation claim as soon as possible. It doesn’t matter whether or not anyone was at fault. State law requires that employers provide workers with work accident benefits. An experienced Chicago, Illinois workers’ compensation lawyer can help you determine how much you should receive. In the event of a dispute with your employer’s insurer as to whether or not your injuries are work-related enough to warrant benefits, your Illinois workers’ compensation attorney can represent you and aggressively advocate on your behalf.

Mount Carroll in shock over grain bin deaths, Quad-City Times, July 29, 2010

OSHA: 2 Illinois grain bin deaths were preventable, AP/Google, July 28, 2010

Grain bin accidents happen quickly, SoutheastFarmPress, November 6, 2002

Related Web Resources:
Illinois Industrial Commission

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

Grain Bin Safety, University of Illinois Extension

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July 6, 2010

Worker Dies in Chicago, Illinois Industrial Accident at Berlin Industries

A worker who was crushed by a paper roll during a Chicago industrial accident at Berlin Industries, which is located in the Carol Stream suburb, has died. Jorge Espinosa sustained fatal injuries early on the morning of June 26, 2010 when more than 100 pounds of paper crushed him while his shoulders and head got caught in a suction bailer.

Local firefighters and paramedics arrived at the plant but by then Espinosa did not have any vital signs. He was pronounced dead, but because of the large volumes of paper around him, the process of extracting him took about two hours. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the fatal work accident.

Crush Injuries
Crush injuries can prove catastrophic. They can lead to crushed bones, internal injuries, rhabdomyolysis (which involves ruptured muscles that can release myoglobin into the body), kidney failure, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and death. Crush injuries can disable a person for life. Machinery accidents, falling debris, equipment malfunctions, safety violations, and inadequate safety equipment and gear are some reasons why Chicago crush accidents can happen on the job.

A worker injured on the job should be able to receive their Chicago, Illinois workers’ compensation benefits from his/her employer. Surviving family members of a worker that died can file a Chicago survivors’ benefits claim.

Carol Stream IL Industrial Accident: Berlin Industries worker crushed by paper, New York Injury News, July 2, 2010

Crush injuries can be deceptively dangerous, CNN, January 21, 2010

Related Web Resource:
United States Department of Labor


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May 29, 2010

OSHA Orders Belvidere Company to Pay $510,000 Fine for Deadly Blast that Killed Trucker and Exposed Workers to Hazards

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has ordered NDK Crystals Inc. to pay a $510,000 fine for allegedly serious and egregious federal workplace safety standards violations related to a blast killed a trucker and exposed other employees to hazardous conditions.

The truck driver, Ronald Greenfield was in the parking lot of a service station when he was hit by a large chunk of debris last December. The debris came from the company’s crystal manufacturing building. Also injured was a woman who worked Grupo Antolin Illinois Inc. She was thrown during the explosion and treated at the scene before being released. The blast also exposed workers at the facility to hazards that were created as a result.

The explosion happened because a pressurized vessel exploded. Chunks of concrete, glass, sheet metal, and other debris went flying several hundred feet.

If you were injured in a work accident you must file your Illinois workers’ compensation claim as soon as possible so that your employer’s insurer can start covering your medical bills. You have enough to worry about without stressing out about whether or not you can pay for the medical care that you need. Even if your employer did not cause the injury you are likely entitled to Illinois work injury benefits. You also may be able to sue the party responsible for your work accident for Illinois personal injury.

OSHA fines NDK Crystals $510,000 for violations, Chicago Breaking News, May 27, 2010

NDK review may take months, RRStar.com, December 9, 2009

Related Web Resource:
Occupational Safety and Health Administration

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March 10, 2010

16 Workers and the Widow of One of the Six Employees Killed in Kleen Energy Plant Blast File Their Workers’ Compensation Claims

One month after a catastrophic blast at the Kleen Energy Plant injured 17 workers and killed 6 other employees, 16 of the injured workers and the widow of one of the workers that died have filed their workers’ compensation claims for benefits. The deadly explosion happened at midday on February 8, causing damage to the plant, as well as to several nearby homes. Investigators believe that natural gas had pooled outside the power building and exploded.

Because the pipes going to the large turbines were being purged, natural gas was pumping through the lines at a high pressure. Investigators want to know why the workers that weren’t involved in the purging were in the building when, per industry guidelines, they should have been evacuated.

Among the workers who were injured were four Keystone Construction employees, a Securitas security guard, two Ducci Electric of Torrington employees, and 10 United/Anco Services carpenters. One Keystone worker, 59-year-old Charles Sposito, says he injured his knee and shoulder and sustained a concussion. Sposito was thrown against a wall as a natural gas pipe exploded. Another Keystone employee, 37-year-old Anthony J. Laudano, says he injured his back during the blast and has suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the work accident. Many of the carpenters, sustained ear, eye, and head injuries.

Chicago, Illinois Workers’ Compensation
It is important that you file your work injury claim for benefits as soon as you can. This will increase the chances that you get your Illinois workers’ compensation sooner rather than later. Unfortunately, many injured Illinois workers don’t file their claims or agree to get paid far less than what they are entitled to receive.

Injured Workers, Widow File Compensation Claims In Kleen Energy Plant Explosion, Courant.com, March 5, 2010

Kleen Energy Connecticut Power Plant Blast Kills 5, Injures 12, Business Week/Bloomberg, February 7, 2010

Related Web Resource:
Illinois Workers' Compensation Act (PDF)

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March 5, 2010

Utility Worker Dies in Chicago, Illinois Industrial Accident

A tragic Chicago, Illinois industrial accident has claimed the life of utility worker Michael Gryga. The 39-year-old Peoples Gas employee was testing equipment underground in the Loop on Wednesday afternoon when he and another worker were hit by a pressurized pipe.

One bystander, Kevin Spillers, was walking above ground when he saw dust floating out of the hole. He jumped in and helped remove sand from Gryga’s mouth and face to help him breathe.

Gryga, who sustained multiple injuries, died. The other worker was also critically injured.

Industrial Accidents
Over 1,00 workers die in the US each year because of industrial accident injuries. Common causes of industrial accidents:

• Gas exposure
• Falling objects
• Explosions
• Machinery defects
• Dangerous equipment
• Lack of the proper safety equipment

It doesn’t matter whether your Chicago, Illinois industrial accident was caused by someone’s negligence or carelessness. If you are employed, your employer will likely owe you and your family work injury benefits.

Chicago, Illinois Workers’ Compensation
Our Chicago, Illinois workers’ compensation lawyers cannot stress how important it is that an injured worker or his/her surviving family members file their work injury or death benefits immediately. You may even want to retain a Chicago work injury attorney to make sure that your employer’s insurer gives you everything you are owed without delay.

Utility worker killed in loop underground accident, ABC7 News, March 3, 2010

Frankfort man killed in Peoples Gas mishap downtown, Chicago Sun-Times, March 4, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission

US Department of Laborhttp://www.malmanlaw.com/lawyer-attorney-1199757.html

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February 6, 2010

Jury Awards $12.1 Million to Worker Paralyzed During Refinery Accident

A jury has awarded David English $12.1 million for spinal cord injuries he sustained during a refinery accident that left him paralyzed. English, a master electrician, severed his spinal cord and broke his neck when a stack of electrical cabinets fell on him, causing the 49-year-old to fall against steps. He is now a quadriplegic, can only breathe with the help of a ventilator, and lives in a nursing home. The defendants in the case included refinery owner Alon USA, refinery contractor Bay Ltd, and Universal Construction.

Refinery Accidents
Working at a refinery comes with occupational hazards that can cause serious injuries. This is why it is so important that employers make sure that safety measures are in place at all times so that workers are protected from toxic pollutants, hazardous chemicals, and other dangers that commonly occur on the job.

Examples of injuries that a refinery worker might sustain during a work accident:

• Burn injuries
• Lead poisoning
• Heat exposure
• Fall injuries
Slip and fall injuries
• Chemical burns
• Asbestos-related illnesses
• Exposure to Silica
• Exposure to Benzene

Illinois Workers’ Compensation
You should submit your Illinois workers’ compensation claim as soon as possible so that you can start receiving your work injury benefits. Unfortunately, not all employers will give you the workers’ compensation benefits that you are owed, which is why getting legal help from an experienced Chicago workers' compensation attorney will work to your advantage. You may be able to file Illinois refinery accident lawsuits against liable third parties.

Nueces County jury awards $12.1M man paralyzed in refinery accident, Caller.com, February 4, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Illinois Workers' Compensation Act, Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission

Spinal Cord Injury, 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, Forbes.com 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 30, 2009

Injured Boilermaker Sues Third Parties for Personal Injuries Sustained in Illinois Work Accident

A boilermaker who says he was injured in a work accident is suing two companies for Illinois personal injury. Ronald McMillan was working at Conoco Phillips refinery on November 20, 2008 when a welding machine with a jack stand that he was moving collapsed, crushing his left foot.

McMillan is suing Miller Welding and Iron Works and DJ Miller Enterprises. He is alleging negligent design of a machine that had a jack stand that wasn’t strong enough to support it and the failure to warn of possible hazards. McMillan is seeking over $200,000 plus costs.

McMillan says the Illinois work accident caused him to suffer permanent and serious disabilities, experience great mental and physical pain and incur medical expenses. Because of his inability to work he contends that he lost significant income.

Illinois Workers’ Compensation
As an injured worker, you are likely entitled to Illinois workers’ compensation benefits from your employer. You may even be able to sue third parties that were responsible for your work injuries for personal injury compensation.

Illinois workers’ compensation usually entitles injured workers to compensation for all necessary medical services, including first aid, surgeries, hospital services, and doctors visits to heal or relieve the injury or illness. Benefits for disabilities and time taken off work are also provided. While you cannot sue your employer for personal injury, liable third parties are not exempt from being sued for personal injury or wrongful death. Obtaining injury compensation from these responsible parties may be critical--especially if your injuries are catastrophic.

Jack stand collapses, boilermaker claims in suit, The Record, November 23, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Illinois Workers' Compensation Benefits, Malman Law

Risk and Insurance Online

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November 3, 2009

Two Illinois Gas Plant Workers Injured in Fiery Blast

In Illinois, two gas plant workers were injured at a St. Elmo gas plant last Wednesday when a fire broke out. The Natural Gas Pipeline Company believes the fire started while welding was taking place on a ground storage tank that was holding natural gas. Witnesses say a number of blasts occurred as a result of the fire.

The two workers who got hurt were the ones engaged in the welding work. Investigators say the 10,000 gallon tank was supposed to only contain oil and waste water. They are trying to determine where a mistake was made.

Working with natural gas can be dangerous. Work injuries can occur during fires, chemical spills, fall accidents, refinery blasts, machinery accidents, while toxic gas is being released, or during other kinds of work accidents.

Burns, broken bones, internal injuries, disfigurement, severed limbs, crushed body parts, traumatic brain injuries, and spinal cord injuries are just some of the injuries that can result from a work accident at a gas plant.

Most workers are entitled to Illinois workers’ compensation benefits in the event that they are seriously injured and need to take time off. There also may be third parties that the worker can sue for Illinois personal injury. With so many factors possibly involved in causing a gas plant accident, a construction accident, or another kind of industrial accident that it can be hard to determine who is liable without consulting with a Chicago injury lawyer about your case.

Natural Gas Tank Explosion In St. Elmo, Illinois, Fox2Now, October 28, 2009

Fiery explosion injures 2 gas plant workers, Justice News Flash, November 3, 2009

Related Web Resources:
US Department of Labor


Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission

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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:

Continue reading "OSHA’s 2009 Top 10 Safety Violations " »

October 29, 2009

Recent Industrial and Construction Accidents Result in Catastrophic Injuries

The last few days have been rough for at least three workers who sustained catastrophic injuries on the job. On Saturday, Seth Golbitz severed four fingers on his right hand during an industrial accident.

Doctors were able to reattach his index finger. However, they could not save his ring finger and middle finger. His pinkie now only extends up to his first knuckle.

Golbitz, 32, and another worker were using a computer-controlled overhead router when the work accident happened. OSHA is investigating the incident.

On Monday, a worker fell to his death at a CPS Energy coal plant. According to another worker, Toby Shane Berry was on an unsecured portion of a walkway that tipped. Berry lost his balance and fell approximately 30 feet. He died from fatal head injuries.

Even though the 27-year-old was wearing a safety harness, he did not secure it to anything.

Berry is the second person killed this year during a fall accident at the construction site. In January, Horatio Sepulveda was working on scaffolding when he fell.

Calaveras Power Partners, Berry’s employer, says the company requires that all workers be secured by two harnesses when working at elevated heights.

Also on Monday, another worker was sent to the hospital when he was buried alive during a construction accident. Cory A. Rogers was working in a 7-foot trench when he was covered by dirt and rocks. It took rescuers over an hour to dig him out.

Worker falls to death at power plant, My San Antonio, October 27, 2009

1 of Cranston worker's 4 fingers reattached, The Providence Journal, October 26, 2009

Bristol man remains in guarded condition following construction accident, MPN Now, October 27, 2009

Related Web Resources:

Construction Safety, CDC

Workers' Compensation Overview, Justia

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October 21, 2009

Chicago Worker Dies in Crush Accident at Industrial Company

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration says the probe into the death of a 63-year-old janitor could take up to half a year. Dennis Woods, a Chicago resident, died following an Illinois work accident at Material Sciences Corp., an Elk Grove Village industrial company, on Wednesday.

According to Elk Grove Village Fire Battalion Chief William Sellers, Woods was attempting to place an 18,500 pound, 5,800 feet long steel coil onto a machine so it could get a paint finish when the heavy object fell on him.

He became trapped under the heavy object and died before rescuers arrived. It took firefighters several hours to extricate his body from under the coil.

Woods had been working for the industrial company for over 30 years.

Illinois Workers’ Compensation
If someone you love was killed during a work accident, you may be entitled to Illinois workers’ compensation benefits for your loved one’s death. Losing someone you love is always a tragedy. It can also take a huge financial toll, which is one of the reasons it is important that you receive your survivors’ benefits.

The spouse and children of a worker who had workers’ compensation are entitled to full benefits in the event of the employee's death. If there is no eligible husband, wife, son, or daughter, then the worker's totally dependent parents can receive the benefits.

Investigation into worker's death could take half a year: OSHA, Daily Herald, October 15, 2009

Man killed in Elk Grove Village workplace accident, Chicago Breaking News, October 14, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Workers' Compensation Benefits

ndustrial Accidents, Chicago Tribune

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October 9, 2009

Industrial Accident Kills Worker Who is Crushed in Molding Press

Police are looking into a fatal work accident involving a worker who was crushed in a molding press at Buckhorn LLC on Wednesday night. The machine reportedly was malfunctioning.

31-year-old Toby Hall was in the machine when it was activated. The worker who was operating the machine thought Hall had left to get a tool so he activated the machine.

According to Occupational Safety and Health Administration records, the plant has received nine citations this year. Three of them were “serious” violations.

On Thursday, one worker was critically injured when he fell 130 feet. Jason Redke was on a platform helping secure a spout to the petal “leg” structure used for distributing grain to bins when the weld that held the spout to a crane came loose. The leg collapsed and along with Redke fell into a pile of rubble. During the collapse, another worker, 27-year-old Shawn Babbitt, fell some 30 feet from a bin top. Redke was hospitalized in critical condition while Babbitt was hospitalized in fair condition.

In another fatal work accident, Darrell T. Seiber died today when his coal truck drove off a mountain road. He may have been operating the truck at a vehicle faster than what was acceptable considering the road conditions. Seiber, 48, was a contract driver working for Cox Trucking.

A US Mine Safety and Health Administration spokesperson said that Seiber sustained fatal head injuries when he tried to jump out of the truck. The truck crash is considered a mining accident.

Our Chicago construction accident lawyers represent workers injured in Illinois construction accidents and other industrial accidents. We are also experienced Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys. This means that not only will we work to maximize the recovery you are owed from all liable third parties, but we can make sure your employer fully compensates you for your work injuries.

Workers say unusual break in weld caused man to be critically injured in 130-foot fall at Lake Odessa grain elevator, Mlive.com, October 8, 2009

Worker dies in crash on mine land, Knox News, October 9, 2009

Worker at plant crushed to death, News-Leader.com, October 9, 2009

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July 28, 2009

OSHA Investigates Fatal Chicago Work Accident in Humboldt Park

A 33-year-old worker died on Monday after he was struck by stone slabs at a marble warehouse for injuries he sustained during an Chicago industrial accident on Wednesday. Gilbert Sandoval Ramirez was pronounced dead at John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital. According to police, Ramirez sustained blunt trauma and multiple fractures during the Chicago work accident.

Just the day before, in East Chicago, a female worker, 37, died at the ArcelorMittal Indiana Harbor Plant East during a work accident. Angela Smith also had sustained a blunt force trauma injury.

Blunt Force Trauma Injuries
Blunt force trauma usually involves injury to a certain area of the body caused by a sudden or heavy force that leads to trauma to that body part. A blunt force trauma injury can occur during fall accidents, when a swinging or falling object that is heavy strikes the worker, or during a machinery accident. Blunt force trauma injuries are frequently serious injuries that can prove fatal—especially if it affects the head or a major organ of the body.

Sometimes, there may not be any visual symptoms to indicate that a worker sustained a blunt trauma injury during a work accident. Common signs of blunt force trauma, however, can include:

• Bruising, which may be a sign of broken blood vessels
• Lacerations, which may indicate that there is tissue tearing or organ damage
• Abrasions

It is important to file your Chicago workers’ compensation paperwork with your employer as soon as possible after your work injury accident.

OSHA investigates death of warehouse employee on West Side, Chicago Sun-Times, July 27, 2009

Mittal worker, 37, dies of blunt force trauma at E.C. steel mill, NWI Times, July 27, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Blunt Force Trauma, ExploreForensics.Co.UK


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July 13, 2009

Cottage Hills Worker Dies in East Alton Industrial Accident

An Illinois worker died in an East Alton industrial accident on Saturday. According to the Madison County Coroner’s Office, Michael B. Niswandir was hit in the chest by industrial machinery.

Niswandir’s death is not the only tragic work accident to recently happen involving work machinery. On Monday, a warehouse worker died after getting entangled in a cardboard recycling shredder. An investigation is pending.

Examples of Work Machine Injuries:
• Crushed hands and fingers
• Amputated arms
• Lost fingers
• Eye injuries
• Broken or crushed legs
• Nerve damage
• Burn injuries
• Traumatic brain injuries
• Blindness
• Spinal cord injuries
• Dismemberment
• Wrongful death

Examples of Industrial Machinery that Can Cause Serious Injuries:
• Printing presses
• Power saws
• Cranes
• Tractor-trailers
• Power saws
• Punch presses
• Drills
• Grinders
• Shearing machines

Because of the nature of an industrial worker’s job, catastrophic injuries may make it impossible for the worker to ever go back to work again. This is why it is important that you start receiving the Illinois workers’ compensation benefits that you are owed in a timely manner.

We know how important it is to make sure that you start getting the medical care that you need to treat your injuries and for your family to receive the financial support provided by your job.

Cottage Hills man killed in workplace accident at Olin Brass, BND.com, July 12, 2009

L.A. Worker Killed in Cardboard Recycling Shredder, Fox News, July 13, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Machinery Accidents, Wrong Diagnosis

Department of Industrial Accidents, Labor and Workforce Development

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June 30, 2009

Catastrophic Work Accidents on Monday Lead to Injuries and Deaths

It’s only Tuesday and already several workers have been seriously injured or killed in US work accidents this week. Hopefully, their workers’ compensation benefits can help cover costs incurred from the accident and provide financial relief.

Yesterday, three workers died while in a liquid-filled hole at a waste transfer plant. Authorities say the workers appear to have been overcome by toxic fumes. Two of the people that died were a father and a son.

The hole was 18-feet deep and had about four feet of liquid in it. One worker fell into the hole. A second worker tried to rescue him. A third worker that was trying to assist the two workers also fell into the hole. Firefighters say that by the time they arrived at the work accident site, the three bodies were face down in the liquid. Authorities say there were toxic levels of hydrogen sulfide in the air. The plant is run by M & P Reali Enterprises.

Also on Monday, a 53-year-old worker died after he was run over by the tractor he was operating. Reginaldo Correa Talamantes, 53, got caught under the vehicle's rear wheel. He was pronounced dead at the work accident site.

In an unrelated work accident in another US state, foreman John Evans’s leg was crushed while he was trying to line up the milling machine. He tripped and fell in front of the machine. The machine operator did not see Evans and ran over his leg.

Sustaining a catastrophic injury in any accident is a traumatic and devastating event that not only causes great pain and injury to the victim and his or her family, but it also can dramatically impact the worker's ability to work and earn a living. This is why it is important that you receive all of the Illinois workers’ compensation benefits that you are owed.

Willows orchard worker killed in tractor accident, ChicoER.com, June 30, 2009

Worker's leg crushed in road milling accident, The Herald-Mail, June 30, 2009

3 Workers Dead at Waste Plant in Queens, NY Times, June 29, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Illinois Industrial Commission

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June 9, 2009

Slim Jim Plant Blast Injures Over 30 People

A blast at a Slim Jim meat products plant today injured at least 38 people. As of this report, 2 others are missing. 5 of the injured parties—including three firefighters—are in serious condition. 4 of these critically injured patients have burns in 40 – 60% of their bodies.

The majority of the other injured parties were treated and released. One man, who sustained burns on his arms, head, and legs said that his clothes had to be cut off him. Smoke inhalation and exposure to ammonia—a toxic cloud was floating around the plant after the explosion—are among the other injury concerns.

Authorities are still trying to locate the remaining missing people. A third person that was missing has been found and was taken to a hospital.

Some 300 people were in the plant when the blast occurred, causing parts of the roof to collapse. At this time, the cause of the blast is not known.

The Slim Jim plant is a ConAgra Foods plant. The state had inspected the plant last July and there were no reports of violations—although there have been reported violations in the past.

Commonly used as a refrigerant in food processing plants, including meatpacking plants, ammonia gas can prove dangerous to workers’ health. Ammonia can burn the eyes and skin. During an ammonia leak, an ammonia cloud can cause swelling and burning to occur to the lung, nose, and throat passages. Exposure to serious ammonia leaks can lead to pulmonary edema, permanent eye or lung problems, or infectious diseases. Regular exposure to ammonia over a long period of time can lead to excess mucus or bronchitis.

If you are a worker who sustained burn injuries or ammonia-related injuries or any other type of injuries in a work-related explosion, you need to report your injuries as soon as possible so you can start receiving your Illinois workers’ compensation benefits. In the event that a dispute over benefits arises, you should consider exploring your legal options.

3 critical, 2 missing after Slim Jim plant explosion, CNN, June 9, 2009

Four critically burned in Slim Jim plant explosion, roof collapse, WRAL, June 9, 2009

Ammonia, UCFW

Related Web Resources:
ConAgra Foods

Meatpacking Industry, OSHA

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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, WCPO.com, 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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May 14, 2009

Illinois Workers' Compensation Law Firm: Occupational Safety and Health Administration to Propose Combustible Dust Hazards-Related Rulemaking

OSHA is issuing an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on combustible dust dangers. This issue is important, considering that over 130 US workers have died and more than 780 others were hurt in work explosions involving combustible dust since 1980. Just last month, three workers sustained burn injuries from an Illinois work accident during a combustible dust blast at a pet food plant.

US Secretary of Labor says that many combustible dust explosion-related catastrophic injuries and deaths were preventable. This is why OSHA is now taking the steps to make sure that workers are protected while on the job.

Combustible Dust Blasts
Combustible dust can consist of wood, magnesium, paper, aluminum, coal, plastic, flour, rubber, sugar and other materials that have been finely ground into fine chips, fibers, flakes, particles, or chunks. These are the types of combustible dust that when suspended in air under certain conditions can cause an explosion or blast.

The force of impact from a combustible blast can kill people and destroy entire buildings. Industries where combustible blast hazards exist include those involving: pharmaceuticals, grain, plastics, tobacco, paper, wood, rubber, pulp, textiles, furniture, pesticides, coal, dyes, aluminum, magnesium, iron, chromium, zinc, and fossil fuel power generation.

In 2006, the US Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board recommended that the federal government develop stricter combustible dust controls. The board said these tougher dust standards would save lives. It also encouraged OSHA to implement standards that the National Fire Protection Association had developed.

US Rep. George Miller (D-Calif) had also introduced a bill to force changes to be made to dust regulations. While his legislation passed in the US House in April 2008, the Senate did not act on it. He reintroduced the bill this year.

Our Chicago workers’ compensation law firm can make sure you receive all the benefits you are owed for your combustible dust blast injuries.

OSHA : Rulemaking on Combustible Dust Hazards, Powder and Bulk, May 12, 2009

OSHA moves to toughen combustible dust rules, Courier-Journal, May 10, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Combustible Dust, OSHA

House passes Combustible Dust protections, Union Review, April 30, 2008

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April 25, 2009

Worker Deaths At Chemical Plant Caused by Human Error

According to the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board, the blast that killed to workers at the Bayer Crop Science Chemical plant in August was caused by human error and management decisions. The federal agency also determined that Bayer had tried to conceal details about the work accident, arguing that portions of the board’s report did not have to be disclosed per antiterrorist legislation. Now, the US Attorney’s Office may conduct an investigation to determine whether Bayer engaged in criminal conduct.

The deadly blast took place on August 28, 2008 at around 10:30pm in the “residue treater” of the unit where the plant manufactures methomyl, a raw material used to make an insecticide called Larvin. The production process that took place that night was unusually hazardous because it was the unit’s first start-up following a three-month shutdown—both procedures can be dangerous. Also, a new computer control system had been installed during the renovation period and Bayer had yet to set up a proper operating procedure or training system.

An undersized heater used for the unit was not creating enough heat. As a result, workers had to deactivate two safety valves so more methomyl could enter the treater in order to generate more heat. Also, workers neglected to add a solvent, which let the methomyl concentration hit dangerous levels. According to the board, the Bayer management’s system failed and let the operators make these decisions. Also, worker fatigue may have been a factor because the two workers who were killed in the blast, 58-year-old Bill Oxley and 45-year-old Barry Withlow, had been regularly working 12- to 18- hour shifts without any time off.

Among the errors and management decisions cited was the violation of safety protocols. Bayer plant manager Nick Crosby said the company is trying to learn from the deadly work incident and has implemented more operational procedures, additional training, safety improvements, and a compliance structure. Chemical safety board chairman John S. Bresland says the Bayer plant is one of the most dangerous chemical plants in the US.

Chemical Plant Injuries
Many chemical accidents are a result of negligence or recklessness actions by the chemical plant owner, the manufacturer of defective machinery, or another liable party. Not only are injured workers likely entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, but there may be parties that are not the worker’s employer that can be held liable for personal injury or wrongful death.

Safety Panel Cites Errors in Blast at Chemical Plant, New York Times, April 23, 2009

Report Released on Institute Chemical Plant Explosion, WSAZ, April 23, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Bayer Plant Cited for 13 Serious Violations Including Safety, Huntingtonnews.net, February 27, 2009

Bayer CropScience

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February 24, 2009

East Chicago Steel Plant Explosion Injures Three Workers

Three workers were injured earlier this month when an explosion occurred at an East Chicago steel plant. The workers, 36-year-old Tracy Sandoval, 41-year-old James Broviak, and 55-year-old Jeff Schnebel, were at a blast furnace slag pit when the work accident happened. All three workers are subcontractors.

Sandoval sustained a serious head injury, and Schnebel, who sustained third-degree burns, is being treated at the University of Chicago Medical Center’s Burn Unit. Broviak sustained minor injuries. Local police say the explosion occurred when a large quantity of slag was placed in the water.

Working at a steel plant can be a dangerous job. Employees are dealing with heavy machinery and certain hazardous materials. This is why it is so important that the proper safety procedures are implemented and workers are properly trained, supervised, and equipped with the correct gear. Also, all equipment and machinery at the work site must be properly maintained and operated safely and correctly.

Injuries sustained in a machinery accident or a steel plant blast can result in catastrophic injuries for the workers involved. The worker may need weeks or longer to recover and there is a possibility that he or she may never be able to work again.

You must take the proper steps to make sure that you receive all of the workers’ compensation benefits you are owed. Retaining the services of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can ensure that you are paid on time and that any disputes with your employer’s insurer are successfully dealt with by someone who is advocating on your behalf. Your lawyer can also determine if any liable third parties should be sued for personal injury.

Slag explosion injures three at ArcelorMittal mill in East Chicago, Post-Tribune, February 17, 2009

Accident at East Chicago steel plant under investigation, NWI.com, February 16, 2009

Two workers still hospitalized after explosion at ArcelorMittal steel mill in East Chicago, Post-Tribune, February 19, 2009

Related Web Resource:
Industrial Accidents, Chicago Tribune

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February 11, 2009

Chicago Worker Dies in Machinery Crush Accident

In Chicago, a Melrose Park resident suffered fatal injuries when he was fatally crushed while working a machine at an envelope factor. Hiep Vu’s coworkers say they found him stuck in the rollers of the machine. Chicago Fire Department workers were called to Cenveo Inc. and they transported the 54-year-old Illinois worker to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center where he was later pronounced dead.

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration is investigating the cause of the deadly industrial accident.

Common causes of machinery accidents:

• Defective machinery
• Dangerous machinery due to poor safety features or design
• Toxic fumes emission
• Lack of safety equipment
• Inadequate training
• Improper maintenance
• Failure to replace old machinery

Each year, many industrial workers sustain disabling and other catastrophic injuries because they were involved in machinery accidents. In many cases, workers end up losing a limb of seriously lacerating a finger or getting fatally injured because their bodies were crushed by machinery. These injuries are not only difficult to fully recover from, but they can impair a worker's ability to hold another job in his or her field while severely limiting the ability to earn a proper living.

It is the job of an industrial worker’s employer to make sure that employees work in a safe environment and that all safeguards are in place to prevent accidents from happening. Machine manufacturers and machinery maintenance companies are also obligated to make sure that machines are in safe, working condition.

There are steps you can take to make sure that your employer’s insurer pays you all of the Illinois workers’ compensation benefits that you are owed and that the payments are made to you in a timely manner.

Man Crushed In Northwest Side Factory, CBS2Chicago, February 11, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Occupational Safety and Health Administration

Cenveo Inc

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January 29, 2009

Steel Mill Worker who Fell off Ladder Awarded $48 Million Personal Injury Verdict

In the United States, a steel mill worker who became paralyzed to the waist down after he fell from a ladder was awarded a $48 million work injury lawsuit against a subcontractor. Anthony Arciniega sustained a spinal cord injury after he fell 17 feet in 2004.

The 42-year-old worker fell because of the refractory concrete that was covering the ladder. Arciniega’s personal injury lawsuit contends that contractor Minteq International’s negligence contributed to his catastrophic work accident. The jury also decided that the steel mill where the accident occurred should be required to pay half of the $48 million verdict.

Arciniega is now a paraplegic. During the civil trial, coworker and his doctors testified that he went back to work in a wheelchair even though he was experiencing nerve pain. Arciniega says he returned to work within six months of the accident because he needed to support his family.

If you have been injured in a work accident, you may not be able to sue your employer for personal injury, but you may have grounds to file a claim against a liable third party. You are also likely entitled to Illinois workers’ compensation benefits.

A spinal cord injury can occur when a vertebrae gets dislocated or fractured by a blow. The damage can wear into cord tissues and put pressure on certain nerves. This can lead to paralysis. Depending on the degree of paralysis, a person’s ability to move and live a normal life can be severely impaired.

According to Brain and Spinal Cord.org, some of the many effects of paralysis:

• Brain damage
• Speech problems
• Behavioral difficulties
• Blood clots
• Constipation
• Loss of bowel control
• Sexual dysfunction
• Blood sores
• Circulation problems
• Breathing problems

Paralyzed Steelworker Wins $48 Million Verdict, The Huffington Post, December 15, 2008

Signs and Symptoms of Paralysis, BrainandSpinalCord.org

Spinal Cord Injuries, MedlinePlus

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January 10, 2009

Worker Killed in Conveyor Belt Collapse at Sewage Camp

A wastewater treatment plant worker died on Friday after he was crushed in a temporary conveyor belt collapse accident. Workers were moving the belt, which was being used to take out grit from sewage, when it collapsed, buckling in the middle and falling on 45-year-old Gennaro Montello.

A contractor used his forklift to free Montello, just as emergency workers arrived at the accident scene. The worker was pronounced dead a few hours later at a local hospital. He leaves behind his wife and two children.

A second worker, Joseph DiGiovanni, was injured while trying to rescue Montello from under the conveyor belt. On Friday, DiGiovanni was at a hospital in stable condition.

An investigation is being conducted into the cause of the work accident, including whether there were flaws in the construction of the 34-foot-long, 3-foot wide construction belt, which weighs several thousand pounds. Contracting company WDF provided the conveyor belt.

Conveyor Belt Accidents
According to the US Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 50 work injury deaths involving conveyor belts occur every year. There are steps that conveyor belt manufacturers can take to make sure their products are safe for use. Employers can also properly train and safely equip workers so that they minimize the risk of conveyor belt-related injuries and deaths.

Conveyor belts that are improperly guarded or arranged in a hazardous manner, as well as conveyor equipment that is designed defectively or malfunctions are common causes of work injuries and deaths. Unsafe loading of the belt can also lead to injuries. Conveyor belt-related injuries can include crush injuries, broken bones, ergonomic injuries, head injuries from falling debris, and internal injuries.

City worker's grieving wife said husband died in 'freak accident', Daily News, January 11, 2009

City Worker Crushed to Death at Sewage Plant in Brooklyn, New York TImes, January 9, 2009

Related Web Resources:

Conveyor Safety Information & Resources, Cisco

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

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