August 25, 2010

OSHA Fines SeaWorld in Trainer’s Drowning Death from Killer Whale Attack

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has fined SeaWorld $75,000 following the death of a trainer who was mauled by one of its killer whales. Federal workplace safety officials say that the sea park committed a “willful” violation when it exposed trainers in a manner that could allow the animals to strike or drown them. OSHA also contends that SeaWorld has shown “plain indifference” or “intentional disregard” when it comes to employee safety and failed to “make meaningful changes” to improve such deficiencies.

Trainer Dawn Brancheau was killed last February when a 12,000-pound killer whale pulled her into the water and drowned her at the SeaWorld in Orlando. Dozens of tourists, some of them were attending the "Dine with Shamu" show at the time, witnessed the tragic accident.

Since Brancheau’s death, trainers are no longer allowed in the tanks with orcas.

According, Brancheau’s husband Scott Brancheau has hired a wrongful death lawyer. It is not known at this time whether he intends to sue SeaWorld or another party.

Generally, employees and their families are usually entitled to workers’ compensation or survivors’ benefits and cannot sue an employer for personal injury or wrongful death. However, Florida law has a narrow exception that allows an employee to file a civil suit against an employer if the latter knew without a doubt that the worker was at risk of injury or death.

Illinois Workers’ Compensation
Filing a Chicago workers’ compensation claim or a third party injury lawsuit can be a confusing process unless you have an Illinois workers’ compensation law firm working to ensure that you receive all that you are owed. Getting hurt or losing someone you love in a work accident is an unfortunate occurrence and there is no reason that you should incur additional financial losses when other parties should be held liable.

Husband Of Killed SeaWorld Trainer Hires Lawyer, WESH, August 25, 2010

Feds cite SeaWorld in trainer's death, SignonSanDiego, August 23, 2010

SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau dies in killer-whale attack in Orlando, Palm Beach Post, February 25, 2010

Related Web Resources:


SeaWorld Trainer Dies in Fatal Killer Whale Attack, ChicagoWorkersCompensationLawyersBlog, February 25, 2010

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June 25, 2010

OSHA Investigates Illinois Worker’s Death at Newton Plant

48-year-old James K. Humphres died on June 7 when he was fatally injured during an Illinois work accident at the GSI Group plant in Newton. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has been investigating the machine operator’s death.

Results from an autopsy performed the day after his death indicate a preliminary finding of blunt force compression trauma causing compound cranial fractures.

If your loved one died in an Illinois work accident it is important to file your claim for survivors’ benefits as soon as possible. This should prevent any delays in you receiving the compensation you are owed. It doesn’t matter who was at fault in causing the work injury. Under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, family members are entitled to survivors benefits, which can include:

• $8,000 for burial costs
• 66 2/3rd% of the employee’s gross average weekly wage during the 52 weeks prior to the work injury (minimum and maximum limits apply)
• Minimum survivors’ benefit cannot fall under 50% of the statewide average weekly wage at the time that the injury happened (a reduction for individuals that were partially dependent on the deceased may apply)
• Maximum survivors’ benefit cannot exceed 113 1/3% of the SAWW at the time of injury. This benefit is paid for 25 years of weekly benefits or $500,000 (whichever amount is greater)

The worker’s spouse and young children are the primary beneficiaries.

Our Chicago survivors benefits law firm knows how hard it is to lose someone you love in such a tragic manner. We know that no amount of money will make up for that loss, but receiving compensation can relieve some of the financial burden.

Hidalgo man, 48, dies in accident at GSI Group plant in Newton, Herald-Review, June 10, 2010

Handbook on Workers' Compensation and Occupational Diseases, Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission

Related Web Resources:

Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission

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March 31, 2010

OSHA Discovers Safety and Health Violations at Evansville Regional Airport Air Traffic Control Tower

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration says that during a recent inspection, it discovered four serious and four repeat safety and health violations at the Evansville Regional Airport’s air traffic control tower. Serious violations included the failure to conduct yearly fire drills, not putting up a diagram of emergency exit routes, failure to correctly ground an electrical outlet, and not identifying when doors were not exits. Repeat violations included the failure to test the stair pressurization system, not making sure that exit routes were unobstructed, and missing or inadequate fire prevention and emergency action plans.

These type of violations can result in burn injuries, electrocution injuries, other serious injuries, or death. Employees are supposed to provide workers with a safe environment that decreases the chances of injuries or fatalities. However, whether or not your employer contributed to causing your work injuries should not affect your right to receive Chicago, Illinois workers’ compensation. It is important that you file your work injury claim as soon as possible to prevent any delay in getting your benefits.

Illinois Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Under Illinois workers’ compensation law, you are entitled to receive needed first aid, medical care, and hospital services to treat, cure, and relieve your work injury or illness. Rehabilitation services, when warranted, are also covered. If you must take time off from work while you recover from your injuries, then you should receive Temporary Total Disability Benefits. TTD is 66 2/3% of a worker’s gross average weekly wage. Overtime pay is usually not factored in except for under the Workers’ Occupational Disease Act.

In the event that a work injury results in partial or complete loss or loss of use of a body part or the partial loss of use of the body as a whole the worker may be entitled to Permanent Partial Disability Benefits. Loss of both arms, legs, feet, eyes, or any two such parts or the permanent loss of the ability to do any kind of work in a stable, reasonable, employable market entitles a worker to Permanent Total Disability Benefits for life. This is usually 662 2/3% of the workers’ gross average weekly income.

OSHA Finds Illinois Airport Tower Trafficking in Unsafe Conditions, Occupational Health and Safety, March 31, 2010

Workers' Compensation, Chicago Workers' Compensation Lawyer Blog

Related Web Resources:
Air Traffic Controllers

Evansville Regional Airport

Occupational Safety and Health Administration, United States Department of Labor

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November 24, 2009

GAO Says OSHA Cannot Verify All Work Injury and Illness Reports

According to the General Accounting Office, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration can’t accurately verify all illness and injury cases requiring time off work that have been reported by employers. While OSHA audits illness and injury records of some 250 out of about 130,000 worksites, OSHA cannot verify all of the injury reports’ details.

The GAO says this is because OSHA doesn’t gather all of the information it can get about work illnesses and injuries from workers. The GAO discusses these concerns in its report Enhancing OSHA’s Records Audit Process Could Improve the Accuracy of Worker Injury and Illness Data.

While OSHA isn’t obligated by regulation or law to verify data during records audits, the GAO says asking workers about their work injuries and illnesses during these audits may give OSHA valuable data. Right now, OSHA doesn’t audit employer records for approximately two calendar years. By that point, a worker who was sick or injured and had to take time off work may not longer be with the company or may have forgotten the specifics of the work accident or incident that led to the injury or illness.The GAO says OSHA should add eight more industries, including amusement parks, rental centers,and industrial launderers, to to its high-hazard industry list.

Employers that have under 11 employees and those in low-hazard industries do not have to report or record an incident to OSHA unless someone dies or at least three worekrs are hospitalized. This means that some 83% of all workers are exempt.

GAO says some employers can pressure their injured or sick workers to underreport work incidents in an attempt to avoid having to pay work injury benefits. Bonuses can be based on safety records and a worker may be afraid of getting fired if he or she files a workers' compensation claim.

Also, a 2006 study by two researchers from University of Illinois-Chicago say that OSHA’s changes redefining illnesses and injuries have allowed employers to interpret incidents in a more narrow manner. The researchers say the decline in illness and injury rates is linked to this.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics says there were 3.7 million work injury and illnesses and 5,071 work-related deaths in 2008.

Illinois Workers’ Compensation
Our Chicago workers’ compensation law firm are committed to obtaining for our clients all of the Illinois workers’ compenstion benefits they are owed. Employers are not allowed to deny a worker his or her compensation for work-related injuries or illness. Workers can’t sue their employer for personal injury or wrongful death and they need to obtain their work injury benefits. Proving fault is not a requirement of being able to obtain Illinois workers' compensation benefits.

OSHA Misses Injuries and Illnesses, GAO Says, OMB Watch, November 24, 2009

The Report Summary

Related Web Resources:
General Accounting Office


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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

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October 20, 2009

OSHA Fines Galva Company Over $500,000 for Violations that Could Cause Illinois Work Injuries and Health Issues

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is proposing fines totaling $518,520 against All-Feed Processing and Packaging Inc. OSHA is accusing the Galva pet food research and packaging company of committing serious, willful, failure to abate, and repeat violations of federal workplace health and safety standards.

Alleged violations include:

• Inadequate housekeeping, making it possible for combustible dust to accumulate.
• No explosion prevention systems.
• Insufficient protection gear for workers.
• Inadequate warning signs during the processing of combustible dust.
• Failure to lockout energy sources when maintenance occurs.
• Deficiencies in training.
• Fall hazards.
• Failure to put together a hazardous chemicals list.
• Using flexible cords in place of fixed equipment and wiring.
• Using wiring not approved for danger spots.

Last April, three workers were treated at a hospital when a fire broke out at the facility. One worker, Dustin Williams, sustained burn injuries on his hands, face, and legs. Workers say the flames broke out in the pellet mill, resulting in a chain reaction that set the bagging plant on fire.

In the last decade, OSHA has inspected the company at least seven times and issued 7 other-than-serious, 31 serious, 4 repeat, and 9 willful citations for alleged violations. Just last January, OSHA issued 28 citations against All-Feed. Eight of them were for explosion and fire hazards.

Fortunately, most workers can avail of Illinois workers’ compensation benefits if they are injured during work accidents. Unfortunately, there are times when an employer’s insurer might find reason to turn down or delay payment of those work injury benefits. An experienced Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer can make sure you receive all of your work injury benefits.

Illinois Company Cited by OSHA, Fined More than $500K, Claims Journal, October 16, 2009

Explosion rocks Galva All Feed processing and packaging plant,, April 14, 2009

Related Web Resources:
All-Feed Processing and Packaging Inc.

OSHA, US Department of Labor

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September 19, 2009

OSHA to provide Illinois Department of Labor with $1.5 million grant to improve safety and health for public workers

The Illinois Department of Labor is getting a $1.5 million federal grant from the United States Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The money will supplement IDOL’s safety and health programs that are there to provide protection to employees who work in the public sector. Government workers, state employees, police officers, school teachers, transportation workers, and firefighters are among the public employees that fall under this category.

It is very important that workers are protected while on the job. Illinois workers’ compensation is available for employees who are hurt or get sick as a result of work-related circumstances, but that doesn’t mean that employers shouldn’t exercise all necessary precautions and implement the steps required to protect workers from injuries and a hazardous health conditions.

The federal funding provided by OSHA will go toward:
• Reducing the number of Illinois work injuries and deaths, especially in high-risk fields such as law enforcement and transportation.
• Increasing the number of field inspectors and support employees so that more onsite inspections can take place.
• Providing more education and information about workplace safety and health challenges so that employees and employers are both more aware.
• Developing a consultation program to help workers create and maintain a safe work environment so that injuries are less likely to happen.

A worker injured on the job may have to take time off work, incur significant medical and recovery expenses, and may even have to give up working entirely if the injury or illness is serious enough that permanent damage or disability results.

You can’t sue your employer for personal injury so it is important that your receive all of the Illinois workers’ compensation benefits that you are owed.

llinois Receives $1.5 Million in Matching Grants from Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Illinois Gov, September 1, 2009

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September 11, 2009

OSHA Fines Illinois Company $275,000 for Workplace Safety Violations that Could Cause Worker Injuries

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is proposing a $275,000 fine against a Lombard, Illinois company for numerous safety and health violations that could cause serious injury to workers. In this case, the company Metal Improvement Co. was doing business as E/M Coating Services.

Although a worker injured on the job generally cannot sue an employer for personal injury, he or she is usually entitled to Illinois workers’ compensation benefits regardless of who was responsible for causing the work accident. This, however, does not mean that companies are allowed to become careless and violate standards of safety and health that are there to protect workers.

According to OSHA, E/M Coating Services committed 10 serious and six repeated violations. Safety hazards involved fire hazards in a spray booth, the absence of a sprinkler system in the booth, electrical and equipment concerns, incorrect oxygen cylindrical storage, fall protection deficiencies, inadequate personal protective equipment, no shower and emergency eyewash facilities, violations involving confined entry space, and respirator equipment fit issues.

Because of the nature of their jobs, many workers in the metal treatment industry and other industrial fields are exposed to working conditions that could cause injury or prove hazardous to their health unless the proper safety and health precautions are in place.

If you are a worker injured on the job or you believe that your illness was caused by conditions in your place of work, a good Illinois workers' compensation lawyer can help you consider your options.

Illinois Company Fined $275K for Workplace Safety Violations, September 11, 2009

Lombard metal coating company cited for workplace safety issues by OSHA, WQAD, September 5, 2009

Related Web Resource:
Occupational Safety and Health Administration

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May 27, 2009

Wal-Mart Worker’s Death Leads to OSHA Citation and $7,000 Fine

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is citing and fining Wal-Mart Stores Inc. for the death of a Wal-Mart employee during a Black Friday shopping event on November 28, 2008. OSHA says that store employees were placed at risk of being crushed by the crowd because Wal-Mart neglected to put into place “reasonable and effective” crowd management principles and, instead, engaged in inadequate crowd management. He died of asphyxiation.

OSHA is also accusing the Wal-Mart store of failing to provide workers with the tools and training required to manage the crowd of approximately 2,000 shoppers that rushed into the store. The crowd knocked seasonal worker Jdimytai Damour onto the ground, trampling him as they broke down doors to get to the sale items.

The OSHA fine for the citation is $7,000—the maximum fine possible for a serious OSHA violation. Based on past Black Friday experiences, an OSHA representative said that the store should have foreseen that effective crowd control tactics needed to be put in place. Wal-Mart disagrees with the citation and claims that it could not have anticipated Damour’s tragic worker accident. Wal-Mart spokesperson Daphne Moore says that OSHA and the retail industry do not provide guidance for such situations and that, in fact, the company had implemented crowd management precautions on the day Damour died.

The retailer has agreed to improve its post-Thanskgiving day crowd management strategy, pay $400,000 to victims that were injured during last year’s Black Friday trampling incident, and give $1.5 million to nonprofit and social services groups. The deal with prosecutors allows the retail chain to avoid criminal charges in Damour’s death.

Most injured workers and immediate family workers of those killed in Illinois work accidents are entitled to Illinois workers’ compensation benefits from their employers.

OSHA cites Wal-Mart in trampling death,, May 26, 2009

Wal-Mart pays $2M to avoid charges in death probe, AP/, May 6, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Family Of Wal-Mart Employee Jdimytai Damour Sues Over Trampling Death, The Huffington Post, December 3, 2008

Wal-Mart Worker’s Black Friday Death Was Preventable, ChicagoWorkersCompensationLawyerBlog, December 2, 2008

Walmart Stores

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May 22, 2009

Unions to OSHA: Protect Health Care Workers from the Swine Flu

A number of worker unions are calling on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to protect employees—especially health care workers—from the swine flu by enforcing specific safety protections. At least 82 of the 5,000 probable and confirmed swine flu cases in the US involve health care workers and there is concern that the virus is still spreading.

In a letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, AFL-CIO Safety and Health Director Peg Seminario noted that emergency responders, health care workers, and other workers that come into contact with people carrying the H1N1 virus are at high risk of also getting sick while on the job. Although OSHA and the CDC issued guidelines earlier this spring on how to protect workers from the swine flu—followed by interim guidelines directed at health care workers—Seminario says the guidelines are not being followed. She says a compliance directive or a hazard alert needs to be issued to address the swine flu-related hazards that workers in the healthcare industry face and the need for employers to protect their employees so they don't sustain this work-related illness.

The AFL-CIO offers its own recommendations on how employers can protect health care workers from the pandemic flu virus:

• Establish an infection control program for workers in hospitals and clinics.
• Seek and implement ways to control exposure to the virus.
• Make sure workers have easy access to personal protective equipment, cleaning supplies, and respirators.
• Educate workers about the swine flu, its symptoms, how it spreads, and how to control the infection.
• Train workers on ways they can protect themselves and prevent the virus from spreading.
• Enforce personal hygiene policies.
• Set up isolation units for swine flu patients so that other patients are not exposed to them.
• Select the specific health care workers who will treat your swine flu patients.
• Send home any health care workers that you think may have the swine flu.

If you have the swine flu because you were exposed to the virus while working, you are likely entitled to Illinois workers’ compensation benefits.

Unions Urge OSHA to Enforce Swine Flu Worker Protections,, May 19, 2009

Protecting Health Care Workers During Pandemic Flu, (PDF)

Related Web Resources:
Swine Flu, CDC

Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for an Influenza Pandemic, OSHA

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May 19, 2009

Workers’ Compensation: OSHA Tells Over 13,500 Employers that Their Illness and Injuries Rates Surpass the National Average

Last month, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration sent letters to over 13,500 employers throughout the US to let them know that their illness and injury rates are much higher than the national average. OSHA called the letter a “proactive step” toward encouraging its recipients to start taking immediate steps to lower these rates and improve health and safety conditions on the job.

The injury and illness rates of the employers that were contacted was more than double the national average and had resulted in time off from work, job changes, and limited work activities. The data for these rates was compiled from a 2008 survey conducted that involved 80,000 work sites and the illnesses and injuries that occurred in 2007.

The letter included a list of the most frequently cited OSHA standards, included copies of each employer’s illness and injury data, and offered help on how to improve illness and injury rates. OSHA also provided information on insurance carriers, health consultation services, and state workers’ compensation agencies.

Illinois Workers' Compensation
Illnesses and injuries that occur on the job may allow you to qualify for Illinois workers’ compensation benefits—regardless of who was at fault in causing the work accident. However, Illinois employers are still obligated, under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, to provide you with a healthy, safe, and hazard-free work environment. Employers can be cited and fined if a worker gets hurt, sick, or killed because of a a health hazard or an unsafe condition that could have been remedied or removed.

OSHA Notifies Workplaces with High Injury and Illness Rates, OSHA, April 17, 2009

Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission

US Department of Labor

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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 28, 2009

Chicago Workers’ Compensation Law Firm: Workers Memorial Day Honors People Killed and Injured in the Workplace

Today is Workers Memorial Day. The day is set aside to remember workers who were injured or died in work accidents. According go the AFL-CIO, 5,657 workers died in work accidents in 2007, while over 4 million others who were injured or got sick. That breaks down to about 15 workers killed a day and 10,959 others were injured. However, considering that there are limits to the injury reporting system, this amount is likely a conservative estimate. More likely, about 8 to 12 million workers get hurt or sick each year.

As part of its observation of Workers’ Memorial Day, the AFL-CIO issues its annual report, “Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect.” Among its numerous findings:

• 50,000 to 60,000 workers sustain occupational disease each year.
• 5,657 worker deaths occurred because of traumatic injuries.
• $145 billion to $290 billion a year is spent directly and directly on disabling injuries. But again, these costs only take into account injuries reported to employers.
• The report also reveals that Latino workers continue to be the group most likely to risk death while working.
• 937 Latino workers died in work accidents in 2007.

The report says that the Bush Administration neglected to address a number of health problems and safety issues during its eight years and even blocked or took away certain Occupational Safety and Health Administration and Mine Safety and Health Administration rules.

Lawmakers are hoping to implement better laws to protect our workers. Last week, HR 2067 was introduced. The bill calls for tougher safety and health penalties, grants more workers protection by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, provides more worker safety rights, and protects whistleblowers.

April 28 is Workers Memorial Day. The date was chosen because it is also the date that OSHA was created in 1971.

Fortunately, many US workers are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.

Workers Memorial Day 2009, AFL-CIO

HR 2067, The Protecting America's Workers Act, Washington Watch

Related Web Resources:
Death on the Job Report, 2008

Mine Safety and Health Administration

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April 22, 2009

Two Illinois Workers Killed in Separate Accidents

A Champaign worker is dead from an Illinois work accident at the ACH Food plant. Kurt Davis was pronounced dead at the accident site this morning. An autopsy is scheduled for today.

A co-worker reportedly found him inside an empty rail car located in one of the buildings. He had been preparing the car for the loading of vegetable oil. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration says the agency is conducting an investigation into is death.

Last week, another Illinois man died in a work accident. This incident occurred in Missouri at the Holcim Inc. cement plant. Vincent Lavite, a Wood River resident, had to be airlifted to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. Lavite, who was not employed at the plant, was an outside contractor.

If you have been injured in an Illinois work accident, an experienced Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer can make sure you receive all of your benefits. Your attorney can also determine whether any OSHA violations were factors in causing your work accident.

Last Tuesday in Galva, investigators say a machine that malfunctioned caused a spark that triggered a number of dust explosions at the All-Feed Processing and Packaging plant. Three workers were injured from the blasts. They were treated and later released.

OSHA investigators arrived at the Illinois work accident site to determine if these recent blasts were connected to OSHA violations that were issued against the company a few months ago. The All-Feed Processing and Packaging plant was cited for 28 OSHA health and safety violations and fined tens of thousands of dollars.

Violations were issued for electrical issues, fire hazards, and other serious safety issues. Some of the violations were accompanied by the term “willfull,” which means that company knew that they were occurring. The OSHA’s probe could take up to six months. The plant owner says the explosions are not connected to the previous OSHA violations.

ACH employee dies in accident at plant in Champaign,, April 22, 2009

Owner says Galva explosion isn't linked to OSHA violations, WQAD, April 14, 2009

Owner says Galva explosion isn't linked to OSHA violations, WQAD, April 14, 2009

Related Web Resource:
Occupational Safety and Health Administration

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November 25, 2008

US Department of Labor, Reporting A Decline in Work Injuries and Illnesses in 2007, Credits OSHA

The U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics is reporting a decline in the number of work illnesses and injuries that occurred between 2006 and 2007. Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Thomas M. Stohler attributes this decline to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s commitment to safety in the workplace.

Stohler says that because of OSHA’s training, educational programs, regulations, data sharing, aggressive enforcement, and cooperative efforts, companies are experiencing 50% less workday injuries, and their illness and injury rates are now 53% lower than the industry’s average.

Also, from 2003 to 2007, the number of illnesses and injuries requiring workers to take time off from work dropped by 11.9%. Last year’s rate was 122/10,000 full-time workers—4% lower than in 2006.

More 2007 Nonfatal Occupational Illness and Injuries Facts:

• There were 44,930 occupational injury and illness cases involving nursing aides, attendants, and orderlies taking time off from work to recover.
• With 79,000 injury and illnesses cases, there were more laborers and material, stock, and freight movers who took time off from work than workers in other industries.
• Strains and sprains were two of the most common occupational injuries.
• There were 11,940 carpal tunnel injury cases last year.
• The human trunk was body part most affected by work injuries.
• Fall accidents continue to be a common cause of work injuries.
• Most fracture cases required workers to take a few weeks off from work.
• Workers age 65 and older tend to take the longest periods of time off from work to recover from occupational injuries.
• Truck drivers, janitors, welders, and construction employee are among the groups of employees with the most nonfatal work-related injuries and illnesses.

OSHA Programs Contribute to Reduced Injury and Illness Rates for 2007,

Nonfatal Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Requiring Days Away From Work, 2007, Bureau of Labor Statistics

Related Web Resources:

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission

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