July 31, 2010

Female Trucker Injures Legs During Illinois Work Accident

A female trucker sustained serious leg injuries when 1000 pounds in steel fuel pipes fell on her. The Illinois work accident took place on July 23 at the Barnes Pipe and Steel Co. At the time, she was helping unload them from the truck.

One of the her legs was crushed during the work accident. The other leg sustained serious injuries. It took rescue workers about 45 minutes to get her out. She was flown to the hospital.

Truck Driver Injuries
Driving a commercial truck is arduous, physical work. The hours spent behind the steering wheel can lead to back and neck injuries. There are also the injuries a trucker can suffer when involved in a Chicago truck accident. Poor diet, lack of sleep, the stress of having to meet delivery deadlines, lack of exercise, having to stay in a seated position for hours at a time, body clocks that must cater to the rhythms of the job, and driver fatigue, increase the chances of illness and injury. Musculoskeletal disorders, chronic illnesses, carpal tunnel syndrome, and upper extremity injuries have been known to happen.

With their heavy cargo, truckers also risk injuries when loading and unloading their trucks. Slip and fall accidents and trip and fall accidents are not uncommon. Truck drivers also risk exposure to the hazardous substances they are carrying in the event that a Chicago truck collision triggers a cargo leak.

It is important that you file your Illinois workers' compensation claim as soon as possible.

Woman injured by falling steel pipes at industrial site in Dupo, BND, July 24, 2010

Commercial Truck Driver Health and Safety- Preventing Injury and Illness, NIH.gov

Related Web Resources:
Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries Summary, 2008, Bureau of Labor Statistics

Long Haul Truck Drivers at Risk of Suffering from Upper Extremity Injuries and Back Pain, ChicagoWorkersCompensationLawyer, July 1, 2010

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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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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 28, 2009

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Related Web Resources:
Workers' Compensation, Justia


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November 25, 2009

Naperville, Illinois Work Accident Claims Life of Gas Company Employee

A tragic work accident claimed the life of Nicor utility worker in Naperville, Illinois on Monday. Gary Cichy died after being pinned under a backhoe that toppled on top of him.

According to the Will County Sheriff’s Office, the excavator flipped over when it was struck by a white Isuzu box van that drove off the road. Cichy, 52, sustained critical injuries from the Illinois work accident.

Fog made it impossible for emergency workers to fly him to the hospital. Instead, an ambulance transported Cichy to Edward Hospital where he later died. Work signs, Nicor vehicles, and cones had been setup to mark off the work area.

Police are investigating what caused the truck driver to go off the road. Yesterday, a spokesperson for the Will County sheriff’s office announced that charges will likely be filed against the van driver.

In addition to receiving Illinois workers’ compensation benefits, workers who were injured or got sick on the job may also be entitled to personal injury compensation from liable parties that are not the victim’s employer.

Getting pinned by heavy machinery can be catastrophic for a worker, who may have sustained a spinal cord injury or other serious injuries, such as crushed bones and organ damage during this type of work accident. The injured worker may no longer be able to work. He or she may even die from such serious injuries.

Charges coming in crash that killed Nicor worker, Chicago Breaking News, November 24, 2009

Nicor worker killed in Naperville truck-earth-digger collision, Daily Herald, November 23, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Illinois Industrial Commission

Illinois Department of Labor

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November 5, 2009

Chicago Work Accident: Flagger Dies From Truck Accident Injuries Sustained in Highway Construction Zone

A construction worker died on Saturday in a highway work zone. According to Chicago Ridge police, flagger Joseph Bartkowiaki was fatally injured when a gravel truck that was heading for Crowley-Sheppard Asphalt hit him. Joseph Bartkowiaki worked for the company. Stanislaw Wdowikowski, also 56, was driving the gravel truck.

Bartkowiaki was directing traffic in an area were the company was repaving the street. Wdowikowski says he thought that the flagger was directing him to go forward, but witnesses say that wasn’t the case.

The truck driver struck the construction worker. He stopped his large truck when he heard people yelling at him. Wdowikowski backed up too far, striking Bartkowiaki again.

Police cited the truck driver for failing to stop for a flagger.

The National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse reports that there were 31 Illinois motor vehicle crashes in construction/maintenance zones in 2008. Workzonesafety.org is reporting 5 Illinois road construction site deaths for that year.

In some cases, the victim is a motor vehicle occupant. In other instances, the victim is a construction worker who was doing a job in the work zone.

The parties in charge of the construction/maintenance zone must implement that all safety precautions are in place to decrease the chances of a worker getting injured or a motor vehicle accident happening. Failure to exercise this duty of care can be grounds for a Chicago injury lawsuit. Construction workers injured on the job are likely entitled to Illinois workers’ compensation benefits.

Common causes of construction zone accidents:

• Distracted drivers
• Equipment and machinery defects
• Poor barricade placement
• Warning signs that are not easily visible
• Inadequate worker training
• Machinery accidents
• Motor vehicle accidents

Construction worker dies in accident, Southtown Star, November 1, 2009

Construction worker struck and killed by truck, Chicago Breaking News, October 31, 2009

Related Web Resources:
WorkZoneSafety.org (PDF)

Federal Highway Administration

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February 28, 2009

Chicago Truck Driver Injuries on the Job

Often, when the media reports about injuries sustained by people in a US truck accident, the victims that become the focus tend to be the people who were injured that were not in the truck at the time of the motor vehicle crash. While it’s true that car occupants, pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcycle riders are at a disadvantage when it comes to traffic accidents involving a semi-truck, a tractor-trailer, an 18-wheeler truck, and other large trucks, truck drivers do get hurt and can be prone to serious injuries on the job, including burn injuries, internal injuries, head injuries, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and death.

Even during single-traffic crashes involving just a large truck, such as when the truck malfunctions or the truck driver makes a deadly mistake that causes his vehicle to fall off a bridge or drive off the road, the trucker can get hurt. Fortunately, most truckers have workers’ compensation benefits that provide compensation in the event of a work accident—regardless of who is at fault in causing the truck accident. The trucker may also be entitled to third party compensation if another party, such as a truck manufacturer or another driver, was responsible for causing the motor vehicle crash.

Non-Accident Related Truck Driver Injuries
Truckers are also prone to work-related injuries that don’t necessarily involve traffic accidents. Upper extremity injuries is one common problem among truckers who must operate a large truck for hours at a time. It doesn’t help that the work schedules of long-haul truckers can make it hard for them to find time to visit to a doctor or a chiropractor.

Examples of upper extremity injuries include low back pain, shoulder pain, arm tingling, hand tingling, and scapula pain. These common injuries can occur when a trucker pulls the fifth wheel pin, lifts and lowers a truck hood, falls or slips while getting out of the truck, unloads the truck, or, out of habit, rests a hand on a gearshift lever while it vibrates. There is also the stress that comes with spending so many hours and days on the road in the urgency to meet delivery deadlines.

Upper Extremity Injuries in the Trucking Industry, Chiroweb.com

Commercial Truck Driver Health and Safety- Preventing Injury and Illness, NIH.gov

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

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January 8, 2009

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Related Web Resources:

M.J.M. Electric Cooperative

Fletcher-Reinhardt Service Company

Cooper Power Systems

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November 3, 2008

Illinois Construction Worker and Semi-Truck Driver are Injured in Illinois Motor Vehicle Accident

In Illinois, a Wheeling construction worker suffered serious injuries after he was hit by an SUV on Route 45, just outside Vernon Hills. Felipe Ibarra is being treated at Condell Medical Center in Libertyville for head injuries.

The accident happened on Tuesday morning at the Majestic Pines division. A flagger was directing traffic so that a semi-truck could back into the construction site entrance when 17-year-old Jessica Wells struck Ibarra with her GMC Yukon XL. She also struck the truck. The truck driver, Chicago resident Juan Muro, was treated at Condell for non-life threatening injuries.

Wells was charged with driving with an obstructed windshield, failing to stop for a flagger, and failing to reduce speed to avoid an accident. She was not injured in the accident.

Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act
In Illinois, employers must pay their injured workers two-thirds of their regular income, tax-free, while they take time off from work to recover. Injured employees are also entitled to full medical coverage. Also, depending on the nature and extent of injuries, an employer's insurer must provide benefits for permanent and temporary disabilities—both total and partial.

Unfortunately, employees and their insurance companies do not always deal with injured workers in a fair manner. The best way to ensure that you get all of the benefits that you and your family are owed is to speak with a knowledgeable Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer who can advocate for your rights.

Construction worker hit by SUV, Suburban Chicago News.com, October 29, 2008

Related Web Resources:

Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission

Illinois Workers' Compensation Act, Illinois General Assembly

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