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Chicago Workers' Compensation Blog

Common work-related injuries for Illinois radiologists

Almost a third of practicing radiologists in the U.S. suffer from lower back pain because of their job duties, according to a report by the American College of Radiology. Some medical experts believe that picture archiving and communication systems could be responsible for the musculoskeletal injuries. Although radiologists have been transferring from their legacy, film-based environment to an archiving and communication system with digital capability for the past 30 years, some who depend on PACS may find that the system's disadvantages outweigh its advantages in regard to their health.

The PACS environment is a significant improvement on the film environment. It allows for better billing, a higher efficiency of workflow and scheduling, less need of storage space for data and an easier method for standardization structured reporting.

You can appeal a denied IL workers' compensation claim

For most of human history, there were few protections in place for workers. Employers could knowingly endanger workers and never incur any kind of penalty. Workers could sustain life-altering or even fatal injuries without any kind of compensation, leaving them and their families to struggle with poverty.

Thankfully, these days, workers' compensation insurance is in place to protect those who work for a living and their family members who depend on them.

OSHA to reduce trenching accidents

Workers in Illinois and the rest of the country who routinely work in or near trenches and excavations have a high risk of incurring injuries. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has announced its plans to prioritize the reduction of excavation and trenching accidents. The agency's goals are to inform workers and employers about how cave-ins can be safely prevented and to spread awareness about the hazards trenching poses to construction workers. The agency also intends to lower the quantity of trench collapses.

According to OSHA, two workers died every month in 2011 due to trench collapses, and the fatality rate has not improved since that time. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that deaths caused by trenching and excavation accidents in 2016 were almost twice the average number of fatalities during the previous five years.

Entertainment alliance seeks to prevent workplace injuries

Entertainment industry workers in Illinois and across the United States may be heartened to know that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has renewed an alliance that aims to support workplace safety in the field. As part of the alliance, OSHA will work with the United States Institute for Theatre Technology and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees to distribute relevant safety information and resources.

The agreement was renewed for five years. During this period, OSHA's resources will deal with the potential for workplace injuries and accidents due to electrical dangers, falls and poor ergonomics among other hazards faced by workers in the industry. In addition, the industry and union representatives will provide information to OSHA and other regulatory agencies about fall prevention, portable power and key technologies for safety. The information sharing involved will also include details about the rulemaking and enforcement process as well as national cross-industry campaigns.

Improvements in safety technology on construction sites

Construction workers in Illinois may be safer if certain types of technology are adopted on their work sites. This is one of the most dangerous industries, and in 2015, more than 900 construction workers around the country died from on-the-job injuries. Around 10 percent of all construction workers are injured on the job each year.

A significant safety improvement has been made to the reversing alarm. Most people are probably familiar with the beeping sound many trucks make when they are backing up. However, on a noisy construction site, it can be difficult to determine where the sound is coming from. Newer reversing alarms make a white noise sound that is easily heard by construction workers even when headphones or other devices are covering their ears. Furthermore, the broadband frequency of these newer alarms make it easier to figure out where they are.

How employers can help older workers stay safe

Workers in Illinois and throughout the country are working later into life. Therefore, employers may need to update their workplace safety plans to account for this. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, those who were 55 and older accounted for roughly half of all workplace deaths in Minnesota over the past several years. Those who are aged 65 or older have higher workplace death rates than other age groups.

It is important to note that older workers don't necessarily get hurt more often than younger workers. In fact, injury rates among those 55 and older have actually gone down. However, the impact of an injury may be more significant than those the younger workers experience. Furthermore, the number of injuries is going up because the number of workers age 55 and older is increasing. Therefore, the National Center for Productive Aging and Work says that employers should create workplaces that are friendlier to aging employees.

Here's what to tell your doctor if you get hurt on the job

You were trying to work on the side of a building when the ladder you were on started to move. The coworker who was supposed to be holding it wasn't paying attention, and the ladder slipped out of his hands. Without the extra stability needed, you quickly fell to the ground.

Now, you have what you assume is a broken leg, and you won't be able to work. You need to know that your workers' compensation claim is legitimate and will be paid.

Tips For Doctor Visits

Doctor visits may seem like a routine thing for most people, but if you are injured at work, every doctor visit is anything but routine.  Every form you fill out, everything you tell the doctor and every movement you make can have a major impact on your claim.  The basic rules under the Workers' Compensation Act for medical care are under Section 8. https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/iwcc/about/Pages/workers.aspx

Is the state's workers' compensation system under attack?

During Governor Bruce Rauner’s recent State of the State address, he called for reforms to the state’s workers’ compensation system. Compared to other states, Illinois has the nation’s seventh-highest premiums.

Yet readers should not interpret that ranking with accessibility. To the contrary, injured workers still encounter resistance when submitting workers’ compensation claims. Our law firm has witnessed this struggle firsthand. We have fought for workers with on-the-job injuries for the past several decades.

Why is an attorney useful in a workers' compensation claim?

In concept, workers' compensation seems simple. Employers are required by law to provide coverage for workers hurt on the job. In return for that, workers receiving care under a workers' compensation policy give up the right to sue the employer for the personal injury.

However, workers' compensation in Illinois is not simple. It is expensive, creating an incentive for many employers to try to avoid filing claims or even buy the necessary policy. The issues related to the system in our state are of such a nature that they regularly make political news headlines. Reform battles have been going on for a while and analysts predict they will only get worse as this is an election year for governor.

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