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Springfield Personal Injury & Workers' Compensation Blog

Potential threats facing chemical manufacturing plant workers

Illinois is the chosen state for hundreds of chemical manufacturers, and thousands of workers rely on their employers to provide work environments that are free of the typical threats of the industry. Sadly, many employers do not prioritize employee safety. If your safety is at risk in your workplace, it might be smart to gain knowledge about potential hazards and devise a strategy to avoid work-related injury and illness.

Although chemical hazards are significant threats that could cause severe injuries and even death, this sector also poses fall risks to mitigate. If you can understand what types of occupational hazards exist in this industry and why accidents occur, you can start working on your own safety strategy.

What can you expect to receive from workers' compensation?

Regardless of the industry in which you work in Springfield, Illinois, there will always be risks of injuries. The chances of suffering traumatic brain injuries if you fall and hit your head against a hard surface are as high in an office as it would be on a construction site. The same applies for other injury types, and knowing that the Illinois workers' compensation insurance program is there to provide financial assistance might provide some level of comfort.

However, without full knowledge and understanding of the types of available benefits, you might be concerned about your financial stability should you suffer a debilitating workplace injury. The nature and severity of your injury will determine the types of benefits you receive.

Common factors that lead to serious car accidents

No one wants to have a normal day interrupted by a car accident. Unfortunately, these incidents do happen on a daily basis across the state of Illinois and elsewhere. As a result, any time you find yourself on the road, whether in the driver's seat or a passenger seat, you face the risk of potentially suffering injuries due to a crash.

The outcomes of an accident are rarely predictable. Many seemingly insignificant factors, such as whether someone was wearing a seat belt, could actually have life or death impacts when a crash takes place. Regrettably, many of these collisions are caused by common factors that have no place on the road.

Ambulance workers must not return too soon after back injuries

Musculoskeletal injuries are par for the course for EMS providers in Illinois. Even though safety authorities say that predictable injuries are preventable, the nature of your job on an ambulance often denies you the chance to think actions through before doing them. The result might be a back injury, and it could be challenging to return to work after such an injury because there will always be a fear of it recurring.

You must accept that recovery of musculoskeletal injuries can take approximately six weeks, and upon return, you must ease yourself into the job again. The correct positioning of your body can prevent a re-injury. Proper posture and technique are crucial, and so is using available equipment such as lifting tools.

You are entitled to protection against heat-related illness

Are you a construction worker in Illinois, or do you work in landscaping, transportation, agriculture or on an oil rig? These are but some of the outdoor jobs that expose workers to the wrath of the sun. Thousands of workers suffer heat-related illnesses every year — some of them do not survive. Just like protecting their employees from exposure to the cold of winter, employers must take steps to protect workers from excessive heat in the summer.

Heat illness is preventable, and safety training can teach workers to recognize the symptoms. Prompt treatment during the initial stages can prevent a worker's condition from deteriorating until it becomes a life-threatening situation.

Is fatigue a threat to your safety as a commercial driver?

If you are a commercial truck driver in Illinois, you might be aware of the many hazards you face on every trip. Fatigue is a significant contributor to the number of truck accidents that occur in Illinois every year. Compliance with the laws that restrict your hours of driving and learning the telltale signs of exhaustion or fatigue might keep you safe behind the wheel of your big rig.

Driver fatigue is more likely to occur if you do not get enough sleep between shifts or before a long trip. Fatigue builds over several days of insufficient sleep, making you more vulnerable toward the end of a long haul.

Do you put your life on the line to care for others?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration classifies any person who provides direct or indirect health services as a health care worker. This includes not only hospitals and nursing facilities but also dental offices, laboratories, physicians' offices, residential care, outpatient care facilities and more. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says approximately 18,000 people work in this industry nationwide, and this is about 300,000 more than in 2017.

The list of hazards that health care workers face is endless. If you are working in this fast-growing industry in Illinois, the best way to protect yourself from harm may be to learn more about the typical hazards of the industry. While each division might pose unique risks, some dangers threaten workers across the industry.

Pedestrians in harm's way

If walking is part of your day, whether for transportation, health or enjoyment, you may sometimes feel as if you are invisible to motorists. Even when you use the crosswalks and obey pedestrian signs, you may not be completely safe. You can likely recount many close calls with motorists along your daily walk.

By the time you finish reading this, three pedestrians will seek medical treatment for injuries related to an accident with a motor vehicle. One person may die. If you are between the ages of 15 and 29, you have a greater chance of ending up in the emergency room with injuries from a pedestrian versus vehicle accident. Sadly, the older you get, the higher the probability that you will die from your injuries. Thousands of pedestrians are injured and die each year from traffic accidents that are largely preventable.

Fire isn't the only danger firefighters face

Firefighters are true heroes. Many would say it's a calling. They run into burning buildings without regard for their own safety in order to save the lives of others. They wade into car crashes, industrial accidents and otherwise help people at some of the worst moments of their lives.

If you joined this noble profession, you know to take as many precautions as possible to keep yourself safe while doing your job. You know how to deal with flames, wreckage and injured people, but you may not always be able to protect yourself from another danger: carcinogens.

Paramedics face a range of health hazards

The days of paramedics in Illinois consist of responses to emergencies. During these trips, you typically put your life on the line to save others. Exposure to the hazards of infectious diseases and the risks of contact with bodily fluids and blood of others are par for the course. Also, as a paramedic, you work in a variety of environments, both indoors and outdoors, and frequently among moving vehicles when you deal with crash victims.

As if those do not present enough danger, you will also have to deal with hazardous chemicals, excessive noise and severe psychological stress factors. The fact that you often have to lift and carry patients of varied sizes puts a toll on your body, leading to frequent time off work due to musculoskeletal injuries.

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