Workplace Hazards

News & Analysis as of

Job-related injury, death statistics

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 3 million cases of workplace injuries and illnesses occur in the private sector every year. Although this figure is less than half of the 6.6 million reported 20 years ago, many...more

Traumatic stress disorder and workers’ compensation in Illinois

A number of common occupations involve exposure to violent, disturbing or traumatic events. A Chicago workers compensation attorney knows that such experiences can sometimes lead to post-traumatic stress disorder....more

Quirky Question #256, Mandating vaccines for employees?

Question: Between the flu and the current measles outbreak, we are considering imposing a requirement on each of our employees to get a flu vaccine each year and either get the MMR vaccine or provide proof that they...more

Illinois company’s safety violations contributed to worker’s death

A 21-year-old auto manufacturing operator was crushed to death in 2014 because of safety violations at an Illinois supply plant, according to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration....more

Seeking workers’ compensation in Illinois for deafness

Hearing loss on the job is a serious problem for millions of American workers. Illinois workplace accident attorneys can name many industries where noise exposure is a major health hazard. A number of businesses have begun...more

Will Illinois create a hazardous materials training law?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly one in 30 workers in America reported a disabling work-related illness or injury in 2012. Many of these disabilities are caused by exposure to hazardous materials....more

Employer Concerns Regarding the Spread of Measles and Other Infectious Diseases

Action Item: Based on the rising number of issues related to highly communicable diseases like measles, mumps, flu, and Ebola, employers should be proactive rather than reactive in preparing and implementing an infectious...more

Broader Regulation of Offshore Contractors on Horizon

On November 12, 2014 the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) strongly signaled a forthcoming review of its offshore facility decommissioning regulations and regulatory authority over contactors. While the...more

Federal government announces changes to WHMIS Legislation

The federal government has announced certain amendments to the federal Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) legislation which covers suppliers of hazardous chemicals in Canada. The purpose of the...more

Workplace Violence: Keeping Employees Safe

Cartoonists shot at work in Paris. Teachers killed while trying to protect their students in Newtown, Connecticut. A CEO shot in the head and stomach by a recently demoted employee in Illinois. News reports are filled with...more

Roses Are Red, Violets Are Blue, I'm Prepared to Deal with Office Romances, How 'Bout You?

Valentine’s Day is a day of love and romance for many, often times between co-workers. For employers, it provides a fitting opportunity to re-examine workplace romance and sexual harassment policies. Indeed, there is no...more

Maine Court Upholds Award Of Workers’ Comp - Cautionary Case For Employers That Allow Employees To Work At Home

Presumption of Causation – In Estate of Sullwold v Salvation Army, the court confirmed that in case of death – even when working at home – there is a rebuttable presumption that the death was caused by work, provided...more

Supervisor fined after workers exposed to asbestos dust

A supervisor with an asbestos abatement company, and his employer, have pleaded guilty to charges under the Occupational Health and Safety Act and were fined, after workers were exposed to asbestos dust on a job site....more

Toxins and the workplace: What you should know

Many Illinois employees face considerable health risks from toxins in the workplace. Common workplace toxins, including solvents, pesticides, fuels and chemical reagents, can cause lasting physical damage....more

West Virginia Legislature May Put the "Deliberate" Back In Deliberate Intent Claims

House Bill 2011 was introduced in the West Virginia legislature by the new Republican majority on the first day of the legislative session. This same bill was introduced in the Senate as Senate Bill No. 11. The purpose of HB...more

OSHA Hands Down Record Award Under Federal Railroad Safety Act

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) gave a MTA Metro-North railroad employee a record award under the Federal Railroad Safety Act after they suffered an injury in 2011. The $250,000 in punitive damages...more

Fighting The Flu - Don't Forget To Wash Your Hands!

You can’t open the newspaper, turn on the television, or visit a website without seeing some alarming statistic about the flu. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the flu is already “widespread”...more

OSHA Ups the Ante: Changes to Your Injury Reporting Obligations in 2015

The Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration ("OSHA") is the federal agency within the Department of Labor that is tasked with reducing workplace hazards and implementing worker health and safety protections. To that...more

Can I claim workers’ compensation for cancer in Illinois?

According to the American Cancer Society, more than 1,600,000 new cases of cancer were diagnosed in the U.S. in 2014. Thousands of workers in Illinois are temporarily or permanently disabled by cancer each year. In many...more

Hospitals can be risky places to work

The notion that it could be more dangerous to work in a hospital than to work on a construction site might sound absurd. Hospitals exist in order to counteract the effects of injury and disease, so the fact that they are a...more

What is the Illinois Public Employee Disability Act?

The Illinois Public Employee Disability Act was passed in 1997 to protect public employees who face dangerous conditions in the line of duty. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 5.6 out of 100 public employees...more

No Smoking = No Vaping?

The days of lighting up at the office are making a comeback in some workplaces, thanks to the growing popularity of electronic cigarettes. According to the Centers for Disease Control, in 2013, one in five adult smokers...more

Global HR Hot Topic—December 2014: Overseas Business Travel Liability and the Duty of Care in Times of Ebola

As of late 2014, the United States faced no Ebola pandemic whatsoever. The odds of catching Ebola in an American workplace remained statistically zero. Only a handful of Ebola cases had made their way to the United States,...more

Responding to West-African Employees who Travel to Ebola-Affected Countries - Employee Rights vs. Public Health Concerns

Buried near the end of articles in the New York Times and The Washington Post about the first United States Ebola patient, Thomas Eric Duncan, was the observation that the quarantine being imposed on Mr. Duncan’s fiancée, her...more

Manufacturers Are Building Occupants, too – EHS Issues Related to Building Occupancy

Obviously, our blog focuses on issues that affect manufacturers. Specifically, my posts deal with environmental or health and safety issues manufacturers face. Sometimes, though, it’s good to step back and remember that...more

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