More often than not, we will be contacted by an injured employee who's employer has already reported their accident to the company's work comp insurance carrier, and they have already begun treatment with a doctor. One of the first concerns they report to us is that their employer chose their doctor for them, either by "suggestion" or under the misrepresentation that the employee had no choice.
Why it is important to report your work injuries to your employer?
If a person hears the term "workplace injury," thoughts of a broken leg, a strained muscle, or an arm laceration typically come to mind. Quite frequently, however, we will file a claim on behalf of an injured employee and list our accident description as "mental injury." In Illinois, psychological injuries are compensable under one of two theories, either physical-mental, when the injuries are related to and caused by a physical trauma or injury, or mental-mental, when the injuries are caused by sudden, severe emotional shock, traceable to a definite time and place and cause, even though no physical trauma or injury was sustained.
We are talking about the safety issues that come with working in a confined space. In August, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration released a final rule addressing confined spaces. The agency has also issued a guide to help employers implement the new regulation. As we said in our last post, employees whose jobs involve a confined space should review the guide as well.
Those of us who feel a little anxious in a crowded elevator generally have one of two reactions to people whose jobs put them in tight spaces: Those workers are either very brave or just downright crazy. We know that we are statistically safe from, say, running out of air before we reach the 10th floor, but we are still anxious. We can't even imagine having to face this kind of hazard on a daily basis.
Life in the twenty-first century, like each new era, does not look like that of its predecessors. One could argue that patience is a characteristic rarely used to describe our current society. Instant gratification is no longer a wish, want or desire; it is a reality. In fact, many people today expect goods and services to be delivered without delay.
If you've ever operated one, then you know that driving a forklift takes some skill. In fact, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires that forklift operators be trained and certified. If a company employs an uncertified forklift driver, then the company could be cited by OSHA.
Last month, as linemen with a Southern Illinois power company repaired power lines that had been damaged in recent storms, an 18-year-old veteran of the crew was catastrophically injured after coming into contact with a live wire.