State Governments Rolling Back Workers’ Compensation Protections

In Illinois and other states around the country, workers’ compensation is under attack. A recent investigation by NPR and ProPublica found that since 2003, more than 30 states have enacted legislation that either cuts benefits for injured workers, makes it harder to qualify for compensation, or creates obstacles to obtaining medical care. The federal Occupational …

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OSHA investigates garbage hauler’s death in landfill accident

A man died after being crushed under the weight of an overturned garbage truck and its concrete debris at Winnebago Landfill in Rockford, Illinois. Gonzalo Trevino Sr., 54, worked as a hauler for a garbage company. Investigators said Trevino was unloading his truck when another dump truck accidentally emptied its contents on him. The load …

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Illinois excavation company cited for endangering trench workers

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited an Elgin, Illinois, excavation company for allegedly failing to implement safety measures while employees were working in an underground trench. Kellenberger Plumbing & Underground was issued one willful and one serious citation for two safety violations on May 2. OSHA initiated an investigation into the company under …

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How a worker lost six fingers due to his employer’s safety violations

A 21-year-old temporary employee’s six fingers were amputated during a workplace accident on November 4, 2015. He had been working for four weeks at Custom Aluminum Products, a metal manufacturer based in South Elgin, Illinois. The company faces penalties of $70,000 for safety violations that led to the injury. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational …

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OSHA fines four Illinois companies after construction worker’s death

An employee sustained fatal blunt force injuries while working at a wastewater treatment plant in Springfield, Illinois, in October 2015. The 42-year-old man was testing joints for leaks inside a 54-inch pipe when an inflatable bladder burst. According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Henderson Construction of Central Illinois …

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Construction worker dies from falling beam

A construction worker lost his life when a steel beam weighing 45 tons fell at a construction site. The accident occurred during the early morning hours of Tuesday, April 5, under a Jane Addams Memorial Tollway bridge in the northwestern part of suburban Des Plaines. According to Des Plaines Police Chief Bill Kushner, the workers …

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Illinois roofer fined for failing to protect workers from risk of falls

An Illinois roofing company received citations for one willful, one repeated and one serious safety violation from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) on April 13. The agency proposed to fine the South Elgin-based contractor $57,950. OSHA inspectors reported seeing four Apex Exteriors Inc. employees exposed to the risk of falling over 25 feet …

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Injured worker entitled to wage-differential award in spite of income

An Illinois Appellate court ruled that an injured stationary engineer can receive a wage differential award as compensation for her diminished earning capacity in spite of the fact that she did not suffer a decline in income. Kathy Jenkins was employed as a stationary engineer who dealt with maintenance problems for Jackson Park Hospital and …

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New silica dust rules aim to save lungs of construction workers

The Department of Labor issued controversial new rules on March 24 to protect workers from silica dust exposure, one of the oldest known workplace hazards. Silica dust is a common mineral found in construction materials such as stone, brick and concrete. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the fine grains can cause …

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Construction worker’s widow files wrongful death lawsuit

A man from Riverton, Illinois, was working to help construct a $55 million treatment facility for the sanitary district located at 3300 Mechanicsburg Road when there was an explosion that caused him to be injured on October 20. Six days later, on October 26, he succumbed to his injuries at HSHS St. John’s Hospital. Roger …

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