John Lesaganich, P.C., Attorney at Law
Over Three Decades of Experience Helping Injured Workers In Illinois
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Peoria Workers' Compensation Blog

Do I have a repetitive strain injury?

Workplace injuries are not always as blunt as a head injury or other impact wound – sometimes they develop slowly over time. However they occur, they still cause workers pain and interfere with their wellbeing during and outside of work.

One of the most common workplace injuries is a repetitive strain injury (RSI), which is a general term for pain in the muscles, nerves and tendons that is caused by repetitive motions or overuse. Also called a repetitive stress injury or repetitive trauma injury, these injuries most often affect the upper body in the:

Start the workers' compensation process on the right foot

While some jobs, like working in the manufacturing or construction industries, present inherent dangers, the fact of the matter is that just about anyone in Illinois can be injured on the job. For example, a worker who strains to lift a heavy box could injure their back. Or, a person who types at a computer all day every day could develop a repetitive stress injury.

Under Illinois law, if a worker is injured on-the-job, he or she has 45 days from the time the incident occurred to report any injuries. While oral reports are permissible, a written report may be the better choice, as a person can make a copy of the report that they can keep for themselves. The 45-day time limit applies to both one-time injuries as well as repetitive stress injuries. For repetitive stress injuries, one must make the report within 45 days starting from when the injury appeared.

Restaurants in Illinois can be dangerous places to work

Many people in Peoria have worked in the food service industry at one point in their lives. Whether they were flipping burgers at a fast food joint as a teenager or whether they currently have a career as a chef or server in a restaurant, it is important to recognize that restaurants can be dangerous places to work. If employers in the food service industry do not take appropriate measures to keep their workers safe, it could lead to workplace injuries.

For example, workers in restaurants may have to lift heavy objects, which could lead to strains, sprains and nerve damage. They may also have to be on their feet on a hard surface for their entire shift, which could lead to back injuries and muscle fatigue. Chefs work with sharp knives and around hot surfaces, which could lead to lacerations and burn injuries. Having to complete repetitive tasks day-in and day-out, such as chopping, can lead to repetitive stress injuries. Exposure to hazardous cleaning chemicals could also lead to eye, skin and respiratory problems.

Why might an Illinois workers' compensation claim be denied?

When a person in Peoria is injured on the job, it can be a significant blow physically, mentally and financially. On-the-job injuries can be very serious, leading to extensive medical treatments, emotional trauma and the inability to work to earn an income. For these reasons, Illinois has a workers' compensation system that is meant to provide a financial safety net for those who find themselves injured on the job and unable to work.

However, not every workers' compensation claim is automatically approved. Sometimes, a person's initial claim for benefits is denied. There are a number of reasons why the Workers' Compensation Commission might deny a workers' compensation claim.

Explosion injures one Illinois railroad worker, kills another

Many people ride trains and subways in Illinois every day, but they may not give much thought to those who maintain these transportation systems. Railroad workers perform important duties behind the scenes to ensure that these tracks are in good operating condition. However, railroad work can also be dangerous, as one recent incident shows.

One railroad worker lost his life, and another was seriously injured after an explosion occurred in the area of the Grayland Station in Chicago. The men were working on a track project and were welding at the time of the incident. According to officials, for reasons unknown, the acetylene tank on a truck blew up, killing one worker who was standing near the vehicle and injuring another. The deceased worker had been employed as a track inspector for 17 years.

Employers should have plans in place to keep workers safe

Injuries at work can happen for many different reasons. While in some cases employees may make poor choices that cause them to be injured, it is common for workers' injuries to result from the failure of their employers to provide safe working conditions. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration suggests that employers have plans in place that cover worker safety.

Plans to prevent injuries and illnesses at work are generally multi-faceted. They may include an agreement from the employer's management to ensure that the plan is followed, and it may include direct participation from employees to be aware of what is going on. Safety plans should include ways for workplace hazards to be identified and remedied, and protocol for how to safely perform common tasks taken on by employees.

How long do I have to file a claim for workers' compensation?

A successful workers' compensation claim can provide an injured worker with the financial support they need to recover from their harm and get themselves ready to return to work. There are many steps that must be followed to prevail in a workers' compensation claim, and this blog has addressed many of the issues that individuals can face when they decide to seek this specific form of benefits. One important issue that workers should be aware of, however, is the statute of limitations that applies to workers' compensation claims.

In Illinois, the amount of time that an injured worker has to file a claim for workers' compensation benefits can vary. The period will either be two or three years. The two-year statute of limitations applies in cases where workers are no longer employed with the company where their injuries occurred.

Workplace hazards for nurses

Hospitals would not function without nurses, and this occupation makes up one of the largest occupations in American healthcare. Some even say that nurses are the backbone of the healthcare system.

Even though hospitals are typically places we think of for people to go to get better, the individuals who work there could still be in danger of injury. In recent findings, there were over 250,000 recorded hospital workplace injuries/ illnesses in just one year. What are some hazards that nurses face?

Information that should be provided to a worker's employer

After a worker suffers an on-the-job injury, they are generally required to report their injury to their employer. This gives the employer notice of the harm the employee suffered as well as an opportunity to be aware of any claims the employee may make regarding their need for compensation. Illinois workers who are hurt while doing their employment duties should be prepared to provide their employers with certain information about the incidents that caused their harm.

Factual information should be communicated to employers about the accidents and events that led to their workers' injuries. Such information can include, but is not limited to, when the accident occurred, where the accident occurred, and the date on which the accident occurred. The employers may need their employees to report whether witnesses were present when the accident happened and the employer may also need to know exactly what was happening when the injury transpired.

What types of injuries affect law enforcement officials?

Police officers and other law enforcement officials are important to the stability and security of Illinois communities. These dedicated individuals choose to put themselves in harm's way so that their fellow citizens may enjoy safer places to live and work. However, performing the duties of a law enforcement official is not without risk. Individuals who engage in this form of work suffer from many types of injuries due to the demands of their jobs.

While readers of this blog may immediately think of violent injuries as the types of harm sustained by law enforcement officials, individuals in this profession suffer injuries similar to and more frequently than people in professions like manufacturing and retail. Law enforcement officials suffer high rates of strain and sprain injuries, as well as injuries to their musculoskeletal systems.

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