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Illinois Workplace Safety Could Be Improved

John Lesaganich June 15, 2018

In Illinois, workers are hurt and killed while on the job every year. Whether it’s in a warehouse, a heavy manufacturing facility or a healthcare setting – or any workplace – safety is crucial for all people who are on the job. Although Illinois workers see some of the lowest workplace fatality rates in the United States, there is still much that can be done to improve overall safety for workers in the state. Those who are injured can rely on workers’ compensation for medical and financial assistance.

But ideally, a person should feel and be safe when he or she arrives at work. In the Land of Lincoln, one can feel reasonably certain that one can avoid a fatal workplace accident. Although 171 people died on the job in the state in 2016 – the most recent year for which data has been released – that number translates into a workplace fatality rate of 2.9 deaths for every 100,000 workers. This places Illinois far below the national average of 3.6 deaths per 100,000 workers and makes it the 11th safest state when it comes to avoiding death on the job.

Unfortunately, Illinois did not do so well in other areas. According to a survey of the safest states that was published by WalletHub, which used the same data from which the above statistics were compiled, Illinois ranked 25th – smack in the middle – when it comes to overall workplace safety. Although its workplace fatality rating was given double weight in making the determination, the state lagged in other areas.

These other areas included the median number of days that were lost to injury and illness, as well as the incidence of injury and illness per 10,000 workers. How many employers had OSHA plans in place was also a factor. Fortunately, Illinois has a solid workers’ compensation system that will assist workers who are injured or become ill on the job. In the event this happens, a worker should speak with a seasoned workers’ comp lawyer.