Injuries can happen to any employee in any field. Even jobs that are not typically considered strenuous or dangerous may lead to a workplace injury. In Illinois, employers are required to carry insurance coverage to provide benefits to any employee who is injured on the job, regardless of fault. This means that an employee who gets hurt while working is entitled to workers’ compensation coverage, even if that employee was partially or totally at fault for the injury.
While anyone can be injured in any profession, in there are some jobs that lead to a greater number of injuries than others. In our experience as workers’ compensation attorneys, these are some common professions that produce injuries:
Construction work often is inherently dangerous and regularly places employees in contact with known hazards. Whether working on a new construction site, a renovation, or even producing construction pieces in a controlled environment, these workers often deal with power tools, heavy products, and scrap metal that account for thousands of injuries in Illinois every year.
Construction sites should be well maintained and “clean,” meaning that products and tools are organized and put away when not in use. This also means that wasted pieces of wood and metal get properly discarded instead of strewn across the ground. When a site is not clean, a construction worker can become injured in a slip and fall accident or even by falling in a hole that has been obscured by waste. Other construction workers are injured in accidents on ladders or while being struck by machinery. When a construction worker is injured, often it is due to some negligence on the site.
Nurses / Healthcare Workers
The healthcare industry places workers in many types of environments. From hospitals to nursing homes, schools to clinics, the hazards these employees face can vary but the injuries are often the same.
Common causes of healthcare injuries include slips and falls, exposure to disease and illness, injuries to feet from extended standing, and back injuries from lifting and straining. Nurses are prone to injuries caused by repetitive motions that cause damage over time. Some of these may include carpal tunnel syndrome, stress fractures, tendinitis, bursitis, and tennis elbow. We often see nurses and nurse assistants injured while lifting patients.
Teachers / Classroom Aides
Working with students poses a number of risks that may result in injuries. Gym class can cause injuries as can collisions with students who run through the halls. Typing and writing can place additional stress on the hands, wrists, and forearms which can also lead to permanent damage. At times, teachers may need to separate fighting students which puts the teachers at risk of being hit or kicked and as a result, injured.
Worker’s compensation claims for teachers who get hurt are more complicated because the working school year for teachers is shorter than a calendar year. This alters the calculation of any lost wages a teacher is entitled to receive if injuries prevent the teacher from being able to work and increases the amount a teacher is entitled to every day she is hurt.
Each type of airline employee is responsible for different tasks which place them at risk for different injuries. Baggage handlers often suffer injuries to their backs and necks while lifting and moving heavy luggage while maintenance workers are exposed to wrist and elbow damage from working with hand tools. Flight attendants are required to do whatever is necessary inside the cabin which means that they may have to help stow overhead luggage or may be forced to walk through the cabin during heavy turbulence. Injuries can happen to a flight attendant at any moment of a trip.
Most airline employees belong to unions and this can sometimes complicate a workers’ compensation claim since there are some protections afforded to those employees through the union in addition to that available under the state Workers’ Compensation Act.
An office may sound like a safe place to work, and compared to some other jobs, it is. But that does not mean that injuries do not occur to office workers. Staring at a computer screen can cause eye strain and headaches and typing is a repetitive action that can cause carpal tunnel syndrome.
Some office employees are required to carry supplies or move boxes which can cause sprains and strains, especially to the back and neck. Back injuries can also occur from sitting in an improper chair for extended periods without an opportunity to walk or stretch.
The speed at which a warehouse runs can be fast with pressure to produce product and expedite movement of stock. This can lead to workers who hurry through tasks and get injured while trying to operate machinery, packing goods, or walking the floor.
Workers who deal with airborne particles may inhale these which can cause damage to the upper respiratory system and lungs, even in the particles themselves are not inherently harmful, like dust generated from food processing. Workers can also be exposed to chemicals and toxins that can burn and scar if the proper safety equipment is not provided.
One of the most common types of workplace injury occurs when a worker gets crushed or trapped by something in the work area, including a stack of product, a forklift, or being struck by falling objects. Warehouse employees regularly sustain burns, cuts and abrasions, torn ligaments in their knees and shoulders, as well as herniated and bulging discs as the result of an accident. Some warehouse accidents even claim the employee’s life.
Chicago hosts numerous different types of buses and bus companies on a daily basis, including the popular CTA buses. This form of public transportation enables many citizens to get to and from work daily in a convenient and cost-effective manner. While buses tend to be safe, bus accidents do occur every year and many of them result in injuries.
Bus drivers, including those who operate a CTA vehicle, are at similar risks for injuries as others involved in car accidents. Common complaints after a crash include back and neck pain, broken or fractured bones, cuts, bruises, and head injuries, to name a few.
School bus drivers also are injured on the job and may be injured while helping students. Some drivers may assist children with special needs to their seats or while boarding or disembarking the bus. In addition, these drivers are still at risk for school bus accidents with other vehicles on the roads. As school buses tend to operate during morning and evening hours, traffic can be heavy and can increase the odds of a crash occurring.
Trucking is responsible for moving many of the goods purchased by consumers every year, and Chicago utilizes numerous trucks to make sure the city is stocked with needed products. Each of these trucks is manned and operated by a driver who is licensed and skilled in the maneuvers of the type of truck driven. Statistically, truck drivers tend to be in fewer collisions than the average motorist per mile traveled but unfortunately, truck accidents still occur and do cause injuries to those involved.
Accidents are not the only threat facing truck drivers as many are charged with loading and unloading their vehicles with products. Movement of goods can lead to injuries including muscle strains, sprains, injuries to a back or neck, or crush-related damages.
What to Do if You Get Hurt
If you have been hurt on the job, you should report your injury to your superior and seek the medical treatment you need. You should also consider calling a personal injury attorney to discuss your accident and whether you have a claim.
At Abels & Annes, we are workers’ compensation lawyers who understand work place accidents and how these injuries can affect the short and long term lives of our clients. We know the law and we fight for our clients’ rights to a fair recovery. That is why we keep a licensed lawyer standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week to take your call and help you understand your options. If you have been injured or if your loved one has been hurt, call us today toll free at (855) LAW-CHICAGO (529-244) or locally at (312) 924-7575 and let us help you seek the relief you deserve.
If you have been hurt on the job, call us today at (855) LAW-CHICAGO or Contact Us online for a free case consultation.