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Foote, Mielke, Chavez & O'Neil, LLC
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March 2016 Archives

Challenges facing women in construction

Illinois women working in the construction business face many of the same challenges as their male peers when it comes to safety in the workplace. However, there are some difficulties that are unique to women construction workers that put them at risk for suffering a workplace accident.

Lead poisoning in the workplace

While Illinois employers are required to protect their employees from dangerous exposure to lead, many workers still come in contact with it in the course of their employment. According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, more than 1,600,000 workers in the United States are exposed to lead, with more than half of those being workers in the construction industry. While the use of paints and other materials that contain lead has been outlawed, construction workers may be exposed to lead through demolition and repair of buildings erected prior to the ban. Other industries with potential for lead exposure include manufacturing, environmental remediation and transportation.

Government workers more likely to suffer injuries

Compared to their private sector counterparts, public workers are more likely to suffer workplace injuries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2014 workplace injuries and illnesses befell private sector workers at a rate of just over three percent. However, for the same time period, public sector employees suffered illnesses and injuries at a rate of five percent. Of those injuries and illnesses, nearly 80 percent were among local government workers.

Older workers less prone to injury but take longer to recover

It may seem to many Illinois employers that older employees would be more likely to be injured on the job, given that people of advanced age are often weaker and frailer than their younger counterparts. However, according to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, older workers are actually less likely to suffer a severe injury at work.

How does being a traveling employee affect workers' compensation?

In Illinois, if you are an employee and travel is a part of your job, your workers' compensation coverage may be expanded beyond that of a regular employee. While truck drivers and delivery drivers are obvious examples of traveling employees, you may also be considered a traveling employee under the law if you are required to travel away from your company's premises to perform a job related task.

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