Look out for these unsafe working conditions (and what to do if you see one at work)
Workers' Compensation - December 22, 2022
Being injured while trying to support your family is the last thing that you expect to happen in the workplace. If you were injured due to a health or safety hazard on the job, you could be entitled to compensation for your injuries, their associated costs, and the impact on your earning ability.
Keep reading to find out what is considered unsafe working conditions, and how one of the Chicago workers’ compensation lawyers from Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates can help you recover the full amount you are entitled to.
Call (800) 985-1819 for a risk-free, no-cost evaluation of your case.
Examples of unsafe working conditions
Uncontained spills and slippery areas
Some businesses have areas that are regularly slippery due to oil, water condensation, and other causes. Spills can lead to slip-and-falls, which are a common cause of workplace injury. The workplace has a responsibility to clean up spills that could present a hazard to workers and to effectively warn against any such conditions with signs or other indicators of the hazard.
If slippery hazards are not contained by requiring workers to wear no-slip shoes or by placing non-slip mats on the ground, the employer could be liable for any related injuries.
Uncontained smoke, steam, and chemicals
For any company with industrial operations, smoke, steam, and any number of chemicals will likely be present. Smoke and steam can cause serious burns if left uncontained. Some industrial chemicals are harmless, but others contain toxic compounds that can damage your eyes, lungs, or other organs.
If you experienced a burn injury due to uncontained smoke or steam in your workplace, you could be entitled to compensation.
Unsafe ladders and stepping equipment
As noted above, slip-and-falls are some of the most common injuries on-the-job, and employers are obligated to offer and maintain safety equipment like ladders to control the risk of slipping and falling.
Unsafe harnessing and safety equipment
With certain jobs and functions, harnesses and other safety equipment are a requirement. If your employer did not provide you with safety equipment and you were harmed, you are entitled to compensation for your damages.
Inadequate warning systems
If a workplace has hazards like heat or fire that could develop and does not have sufficient warning systems to get workers out before they are harmed, the workplace will be liable for the injuries.
Poorly maintained equipment
Safety equipment is only effective if it is maintained, and being injured by poorly maintained equipment will entitle you to compensation.
How to report unsafe working conditions in Illinois
Reporting unsafe working conditions in Illinois includes the following four steps:
- Reporting the hazard to your employer – Your employer is required to respond to hazardous conditions when they are reported. Reporting the problem should lead to immediate action. If this does not work, or you fear retaliation and want to file anonymously, filing a complaint with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC) is next.
- Filing your complaint with IWCC – This can only be done electronically through CompFile. Your attorney can handle all of this for you.
- Providing information to support an inspection – The more information you provide about your injury, the more accurate the inspection will be. You might even be able to participate and provide feedback.
- Participating in the closing conference – The inspector will have a discussion with your employer about the inspection. You are entitled to a copy of this to use in your claim, which your attorney can gather for you.
Protecting Illinois workers
Illinois OSHA exists to protect the safety and health of employees in the state. Unfortunately, some employers don’t follow these requirements and end up putting their employees at serious risk of injury or even death.
If you were injured at work and suspect unsafe working conditions are to blame, connect with