The nearly 60,000 structural steelworkers and iron workers in America face some of the greatest dangers of all the "blue collar" professions. Every day is a dance with death and serious injury as slips, trips, and falls from height are never more than a moment away. Steelworkers in Illinois who are injured on the job may be eligible to file workers' compensation claims for their injuries.
The Risks of Working with Steel
Each year, 47 out of every 100,000 steelworkers in the United States will experience a serious or fatal injury. This makes steelwork the sixth most dangerous job in America. These injuries include: Severe Burns - Welding steel can send sparks flying that can burn skin or ignite clothing or flammable substances such as gasoline and solvents. Falls - Connecting steel beams often requires steelworkers to work at considerable height with little protection from falls. Workers who are not provided adequate or properly functioning safety equipment can suffer serious injuries or die as a result of the fall. Muscle Damage - Heavy lifting and repetitive motions can cause serious, sometimes permanent damage to the muscular system. Many muscle injuries are not the result of a single incident, rather they are the result of cumulative events that gradually damage the muscles. Lacerations & Amputations - Steel cutting tools and rough edges on the steel itself can cause deep lacerations that can severe tendons and ligaments or cause permanent scarring to tissue. Exposure - Steelworkers are often exposed to extreme weather conditions. Exposure to extreme cold can lead to hypothermia and frostbite, and exposure to summer heat can lead to heat exhaustion. These conditions can cause a steelworker to lose their balance, lose their grip, or lose their focus. When this happens, the steelworker becomes prone to other more serious injuries. Hearing Loss - Working with drills, arc welders, cranes, and other tools of the trade can cause permanent hearing loss.
The Right to File a Workmans Comp for Steelworker Injuries
Steelworkers in Illinois have the right to file workmans comp claims stemming from injuries sustained on the job. However, many fail to do so because they fear retaliation from their employer. A workman's comp lawyer in Illinois can help injured steelworkers understand their rights and file their claims for compensation. Moreover, should an employer opt to retaliate by suspending, reducing pay, or firing the worker, an individual's workman's compensation lawyer can help file a complaint with OSHA and pursue claims for damages stemming from the employer's actions.