May 21, 2011

Southside Chicago Chemical Production Company Facing Large Fines Following Workplace Injury

A November 18th workplace injury has led to large fines for a Chicago Heights based chemical company. The company, Polychem Services Inc., has been cited for $63,000.00 in fines in response to one safety and five health violations at the facility. According to reports, a worker was injured on November 18, 2010, suffering second and third degree burns in a confined space without proper means of egress or ingress. One of the health violations is considered ‘willful’ – a violation committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law’s requirements and/or plain indifference to worker safety and health. The fines are the result of an OSHA investigation at the facility following the Chicago work injury.

Polychem Services has the options of paying the fines and abating the violations, requesting a conference with OSHA’s area director or contesting the fines before an independent OSHA review board. A Department of Labor spokesperson has indicating that the company has not yet made a decision on how it is going to handle the violations. Federal law requires employers to to be aware of hazards that exist in the workplace and also take appropriate precautions by following OSHA guidelines when necessary. No comment from Polychem has been made available.

Injured workers in Illinois may be entitled to benefits under the Workers Compensation Act even where OSHA violations are not found. If you have been injured at work you should contact a Chicago work injury lawyer to discuss a potential claim. To speak with an Illinois work injury lawyer, please click here.

April 21, 2011

Two Illinois Workers Injured after Plunging into Deep Hole on Chicago’s South Side

Two Illinois workers were injured after falling into a 20-30 foot deep hole this morning on Chicago’s south side. The workplace injury occurred at the Water Reclamation District’s Calumet water plant which is located at 400 E. 130th St. in Chicago, IL. The injured employees both worked for the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District. According to reports, the workers fell into a thirty to forty foot hole at the plant around 7:30 a.m. The Chicago Fire Department was dispatched to the scene of the Chicago workplace accident to provide emergency services. It reportedly took about an hour for Fire Department officials to free the men from the hole.

Both of the workers were taken to Advocate Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, IL. One of the injured workers was listed in serious condition with head injuries following the accident. The other worker was reportedly listed in fair condition. The more seriously injured worker was transferred by a helicopter deployed by the University of Chicago Hospital. The cause of the workplace accident remains unclear and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District has declined to comment.

Illinois law provides certain benefits for individuals that suffer injuries at work. These benefits include the payment of medical bills, temporary time off, and even permanency. If you have suffered a workplace injury, you should contact a lawyer immediately to ensure that you receive all the compensation to which you are entitled. To speak with a Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer, please click here.

April 8, 2011

Chemical Exposure sends South Side Worker to Hospital

A South Side Chicago truck yard worker was rushed to the emergency room early this morning after being exposed to hazardous chemicals. The Chicago workplace accident occurred at approximately 4:39 a.m. at R & L Carriers located at 4359 W. 36th St. in Chicago, IL. According reports, a fork lift knocked over an undisclosed container of chemicals at that location. The chemical has been reportedly classified as a Level 1 hazardous material. The Chicago workplace accident victim, who has not been identified, was rushed by paramedics to Mt. Sinai Hospital according to Chicago Fire Department spokesman Richard Rosado. The individual was listed in serious to critical condition.

Injured workers are entitled to certain benefits under Illinois law. Those benefits include payment of medical bills, wages for time missed at work and permanency awards. Many injured workers are not even aware of the benefits to which they are entitled. If you have been injured in a workplace accident in Illinois, you should contact a Chicago workers compensation attorney immediately to protect your rights. To speak with an Illinois workers compensation attorney, please click here.

July 30, 2010

Preliminary Investigation Determines that Illinois Worker Deaths were Preventable

An investigation performed by the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) has determined that a grain belt accident that left two teenagers dead and one other seriously injured was preventable. The tragic workplace accident occurred on Wednesday around 10:00 a.m. in a bin owned by Haasbach LLC in Mount Carroll, IL. According to reports, three workers were inside the bin when the accident happened. Those workers were aged 19 years old, 14 years old, and 20 years old. Both the 19 year old and the 14 year old were killed in the workplace accident. The 20 year old was taken to St. Anthony’s Hospital in Rockford, IL, where he was listed in fair condition.

The aforementioned investigation determined that none of the workers were wearing required safety harnesses or were equipped with required safety harnesses when the tragedy occurred. Investigators also revealed that the deceased 14 year old should not have been working in the grain bin to begin with under any circumstances. OSHA has six months to complete their investigation. The agency has already conducted interviews with employees, owners and individuals that were at the accident scene. The matter is still being investigated by the Carroll County Sheriff’s Department.

If you have been involved in a workplace accident in Illinois, you should contact an attorney to ensure that you receive all of the benefits that you are entitled to. To speak with an Illinois workplace accident attorney, please click here.

March 5, 2010

Chicago Man Killed in Workplace Accident

A Chicago worker was killed on Wednesday following a construction site workplace accident downtown. The fatal accident claimed the life of 39 year-old Michael Gryga. According to reports, the fatal Chicago work injury occurred as Michael and another Peoples Gas employee were testing equipment in the downtown area below street level. The men were working near the Willis Tower around 1:45 p.m. when the tragedy took place. While the workers were testing a gas pipe with compressed air, a section of the pressurized pipe struck them. Kevin Spillers, a Chicago Board of Trade employee who was passing by, jumped to the aid of the injured workers.

Both of the men were taken to Stroger Hospital in critical condition according to a spokesman for the Chicago Fire Department. The workers were helping with the Wacker drive reconstruction project when the fatal accident occurred. The accident is still being investigated by Peoples Gas, the Illinois Commerce Commission, and a federal agency.

If you have been the victim of a workplace injury, you should contact an attorney immediately to protect your rights. The Klest Law Firm handles workers compensation cases for all types of workplace injuries. To speak with an attorney regarding your workplace injury, please click here.

October 16, 2009

Chicago Area Man Killed in Workplace Accident

A Chicago man was killed Wednesday when he was crushed by an 18,500 pound metal coil. The workplace accident occurred at the Material Sciences Corporation located in the 2200 block of Pratt Boulevard in Elk Grove Village, IL. Material Sciences Corporation reportedly provides material based services and coating for use in automotive, home appliance and telecommunications materials among others. The accident claimed the life of 63 year-old Dennis Woods of 706 Lincoln Ave. in West Chicago, IL. According to reports, Woods was killed just before 4 p.m. when a heavy coil fell from a piece of machinery crushing him.

The Elk Grove Village Police Department reportedly responded to the incident around 4 p.m. Woods was pronounced dead by the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office later that day. The circumstances surrounding the death are still being investigated by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

If you have been injured in a workplace accident you are entitled to certain benefits under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act. Among those benefits are payment of medical bills, payment of a portion of your weekly wage while you are injured, and a potential permanency award. If you have been injured at work or have any questions regarding the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, please click here.

August 29, 2009

Chicago Boy Killed in Workplace Accident

A Chicago youth was killed earlier this month at a South Side worksite when he fell off his father’s lap as the man was operating a Bobcat. The tragic accident occurred at a construction site outside a building on the 8000 block of South Ellis Avenue which was being converted to condominiums. According to reports, the boy was fatally injured when the father backed the Bobcat off a curb causing the front-loader to jerk and the bucket to fall. The young boy fell forward out of his father’s arms and out of the Bobcat. He was mortally wounded by the falling bucket of dirt. The boy was pronounced dead at 10:42 a.m. on August 12th at the University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital.

Family members related that the father would routinely bring the boy with him to worksites in an effort to both save money on child care and spend time with the boy. The boy was getting ready to start 4th grade at Sawyer Elementary School in Gage Park, IL.

The tragic workplace fatality serves as a reminder of the potential severity of workplace injuries. A Chicago personal injury attorney can help victims of workplace injuries explore potential avenues of recovery. If you have any questions regarding workplace injuries or would otherwise like to speak to a lawyer please click here.

July 21, 2009

Chicago Plant Explosion Injures Two Workers

An explosion at the Columbus Foods Co. vegetable oil and biodiesel plant in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood left two workers seriously injured last Friday. The workplace explosion is speculated to have been caused by some sort of chemical reaction according to a fire department spokesman. Columbus Foods Co. used the facility to manufacture and ship vegetable oil, shortening, biodiesel and other products. According to reports the facility handles between 20,000 and 40,000 pounds of biodiesel fuel each day. The facility houses about 65 employees. Agency officials from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have begun an investigation into the cause of the workplace explosion. OSHA reports that the plant has no history of complaints or enforcement actions.

The explosion occurred around 9 a.m. while workers were reportedly mixing chemicals. Several buildings were evacuated and some nearby roadways were closed following the workplace accident. Metra train lines running near the site of the accident were also impacted as a result of the explosion. A hazmat tent was erected outside of Children’s Memorial Hospital to treat individuals injured in the chemical explosion. A company spokesman could not be reached for comment following the accident.

If you have suffered a work related injury in the State of Illinois you may have a workers’ compensation claim or even a personal injury claim. If you wish to speak to a lawyer regarding a workplace injury please click here.

June 5, 2009

Chicago Riverwalk Gas Explosion Injures Four

A propane gas explosion left four injured at an outdoor Chicago café last Wednesday. The accident occurred at Cyrano’s Café, a restaurant located on the Chicago Riverwalk between Michigan Avenue and Columbus Drive. According to the owner of the café, the explosion occurred as cooks were preparing the kitchen for the day. Two of the cooks were injured while working at the Chicago restaurant.

The Chicago Fire Department issued a citation to the downtown Chicago restaurant for several fire code violations. According to spokesman Larry Langford, the restaurant was cited for improper installation of lines and valves on the grill, no certification of installer, improper placement of liquid propane gas tanks and a lack of proper fire suppression or extinguishers for restaurant use. The fire code further requires the restaurant to maintain two 20-pound fire extinguishers designed to put out kitchen fires. A serviceman for AmeriGas attributed the explosion to a minor gas leak in the propane tank. The tank has been repaired.

One victim of the Chicago accident was listed in critical condition while three others were in fair to serious condition. All four were taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital via fire ambulance according to Chicago Fire Department spokesman Quention Curtis. Four other individuals that were slightly injured in the accident declined treatment.

The cooks that were injured in the explosion may have a workers’ compensation claim. Work related injuries are generally covered by the Illinois Workers Compensation Act. If you have any questions regarding workers’ compensation click here.

February 17, 2009

Three Chicago Workers Injured in Slag Explosion at ArcelorMittal’s Indiana Harbor East Plant

A slag explosion in ArcelorMittal’s East Chicago plant injured three contract workers last Friday. According to a factory representative at the Indiana Harbor East plant, the accident was the result of an eruption at the factory’s slag processor at the No. 7 blast furnace. One of the injured workers was taken to a local medical facility while the two others were airlifted to a Chicago hospital burn unit. Nick Dvorscak, assistant chief of the East Chicago Fire Department, reported that the fire was put out by the time his crew arrived to the scene. Dvorscak said that one worker suffered from severe burns while another was hit with a piece of shrapnel. The identities and conditions of the injured workers have not been released.

President of United Steelworkers Local 1010 Mike Hargrove reports that the union is participating in an investigation of the incident. Hargrove says that the union involved itself in the investigation in an attempt to avoid similar instances in the future. The union represents the plant’s hourly workers and not the contractors that were injured in the explosion. The injured contract workers are employed by subcontractors for Lafarge Slag which uses the waste by-product material to make concrete. Lafarge officials were unable to be reached regarding the explosion.

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February 12, 2009

Chicago Worker Killed in Northwest Side Factory

A Chicago area man was killed Tuesday night when he was crushed by a machine in an envelope factory on the city’s Northwest Side. Hiep Vu, a 54 year old resident of Melrose Park, IL, was pronounced dead at 8:46 p.m. by the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office. The police reportedly received a call around 7:50 p.m. from Cenveo Inc., a facility located at 3001 N. Rockwell St. By the time police arrived to the scene of the accident, the Chicago Fire Department was already in the process of transporting Vu to Chicago’s Advocate Illinois Medical Center.

According to reports, Vu’s co-workers became concerned when they did not see him stationed at the machine where he was working. The co-workers reportedly walked over to take a closer look at which point they noticed that Vu was stuck in the rollers of the heavy machine. Co-workers were somehow able to extricate Vu from the machine before the police arrived. Information regarding the type of machine that Vu was working on is not readily available. Police do not suspect any foul play in the death. The workplace accident is being investigated by Grand Central Area detectives. If the machine malfunction was the result of negligent manufacturing, there may be a products liability action available to the victim’s family in addition to a potential worker’s compensation claim.

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