Factory workers power our economy, but sometimes the industry can damage those who keep it running.
Factories produce the products and tools we use every day, but how often do we think about these employees? Factory conditions can be very dangerous, with risks such as burns, back injuries, spinal injuries, and (most commonly) repetitive motion trauma. If you’re a factory worker who’s been injured, don’t just ignore it, get compensated today! You deserve treatment, and you deserve to have it covered.
From welders and mechanics to machinists, forklift operators, pressmen, and sheet metal workers, the Epstein Law Firm is willing to work with you to get the settlement you deserve.
What can I be compensated for?
You might be concerned that your particular injury doesn’t qualify you for workers’ compensation. It’s important to know that as long as you were doing your job as instructed, and still got injured, you will most likely qualify for workers’ compensation. That being said, here are a few of the most common injuries for factory workers that qualify for workers’ compensation:
Repetitive motion – In a factory, you tend to do the same thing over and over again, which means your body is constantly moving in one repetitive motion. Over time, this puts a strain on the soft tissues used to complete that movement. When these tissues wear out or wear down, it can cause you a lot of pain that is usually only solved by a period of rest. In this case, you are certainly eligible for workers’ compensation.
Overexertion – Additionally, since working in a factory tends to be such a physical job, overexertion injuries often result. If you’re lifting excessively, moving quickly all of the time, or reaching on a regular basis, this could lead to overexertion injuries.
Transportation injuries – Factory workers have to operate heavy transportation machinery, and as careful as you are, accidents do happen. Forklifts, for instance, are a major cause of factory injuries, as well as other modes of factory transportation. In the event that you are injured while operating a transportation vehicle, or you are injured by a transportation vehicle on the job, you are likely to receive workers’ compensation.
Contact with objects and equipment – Just as vehicles on the job can be dangerous, so too can regular machines. Workers can be severely injured by heavy machinery, including loss of limb or even crushing injuries.
Exposure to harmful substances – Since factory work often involves a lot of chemicals, if you accidentally inhale or come into contact with a hazardous chemical after following proper safety precautions, you will also likely receive workers compensation.
Fires and Explosions – One of the most dangerous possibilities on a factory site or manufacturing plant is a fire or explosion. Since there are often combustible materials within the plant, fires can become even deadlier, putting you, the worker, at a greater risk. In the event that you are injured by a fire or explosion on the job, you should receive workers’ compensation.
I was injured by a machine at work. Can I get workers’ compensation and sue the machine manufacturer?
Illinois workers’ compensation law protects companies from being sued unless there is proof of gross negligence, but Illinois law does not protect machinery manufacturers in the same way. If you were using a machine that malfunctioned, resulting in injury, you can and should claim workers’ compensation and sue the manufacturer at the same time.
Can I sue my employer?
In order to sue your employer, you must prove they were negligent. For example, if your employer knowingly put you in regular contact with cancer-causing chemicals without practical safety measures, you could probably get compensated. If your employer hired someone with a previous record of violence and he attacked you with a hammer while at work, you may be entitled to compensation depending on how much your employer knew. However, if your employer practiced reasonable, industry standard safety procedures to limit potential exposure to dangerous material and you got sick anyway, you’re probably out of luck.
Unfortunately, you can’t usually sue your employer. But if you can prove fault or negligence, it might be appropriate to take action against your employer. If you’re unsure whether your employer was negligent, call the Epstein Law firm for a free consultation.
In some cases, workers’ compensation can be difficult to obtain. If you know you did nothing wrong and were still injured, it’s likely that you’re eligible for compensation. Whether you just have a few questions, or if you know you’re not receiving the compensation you’re entitled to, give the Epstein Law firm a call at 773-522-7000, or send us a message online. Your first consultation is always free because we’re here to help.