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Are changing work structures increasing injury risks?

Posted On April 06, 2015

Some occupations in Illinois have a higher risk of injury than others. However, due to changing work structures throughout the U.S., more and more employees have to turn to a Chicago workers compensation lawyer after incurring an injury performing their duties.

According to the Department of Labor, there are three primary trends in the labor market today posing greater challenges to workplace safety and health. These include the increase in more workplaces having employees under multiple employers, more wage employees being incorrectly classified as independent contractors and an increasing reliance on temporary employees provided by labor staffing agencies.

Several firms at the same site

When several companies conduct their operations at the same place, the employers do not work together to ensure a safe workplace. Although this type of structure has been common in the construction industry for many years, it has started to become more prevalent in other industries. Since this type of workplace structure puts employees at risk, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration will often cite employers for compromising the safety of those working at the same location.

Misclassifying employees

The laws set forth by OSHA do not cover those who are self-employed. As a result, workers who are misclassified as independent contractors are more likely to incur injuries and work with a Chicago workers compensation lawyer because their employer is not required to provide a safe workplace. Additionally, employers who misclassify their employees are not heavily concerned about their workers’ compensation premiums rising if a workplace accident were to occur. For this reason, these employers are less likely to invest time and resources into maintaining a safe workplace.

The increase in temporary workers

According to a study conducted by researchers in Washington, temporary workers lose more days from work after incurring an injury, are twice as likely to become injured and receive less compensation for their injuries after an accident. There are several different reasons why this group of workers has a high workplace accident risk. For example, temporary workers are often not provided with adequate safety training and are more likely to remain unfamiliar with the hazards at their place of employment. They are also more likely to work in multiple unfamiliar locations throughout the course of any given year.

When employees are injured at work, they may have a difficult time attaining proper compensation to cover the expenses associated with the accident. Those who incur a workplace injury may benefit from reaching out to a Chicago workers compensation lawyer to find out what they can do to protect their rights to benefits.

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