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Latest news on personal injury and workers’ compensation.

Report: Illinois, other states, reducing number of opioid prescriptions

A new report found it is becoming less common for workers to be prescribed painkillers after an on-the-job injury in Illinois. The Workers Compensation Research Institute monitors how often workers injured on the job are given prescription opioids in 27 select states. The organization’s new report found the percentage of Illinois workers who received a prescription paid for under workers…

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Roofing Contractor Fined $220,249 for Fall Hazards

A roofing contractor faces a fine of $220,249 for exposing workers to fall hazards at a commercial building site in a Chicago suburb, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced. Five Star Roofing Systems Inc., based in Hartford City, Indiana, was cited for willful, repeated and serious safety violations that include failing to provide fall protection, improper use of warning…

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Independent workers account for more deaths from slips, falls

Fatalities among independent workers accounted for about 12% of all workplace deaths in 2016-2017, and independent workers have a disproportionately higher share of fatalities due to falls, slips and trips, according to report released from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday. injuries among independent workers dropped slightly between 2016 and 2017, reported the BLS, with 662 total fatal…

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Postmates to offer benefits to gig workers

Postmates Inc. will offer occupational accident insurance benefits this fall to fleet members, the company announced Tuesday. The San Francisco-based company, which uses gig economy workers to deliver food, groceries, alcohol and more to individuals via an app, has about 350,000 independently contracted drivers. Drivers will be able to access a company portal for insurance information, and as of Oct….

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Bosses who bully undercut workplace safety, raise comp costs

Bosses who exhibit bullying behaviors can adversely impact the safety of their workplaces because bullied employees and their colleagues are less likely to engage in safe work practices, experts say. Failing to address bullying behaviors can affect a company’s bottom line through absenteeism, lower productivity and increased workers compensation costs, experts say. In early August, researchers from Portland State University…

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Explosion at NW Indiana Business Injures 3 Workers

An official says an explosion at a chemical tank cleaning business in northwestern Indiana injured three workers. The blast happened about 7:20 a.m. Wednesday at T.A.C. East Inc. in an industrial area of East Chicago. City Fire Chief Anthony Serna tells The (Northwest Indiana) Times that three employees suffered first-, second- and third-degree burns to their arms and legs and…

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Injured workers more likely to die from suicide, drug overdose: Study

Occupational injuries have been linked to a higher occurrence of drug-related deaths and suicide, according to data posted Thursday by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. The study, published in July’s American Journal of Industrial Medicine, examined New Mexico’s workers compensation data for 100,806 workers injured from 1994 to 2000 and Social Security Administration earnings and mortality data…

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Lakeside Roofing worker alleges he was fired due to national origin, disability

An employee of a roofing company alleges he was terminated from the job for requesting workers’ compensation benefits, alleging discrimination because of his disability and because he is of Mexican origin. Homero Serrano-Cardenas filed suit in Madison County Circuit Court against his former employer, Collinsville-based Lakeside Roofing, accusing the company of violating rules around workers’ compensation as well as provisions…

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Injured workers using opioids may struggle to find willing doctors

Individuals using opioids have difficulty finding a physician willing to take them on as a patient, and workers comp patients likely face similar barriers to care, experts say. A University of Michigan study released in mid-July found that 40% of individuals taking an opioid for chronic pain were rejected as potential patients in group health. Opioid-using patients in the workers…

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