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How often have you heard about a worker in Naperville who hurts his or her back at work? According to a fact sheet from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), back injuries at work are among the most common injuries for workers' compensation claims, and they can happen in a variety of industries. Indeed, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that "more than one million workers suffer back injuries on the job each year, and back injuries account for one of every five workplace injuries or illnesses." To put that number another way, back injuries account for around 20 percent of all reported workplace injuries or illnesses. In addition, about 25 percent of all workers' compensation claims involve a back injury. If you hurt your back at work, you may be eligible to file a workers' compensation claim and should reach out to a Naperville workers' compensation lawyer to discuss your case.

What Causes Back Injuries at Work?

A fact sheet from the Mayo Clinic emphasizes that back pain at work can take many different forms in that it can be "dull and achy or sharp and stabbing," depending upon how the injury occurs. Some jobs that seem unlikely to cause a back injury—such as office work that requires sitting at a desk—can actually worsen an already existing back injury, and that might be enough reason to consider filing a workers' compensation claim. What causes most back injuries at work? It is hard to specify how most back injuries happen on the job since they occur in so many different fields, from jobs in nursing to those in the construction industry. However, the Mayo Clinic identifies several factors that tend to contribute to back pain most often at work:

  • Exerting force on your back (which can happen when you lift or move heavy objects);
  • Repeating movements that can result in twisting or rotating your spine; and
  • Inactivity at a desk job without proper back support.

As you can see, there are several different types of actions—or inactions, as the case may be—that can lead to a back injury at work. However, according to the OSHA fact sheet, the most common injuries that resulted in workers' compensation claims happened while an employee was lifting a heavy object (about 75 percent), and a majority of those injuries affected the lower back (about 80 percent).


We often hear about injuries that lead toworkers' compensation claimsin Aurora, such as a serious fall or being struck by an object. These workplace injuries do happen with some frequency, but there are other serious accidents at work that can also result in a successful workers' compensation claim. Today we would like to talk about the prevalence ofworkplace-related burn injuriesand the importance of filing a workers' compensation claim.

Learning More About Workplace-Related Burns

According to anarticlein theAnnals of Burns and Fire Disasters, published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health, "the key element of a safe workplace for employees is the maintenance of fire safety." However, work-related burns, including thermal burns, chemical burns, and electrical burns happen on the job more frequently than you might think. Indeed, according to the article, the following statistics make clear the prevalence of workplace-related burn injuries:

  • About 15 percent of all adult burn injuries are workplace-related burns (around 384 each year);
  • Average age of patients admitted to the hospital with workplace-related burn injuries is 37 years old;
  • Most patients with workplace-related burn injuries are male (approximately 90 percent); and
  • Only about 1 percent of patients suffer fatal workplace-related burn injuries, but the average hospital stay is greater than five days.

When a workplace-related burn injury requires an employee to stay in the hospital for a number of days (and often to have numerous follow-up medical visits), that employee may not be able to return to work. Even if a worker with a burn injury can go back to his or her job shortly after the accident, the injuries may prevent that employee from fully performing all of the functions of the job. In such a case, the employee may be eligible to file a workers' compensation claim and should speak with an experienced Aurora workers' compensation lawyer.


FMLA and Workers' Comp

Posted on in Workers' Compensation

Many times each year we get calls from clientsin Aurora, Illinoistelling us that they just gotFamily Medical Leave Act (FMLA)forms to fill out from their employer. "Can they do this? Can they really make me use FMLA even though I got hurt at work?", they ask. "I'm supposed to be on workers' comp."

The answer to most people's surprise is yes, they can. The Illinois Workers' Compensation Act and FMLA are two very different laws that provide two very different protections. The Family Medical Leave Act is a Federal law that covers all state and local government workers and any worker whose company has 50 or more employees. FMLA provides 12 weeks of job protectedunpaidleave for workers who have a serious health condition, no matter what the cause of that condition is. A work injury often qualifies as a serious health condition.

TheIllinois Workers' Compensation Act, on the other hand, is a State law that mandates employers provide specific benefits to employees who are injured on the job. (Link to earlier blog or our manual?) While the two laws provide different benefits, they do run together.


Workers' compensation claims in DuPage County are not limited a few types of industries. Employee injuries can happen in almost any occupation, and it is important for employers to think carefully about worker safety and to take steps to prevent accidents from occurring. One of the more common worksites in which employee accidents and injuries occur is in wholesale and retail trade establishments. When injuries happen at these places of employment, injured workers may be eligible for workers' compensation benefits.

If you or someone you love got hurt at work in DuPage County, it is important to learn more about filing a workers' compensation claim. Before anyone suffers a serious injury, however, it is essential to take steps to prevent a serious workplace injury in the first place. A safety pamphlet from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health discusses the problems of slips, trips, and falls in wholesale and retail workplaces and the ways in which employees may be able to avoid injuries.

Slips, Trips, and Falls at Work in Naperville

According to the pamphlet, employees in wholesale and retail trade (WRT) are at particularly high risk of injuries from slips, trips, and falls. What kinds of jobs are usually classified as WRT work? In short, this category refers to jobs that involve "preparing, distributing, and selling merchandise in retail operations, and services related to those activities." In other words, from placing materials into shipping receptacles to selling goods at a retail store in Naperville, there are a wide variety of WRT jobs. Currently, about 21 million people have WRT jobs.


When most of us hear about a workplace injury and a resulting workers' compensation claim, a repetitive motion injury such as carpal tunnel syndrome is not usually among the first types of injuries that comes to mind. Yet many workers' compensation claims result from repetitive strain injuries. Indeed, these injuries can be just as debilitating as other serious workplace injuries, and it is important to understand whether you may be eligible for workers' compensation benefits.

What is Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)?

According to a report from the University of Michigan, repetitive strain injury (RSI) is a trauma disorder that stems from "prolonged repetitive, forceful, or awkward hand movements." Such movements can lead to damage to the "muscles, tendons, and nerves of the neck, shoulder, forearm, and hand, which can cause pain, weakness, or impairment of motor control." The report identifies three primary risk factors for RSI:

  • Poor posture;
  • Poor technique; and
  • Overuse.

There are numerous disorders that fall into the larger category of repetitive strain injuries, and carpal tunnel is one of many of those disorders. To be sure, as the report explains, patients will not receive a medical diagnosis of a repetitive strain injury, but rather will receive a diagnosis of one of the disorders—such as carpal tunnel syndrome—that falls within this category of disorders.

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