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New CDC Report Reveals that 9 Percent of Adult Asthma Cases are Work-Related Injuries

Workplace injuries are far too common in Illinois, devastating thousands of families each year. In fact, according to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, approximately 250,000 work-related accidents occur each year in Illinois alone. The statistics are overwhelming, and the injuries often overwhelming.

In Chicago workplace injury cases, companies are responsible for ensuring that they provide a safe working environment for their employees. Further, when a company hires a person to perform the job of safeguarding the workplace to keep it safe on behalf of that corporation, the company can potentially be held legally responsible when that person acts negligently; liability falls to the company because it was the duty of that company to either provide proper training and supervision to the person in charge of safety, or hire someone who was better qualified to perform the job. Workplace injury is a serious matter. With so many cases occurring in Illinois each year, is essential for employers to maintain safe working environments, and for workers to follow proper safety procedures. When a worker is injured because of someone else’s negligence, it is important for victims to seek justice, not only to recover damages, but also to motivate employers to change their practices to avoid future litigation.

Nevertheless, despite the responsibility to maintain a safe working environment, the latest survey of U.S. workers by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveals that workplace environments continue to be blamed for causing or worsening cases of asthma. Indeed, approximately nine percent of adults who have asthma reported having work-related asthma, the CDC discovered from its telephone survey, which included information from 38 states and the District of Columbia. Ultimately this means that more than 1.4 million people across the country have been affected by work-related asthma.

Asthma is an inflammatory disease of the airways, characterized by symptoms such as airflow obstruction, wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath. Asthma can be caused by either genetic or environmental factors, and, as of 2009 the average number of asthma deaths totaled 250,000 per year.

However, there is good news. The CDC’s report advises that work-related asthma is preventable if efforts are taken to improve workplace conditions by such things as reducing the amount of powder in latex gloves.

Under Illinois personal injury law, employers are responsible for maintaining a safe, hazard-free work environment. If they fail to do so and employees suffer as a result, the employer may be held legally responsible for those injuries. Our attorneys have handled a number of cases involving unsafe work environments that led to worker injuries, including a $5.7 million settlement for a 27-year-old roofer in a Chicago workplace injury case who was paralyzed when he fell from a roof as a result of the general contractor’s failure to provide appropriate safety devices.