Correction Guards Awarded Over $1.5M in Illinois Workers Comp Benefits

Since January 2009, correctional officers at the Menard Correctional Center have been paid over $1.5 million in Illinois workers compensation benefits, according to the Illinois’ workers’ compensation commission. The officers received compensation for repetitive injuries that developed while they were on the job. The settlement amounts were between $21,860 and $119,184 depending on the amount of damage and permanent loss of function in the arm and hands. Correctional officer and other employees whose repetitive trauma injuries caused them to miss work last year were paid over $195,000 in Illinois workers comp benefits.

What is Repetitive Trauma? Repetitive trauma is the result of completing tasks that require repetitive or constant movements over the course of the work day. Repetitive trauma is common for office workers, assembly line employees, railroad workers and others who perform the same repetitive tasks for many hours on a daily basis. This type of injury is a common Illinois workers comp injury, and Chicago workers compensation lawyers assist many clients in filing claims each year for repetitive trauma.

In the case of the Menard staff members, their Illinois workers compensation benefits were awarded based on repetitive trauma injuries resulting from the following tasks:
– “Bar Taps” to ensure that bars are secure and inmates are not attempting to escape by sawing out of their cells
– Handcuff placement and removal
– Opening rows of cells by cranking a heavy wheel
– Use of Folger Adam keys
There were also Illinois workers comp claims filed by employees for non-repetitive injuries such as slip and fall injuries and heavy lifting related issues.

How Can You Avoid Repetitive Trauma? There are many things that employers and employees can do to prevent repetitive trauma injuries from occuring, including:
Ergonomically correct work environment
Rest: If you rest when you first notice symptoms of a repetitive trauma, it will often correct itself or at the very least you may be able to prevent it from getting worse.
Taking Breaks: Taking mini-breaks from repetitive tasks throughout the day can be helpful.
Exercise: Strengthening certain muscles can help you avoid putting unnecessary strain on other parts of your body. For example, strengthening core muscles helps reduce strain on the lower back by providing additional support.
Braces: May help treat repetitive trauma injuries and prevent further injury by providing support to the injured area.

Repetitive trauma injuries like those reported by the Menard Correctional Center employees are very common, especially in certain professions. For this reason, Chicago workers compensation lawyers handle thousands of Illinois workers comp cases each year. If you are suffering from a repetitive trauma injury or have questions about Illinois workers compensation benefits, contact a Chicago workers compensation lawyer right away. Along with the above tips, it is your best chance of preventing permanent damage from a work related injury.