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New Illinois workers’ compensation law worries some groups

On behalf of Jeffrey Frederick of Frederick & Hagle posted in Workers’ Compensation on Thursday, June 12, 2014.

Many professional groups report that they rely on training to keep their skills sharp and to learn new techniques and protocols. For many, such as firefighters, the training is provided by outside agencies. In the past, those providers were not held liable for any injuries or even deaths in the event something should go awry. However, a new bill signed by the Illinois governor will now hold those agencies liable in the event there is a workers’ compensation claim.

With the new law in place, many professional groups, including roofers and firefighters, worry that it will serve to increase the costs associated with contracting the needed training. The fact that these outside agencies could be responsible for claims will most likely lead to higher prices for employers to meet. In addition, several first responders spoke out about how the law could wind up affecting the general public.

One chief stated that a majority of the training sessions for crew members is provided by other fire stations. These sessions cover farm silo rescues as well as other vital scenario rescue drills. Now, however, these types of arrangements may be more difficult to arrange, if they can be conducted at all. Another group that has expressed concerns is the roofing industry, as it too is required to receive safety instruction that is, again, provided through an outside agency.

There have been some lawmakers and other professionals who have scoffed at the concerns that have been voiced. The average Illinois worker who is injured on the job may not see any difference in how the program functions. In general, if an employee is hurt while on the job, then the workers’ compensation program provides benefits to help meet financial obligations while they are unable to work. In the event that a worker encounters difficulties or has questions concerning the process of filing a claim, there are resources available that can supply information that may be beneficial.

Source: wics.com, “Firefighters: New law jeopardizes training“, , June 6, 2014

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