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Belleville Legal Issues Blog

How to handle hazardous materials without getting hurt

There may be times when workers in Illinois will need to handle hazardous materials. Employers should have safety rules and protocols in place to make sure that their workers do so without getting hurt. The use of personal protective equipment (PPE) can reduce the risk workers face when handling a potentially dangerous substance. PPE should be replaced if it is defective or worn down as it won't protect as well as it ages.

Workers should know what they are handling at all times. Containers should have labels that can be read with ease. If a container is labeled incorrectly or in an illegible manner, an individual should consult with a manager before touching it. It is important for those who have handled hazardous materials to wash their hands after doing so. They should also refrain from handling anything that may go on their face or skin while their hands are contaminated.

How to keep workers safe around machines

Workers in Illinois and throughout the country could face injury risks regardless of the type of machine that they use. It is important that both workers and employers take steps to reduce that risk. For example, employees should wear proper protective equipment when they are working on or around a machine. Employers should do hazard assessments on a regular basis to determine what type of equipment workers will need.

Machine guarding is another way that workers can be kept safe while working on or near equipment. Guards may include physical barriers, curtains or anything else that keeps sparks or moving parts away from a person. Individuals should also refrain from putting their hands or other body parts near any machine that is moving. Those who are operating a machine should be left alone until their work is finished.

Keeping life normal for kids during divorce

Family is important and you may have always considered yourself family-oriented. However, you and your spouse have been having problems lately and divorce has been on your mind. But you love your kids and you do not want your family to fall apart.

If you are thinking of getting a divorce, you might be worried about how it will affect your kids. Divorce is obviously a big change for your kids but there are ways you can make the process as smooth as possible to preserve your family and your relationships. Your relationship with your kids and the rest of your family life does not have to suffer due to a divorce.

Minimizing custody issues with effective co-parenting

For couples in Illinois with children, divorce often means making an effort to successfully co-parent. Unless a child's safety is at risk, it's generally advised that an ex-spouse avoid downplaying the role of the other parent or discouraging discussions about them when adjusting to life after a divorce. Even in situations where one parent is not reliable or responsible, it can be better for a child to discover this for themselves.

When a separation agreement involves child custody, details about visitation and arrangements for holidays, vacations and similar situations are usually clearly spelled out. However, children aren't always in the habit of keeping tabs on such details. Confusion that may lead to custody issues could be reduced if schedules with important dates are posted in both homes. Being consistent with rules and guidelines for conduct could also be beneficial for children as they go back and forth.

Planning for divorce after tax law changes

The financial aspects of divorce can be very significant, especially for wealthy Illinois couples with lots of assets. Tax reform introduced as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 will go into effect for all divorces finalized after Dec. 31, 2018. As a result, many divorcing couples who can finalize their divorces before the end of 2018 are rushing to do so while others are considering financial plans that can help to compensate for the tax law changes.

One of the most prominent tax changes that will go into effect in 2019 affects the payment of spousal support. Under the current system, alimony payments are tax-deductible to the payer, and the recipient pays taxes on their value. This has generally been a win-win system as the payer can receive a substantial tax deduction while the receiver pays taxes in their own, usually lower, tax bracket. As of 2019, however, the payments won't be tax-deductible for the payer. Furthermore, the recipient won't have to pay taxes on the income. Rather than being a boon to recipients, the change is likely to lead to lower spousal support payments.

The 10 most dangerous jobs in the U.S.

There are safety issues in every job across Illinois. However, it's no secret that some occupations are more dangerous than others are. Time magazine has compiled the data and used it to determine the 10 most dangerous jobs in the United States. The list has some surprises, both for the jobs themselves as well as the cause of the danger.

The study looked at the number of fatal accidents per 100,000 workers in an industry. The figures were taken from the 2016 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries published in 2017 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The dangers faced by U.S. meat plant workers

According to reports, U.S. meat plant workers are suffering serious injuries like fractured fingers, amputations, burns and head trauma week after week. OSHA records reveal that every month in these meat plants, an average of 17 incidents occur that qualify as "severe". This covers incidents that lead to amputations, loss of an eye or a hospitalization. Illinois workers will want to know what can be done about this unsafe trend.

All too often, workers are getting hands and arms caught in cubing machines and rollers or having fingers and toes cut off by grinders and band saws. Chronic conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome are also frequently reported. Government and industry efforts to better train employees has led to an overall decline in meat plant worker injuries over the past 25 years, though injury rates are still well above average. The Government Accountability Office states that under-reporting can distort the figures.

What to know about a first DUI offense

You’ve had too much to drink and want to get home. Against better judgement, you get behind the wheel and think it won’t be an issue. Then a police officer pulls you over.

Now you are one of nearly 30,000 people arrested for driving under the influence in Illinois each year. Penalties vary based on a number of factors, but a first-time offense is typically subject to different treatment than a repeat offender.

Brake Safety Week to affect all CMV drivers

All drivers of commercial motor vehicles in Illinois will want to make sure that their brake systems are properly maintained. Improperly maintained or installed brakes can increase stopping distance and put drivers at risk for rear-end collisions. They also violate current safety guidelines. This is why the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance will be holding Brake Safety Week.

Lasting from September 16 to 22, this nationwide inspection spree will consist mostly of Level I inspections. These 37-step inspections are the most comprehensive in the industry and check for both driver- and vehicle-related violations. Defective or out-of-adjustment brakes will result in the vehicle being put out of service. During last year's Brake Safety Day (rather than week), 14 percent of vehicles that were stopped were placed out of service.

Retirement preparedness decreases after divorce

When people over 50 in Illinois decide to divorce, they can face a number of specific concerns for the future. Labeled "gray divorces," these separations are far from uncommon or anomalous. On the contrary, while the divorce rate for Americans of all ages has remained flat, it more than doubled for people over 50 between 1990 and 2010. At the same time, because retirement funds can be some of the most important assets addressed during a divorce at any age, this can have a particularly significant impact on people who choose to divorce later in life.

While the impact on retirement readiness can be most significant for people who divorce over 50, a study has found that divorce can impact a person's ability to retire comfortably for years to come. This indicates that the financial fallout of the end of a marriage may linger for some time to come, even after the short-term changes have long since been addressed. A study by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College addressed the level of retirement readiness of people across the country.

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Belleville, IL 62220
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