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Residents in Southern Illinois may know that some jobs are especially risky and thus more liable to result in injuries requiring a workers' compensation claim. But the truth is that virtually every occupation involves certain situations that pose the risk of workplace injury.

Recently, the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission ruled that a cashier will be eligible to receive workers' compensation benefits after a vehicle crashed through the produce market where she worked and injured her.

The commission ruled that the woman was placed at a higher risk of workplace injury because her cash register was located at the front of the store near the large glass windows adjacent to the parking lot.

Initially, the workers' compensation arbitrator ruled that the cashier failed to show that her injuries were the result of her employment. But the commission reversed the arbitrator's decision and awarded the woman workers' compensation for her injuries.

Deliberating over the case, the commission weighed the fact that customers were also injured in the crash. But it was decided that the cashier was put at a greater risk than the general public because she was required by her job description to remain at the front of the store, near the parking lot, for the entire work day. Her work station, said the commission, put the cashier at a greater risk of injury than the risk faced by the customers, who had no obligation to remain in one place while in the produce market.

Other Illinois workers who have questions about workers' compensation eligibility will want to explore all of their legal options. Workers' comp benefits are not limited to workers whose jobs we typically imagine to be dangerous. All employees whose injuries arise out of their employment may be eligible for benefits.

Source:, "Comp covers cashier injuries caused by out of control vehicle," Feb. 16, 2012

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