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Sauk Rapids Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Has your assembly line work caused repetitive stress injury?

You may have been working on an assembly line for years without any sort of physical issue, but lately, you are experiencing considerable discomfort in your left elbow and shoulder. You repeat the same motions every day in your job, and you may have developed repetitive stress injuries.         

What it means

Do I have to accept light duty after a worksite accident?

Despite all of the safety practices and protective gear, you are still taking a risk every time you walk into a construction site in Minnesota. Accidents happen, and they happen more to those who are already injured in some way. This is why, if you were unfortunate enough to get an injury at work, you would probably want to be in top form before you returned to the job.

Like it or not, the doctor in charge of your rehabilitation might want you back in the workforce before you feel you are completely ready. There could be a number of options available to you at this point, but it would probably not be in your best interest to simply refuse to perform your assigned duties. This is typically true even if you feel discomfort performing your reduced duties — but it would typically be advisable to discuss this pain with your doctor as soon as the symptoms arise.

How can you prevent workplace fires?

When you go to work each day, it is important for your Minnesota workplace to be safe. Depending on the industry you work on, you may come into contact with items that could start a fire, and it is necessary to understand how you can keep fires from starting.

Many items in your workplace can be potential fire hazards. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration says that flammable gases and liquids can be sources of fuel for a fire, and paper and wood can also become fuel. Additionally, some tools, such as grinding equipment and torches, can release sparks that might start a fire. To prevent any of these materials from igniting, it is important to use proper handling procedures. You should typically store flammable liquids inside safety cabinets, and it is a good idea to put a sign on the cabinet so everyone knows there are flammable materials inside. If you work with torches, it is important to make sure you keep the flame away from combustible materials and do not use these tools near vents.

Help! I've fallen from scaffolding and I can't get up!

As a construction worker in Minnesota, you know better than anyone just how dangerous construction sites can be. One particularly unique danger that construction workers face is scaffolding, a necessary component of many construction projects. Lindberg Law, P.C., is here to help in the event of any scaffolding-related incident you may find yourself involved in.

Scaffolding can be dangerous for two separate parties: those working on the scaffolding, and those who are working or moving below it. Moving around underneath scaffolding requires you to open yourself up to the potential of getting hit if anything comes crashing down. Falling items can include anything from power tools that are accidentally dropped, to pieces of the scaffolding itself if it hasn't been correctly secured, and even falling workers. This is one reason why construction workers must always wear hard hats on a construction site, even when not on the scaffolding itself.

Home health-care workers are at high risk of sharps injuries

As a home health-care worker, you make life at home possible for those to whom you provide care. Many of your job duties may be very physical, such as lifting or moving a client with limited mobility. While this puts you at particular risk of musculoskeletal injuries, sprains and strains, there is another hazard many workers encounter in clients' homes that perhaps no one warned you about.

According to the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, sharps injuries are high among home-care nurses and aides. 

Work-related injuries away from the workplace

For many Minnesota residents, official job duties sometimes go beyond the scope of the place of employment and regular business hours. At Lindberg Law, P.C., we understand there are some instances where you might get injured when you aren’t at work or working your normal hours, but which still qualify as a work-related accident.

FindLaw explains that workers’ compensation can cover you if you were injured performing a work-related duty off the clock or away from work. The following situations may apply:

  • You were in a car accident while driving to pick up sandwiches for an afternoon meeting.
  • During a trip to an out-of-state conference, you became ill when someone with norovirus spread the germs throughout the airplane.
  • Your boss asked you to mail a package on your way home from work, and you slipped on gravel on the sidewalk outside the post office.

Do older people die in work accidents?

When you hear about fatalities on Minnesota job sites, you may not pay much attention to the ages of the people involved. You may be surprised, then, to learn that people over the age of 55 are increasingly involved in fatal work accidents.

While workplace fatality rates have dropped, the deadly incidents that do occur tend to involve older workers. According to PBS News Hour, older workers are typically involved in 35 percent of the fatal accidents that occur each year. This rate is at least 50 percent higher than the death rate for accidents involving all workers of any age. Part of the reason for this increase is that more people are still working into their mid-fifties and beyond. People older than 55 accounted for 1,681 of the workplace fatalities in 2015.

Food-processing injury risks and workers' compensation

There are several industries that carry a high level of risk for on-the-job injury, and food processing is one of them. If you work in this industry, in a job such as meat packing, you should be aware of the various hazards you face so that you can take active steps to avoid them and stay safe.

On-the-job injuries can keep you out of work for an extended period of time, and if the injuries are serious enough, you may end up with a lifelong disability. With so much at stake, it is essential that you take precautions to avoid the particular hazards of the food-processing industry.

OSHA's prioritized approach to inspections

If you have ever been concerned about safety at your place of work in Minnesota, you might have wondered how safety hazards are monitored and how you can be protected. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration does actually conduct inspections of job locations but due to the sheet volume of businesses it could theoretically inspect. These inspections are carried out by compliance safety and health officers who are trained to identify hazards.

There are six levels of priority for OHSA inspections with the least urgent being those conducted to follow up from a prior inspection or violation. Next on the list are inspections at businesses targeted either due to their inherent industry risk or because they have had previous issues. Issues reported by the media and any other government agency or organization are next followed by issues reported by employees.

What are common hazards when working with power tools?

As a construction worker in Minnesota, you must be prepared to handle different types of electrical hazards. Some of the most dangerous hazards come from electric power tools, which can cause a lot of problems if they aren't properly maintained or if they're defective.

If you take a look at what the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) say, power tools can pose many hazards to the workers that use them frequently. Though there are plenty of safety measures in place to limit the possibility of accidents, they can and do still happen.

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