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Sauk Rapids Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Common work-related elbow injuries and how to avoid them

Elbow injuries in Minnesota can make it very difficult to perform one's job duties. Work-related injuries, often chronic in nature, can negatively affect the elbow. Fortunately, however, there are steps a worker can take to prevent elbow injuries and maintain productivity. It may be helpful to identify some of the most common elbow injuries and understand why they occur.

According to the University of Michigan, several conditions fall under the wider umbrella of tendinosis, which results from micro-tearing of connective tissue either in the tendon itself or surrounding it. Two common types of tendinosis include medial epicondylitis and lateral epicondylitis. Each occurs just above the elbow, but medial epicondylitis affects the inner side of the elbow while lateral epicondylitis affects the outer side. These conditions commonly go by the names golfer's elbow and tennis elbow, respectively, but they can also result from repetitive work activities and lifting heavy objects. 

Suing an employer despite workers' compensation

Minnesota workers who are injured on the job should know what their compensation options are. In most cases, an injury will be covered by workers' compensation. In others, however, an employee may choose to pursue the matter further and take their employer to court.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines workers' compensation as an insurance system in place to reimburse workers who become injured during or because of their occupation. Examples can include construction workers who fall from faulty scaffolding, secretaries who develop Carpal Tunnel Syndrome due to the repetitive motion injuries that typing can cause, or factory workers who are exposed to harmful chemicals.

Does negligence contribute to crush injury risk?

Minnesota construction workers like you have to put yourself at risk every time you work in your field. Sometimes, no matter how many precautions you take and how safe you are, the negligence of other employees or even your employers can cause you harm.

Today, we will take a look at how negligence can potentially lead to crush injuries. By definition, a crush injury occurs when a part of the body is put under pressure. Some of the most common examples in the construction field include getting run over by vehicles, or becoming pinned between a vehicle and another solid surface. It is also possible to suffer from crush injuries if you are buried under building materials or work equipment.

Common work injuries for truck drivers

As a commercial truck driver, you do hard and praiseworthy work transporting goods people often take for granted. During your course of work, you may also sustain an injury.

Some injuries you sustain may put you out of work and leave you with hefty medical bills. If you sustain an occupational injury, you may be able to pursue workers' compensation benefits. Here are some common ways you can get hurt as a truck driver. 

States sees decline in workers' compensation opioid use

Most people in Minnesota have heard and read a lot of reports about the problems the nation as a whole is facing regarding the use of and dependence on opioid medications. These drugs have moved from being welcomed for their ability to give people relief from serious pain to being considered a central part of a national emergency. With the number of deaths, including suicides and non-intentional deaths, attributed in some way to opioid addiction and abuse, it only stands to reason that there might be a drop in the number of times these drugs are prescribed.

Many people who are hurt in job-related accidents or who develop workplace illnesses have been prescribed opioids by physicians. These prescriptions may have often been paid for by workers' compensation. Insurance Journal recently reported on the results of a study that reviewed the use of opioids by people with active workers' compensation claims. The study was conducted by the Workers' Compensation Research Institute and reviewed more than 575,000 cases across 27 states including Minnesota.

Gap in safety rules for workers in extreme heat

Many people in Minnesota work in jobs that require them to be outside for extended periods of time. During the summer months, that means these workers endure long hours of exposure to the sun and high temperatures. Construction workers and farm employees are just two examples of groups that fall into this category. These people are at risk for experiencing heat-related illnesses due to the exposure at work

Minnesotans are fortunate in that theirs is one of only three states with laws in place related to protecting workers who must be outside in high heat. The other two states are Washington and California. However, two members of the U.S. House of Representatives introduced legislation that would enact laws to protect workers who experience heat and high temperatures at the federal level.

Can you claim workers' compensation without an accident?

Certain industries are more dangerous than others and have a high risk of accident, such as construction. When physical injury occurs due to a traumatic event, employees can file for workers' compensation to receive financial benefits. The aid covers both current and future medical bills and lost wages.

However, what if no accident caused the injury? Can you still file a workers' compensation claim? The answer is yes for injuries that take time to develop.

Reversing the trend of workplace amputations

Some of the most serious and debilitating injuries that can occur in the workplace include amputations of the fingers, hands or other extremities. Unfortunately, according to WCCO 4 News, Minnesota has seen an increase in reported amputation injuries in the workplace. Fifteen reports of work-related amputations have come into the state division of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration since the beginning of the current fiscal year in October 2018. This allegedly marks an increase, yet statistics from previous years are not readily available. 

Employers and employees alike can take steps to reverse this disturbing trend. Employers can offer additional training to their employees regarding dangerous equipment that could cause amputations. Additionally, employers can and should reassess potential workplace amputation hazards as soon as possible. 

OSHA investigation launched after fatal accident

People in Minnesota who work in the construction industry know that every job site has numerous hazards, which is why there are so many strong and clear safety requirements outlined for construction companies and workers to follow. Unfortunately, there are situations when the documented safety standards are not followed and serious - or even fatal - accidents occur. According to a report in Bring Me The News, data from the Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health Administration indicates that the city of St. Paul alone has experienced four work-related deaths in 2019 so far.

The most recent workplace death in St. Paul happened at the site of the new China Garden. A man was working there where an object fell from above and struck him. No details were given as to what the object was that fell and hit the man. The worker was taken to a hospital but he was unable to survive the traumatic injuries he experienced. 

Loose clothing causes workplace injuries

Clothing is an important part of everyday life. Not only does what you choose to wear provide protection from the elements, but it also helps you express your individual identity. Before you go to work, though, you must think twice about whether your clothing increases your odds of sustaining a serious injury at work. 

At some worksites, employees wear a standard uniform. Still, whether your employer provides clothing or you choose your own, you must think about fit. Here are four ways loose clothing may cause workplace injuries.

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