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Sauk Rapids Workers' Compensation Law Blog

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.

Hazards you face working on or near scaffolding

Scaffolds are a common feature on many Minnesota construction sites, and if you make your living working in the industry, odds are, you have relied on them to help you perform work at some point. While scaffolds, or elevated, short-term work platforms, can help you perform work at higher elevations, they are also inherently dangerous, and the hazards you face working on or near scaffolds can increase considerably if you fail to follow safety protocols.

Just what types of hazards and injury risks do you face as someone who utilizes scaffolds?

What will a workplace accident cost you?

As a worker in Minnesota who has been injured on your job, you could find yourself facing a lot of financial losses and difficulties ahead. Fortunately, Lindberg Law, P.C. is here to help you learn about the possible ways that you can recover from these losses.

Accidents at the workplace can range from minor to major. They can involve broken bones, repetitive stress injuries, spinal cord injuries, crashes, and more. Depending on how severely you're injured, you could be facing any of the following financial drains:

  • Loss of wages
  • Hospital or doctor bills
  • Long-term healthcare bills
  • Medication costs

Preventing electrical accidents on the job

Countless Minnesota employees wake up to a work day that revolves around electricity. A crucial part of today's world, the use of electricity has become second-nature for most Americans. Despite this familiarity, electrical accidents are common, and can result in severe injuries and even death. What is the root cause of most electrical accidents, and what can employees who work with this powerful form of energy do to prevent mishaps?

The Electrical Safety Foundation International, an organization that promotes electrical safety in the workplace, provides statistical data on electrical accidents in the U.S. from 2003 to 2010. According to the ESFI, there was a total of 42,882 fatal electrical accidents that occurred between these years, with the construction industry having the highest reported number of accidents. 1,738 of these these 42,882 fatal incidents involved contact with electrical current. The ESFI also shares that five occupations within the construction industry experienced 32 percent of these accidents: construction laborers, painters, roofers, electricians and carpenters.

Why are nursing facility workers prone to injury?

Nursing home workers, skilled nursing facility employees and other nursing facility workers get injured on the job at high rates. In fact, as far as state-run workplaces go, nursing facilities rank at the top for being the most injury-prone. About 8.8 per 100 nursing facility employees get injured or ill, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. In one way, this makes sense. After all, a lot of resident lifting is involved, and many nursing homes lack a reputation for training their personnel well or for having robust staffing levels.

The reality: Yes, lifting, undertraining and understaffing are a big part of the issue. There is another significant piece to the puzzle, though, and it can prove surprising.

How long will it take you to recover from your back injury?

If you have been injured on the job while working in Minnesota, you may have to take time off in order to recover. This is especially true for back injuries, which can affect all other areas of your body, severely impeding your movements and ability to perform manual tasks. But just how much work can you expect to miss?

The answer to this question naturally depends on the severity of your injury. A sprained back can take weeks to recover from, though Spine Health states that taking good care of your body can speed up the recovery process. However, part of taking care of yourself involves not straining your back a second time during recovery. When you're looking at an average of 4 to 6 weeks for recovery in the less severe cases of back injury, this translates to the potential of almost two full months of being unable to perform all of your daily tasks at work.

Most common workplace safety standard violations

In Minnesota and across the nation, there are many safety standards in place. These exist in order to keep workers from being harmed while on the job. However, there are many safety violations that occur at jobs all across the board, potentially putting the lives and well-being of workers at risk.

The United States Department of Labor lists the top ten safety standards that are of the highest concern for the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA). Many of these categories cover the construction industry or general industry. They include:

  • Respiratory protection
  • Fall, ladder, and scaffold protection
  • Powered industrial trucks and machinery
  • Hazardous energy control and electricity
  • Respiratory issues

Injuries common among restaurant and food service workers

If you make your living working in a Minnesota restaurant or food service environment, you may know all too well how common aches, pains and other injuries are for those in your line of work. Many of the injuries common among restaurant and food service workers are the same industrywide, meaning you face similar dangers, regardless of whether you work in a drive-thru window or a fine dining restaurant.

Just what types of workplace hazards and injury risks do you face working in a restaurant or hospitality setting?

Building a better Minnesota for workers

The Minnesota economy was once based largely on agriculture, mining and the fur trade. These are, of course, dangerous professions, and their dwindling popularity means safer workers. However, the shift towards a service-focused workforce is not the only factor contributing to making the state a better place to be on the job.

Of course, the economic changes play a significant role. The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development reports that the majority of Minnesota workers are now employed in the service sector as opposed to in goods-producing industries. Over 10 percent of the workforce is employed in retail and over 15 percent in healthcare, as opposed to just over 10 percent the entire manufacturing sector. 

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