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Sauk Rapids Workers' Compensation Law Blog

How much risk of electrocution do you face?

If you work construction in Minnesota, no one need tell you that your various job sites are full of power tools and other electrical equipment. What you may not realize, however, is that being surrounded by electricity on a day-to-day basis puts you at high risk for receiving electrocution injuries.

Per Construction Connect, work site electrocutions constitute the second highest of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s “Fatal Four” list of construction deaths. In order of frequency, these four rank as follows:

  1. Falls
  2. Electrocutions
  3. Struck-by-object accidents
  4. Caught-in-between-object accidents

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

When you hear about workers' compensation, horrific injuries or accidents in dangerous professions will often come to mind. However, any worker in Minnesota can suffer from workplace injuries no matter what industry you're in. Lindberg Law, P.C., is here to discuss Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, a form of repetitive stress injury.

Many workers will make repetitive motions throughout a day, regardless of what type of motion they're doing. For example, secretaries will often have to do a lot of typing. However, if you make the same motions with your wrists day in and out, you risk developing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

4 causes of food manufacturing injuries

Working in food processing is not easy. In fact, it can be dangerous. The food manufacturing industry has a disturbingly high rate of injuries. In 2013, the injury rate was 5.0 out of 100 workers. This may not sound like a lot, but it is in comparison to only 4.3 for the whole manufacturing sector. Due to the frequency of workplace accidents in this industry, you must be proactive at avoiding hazards.

Due to the physically demanding nature of food processing, there are a lot of risks at your job. Here are a few of the most prominent food manufacturing hazards.

How the U.S. Social Security Administration defines “disability”

When Minnesota residents have disabilities or suffer on-the-job injuries that are severe enough to prevent them from working, they sometimes gain access to certain forms of public assistance, among them Social Security disability benefits. Intended to help Americans who are so severely disabled that there is little hope of them improving over time, Social Security disability benefits are monthly payments that may help you make ends meet in the absence of employment. At Lindberg Law, P.C., we recognize that the U.S. Social Security Administration has a strict definition of “disability,” an we have helped many Americans who suffered injury on the job pursue solutions that meet their needs.

The U.S. Social Security Administration reports that whether you will ultimately qualify for disability benefits will depend primarily on two sets of circumstances. First, you must have a certain amount of work credits in order to qualify for assistance, which you obtain by working for a Social Security-covered entity over an extended period of time. The exact amount of work credits you will need to qualify for Social Security disability benefits varies from year to year.

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.
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