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Sauk Rapids Workers' Compensation Law Blog

What if your employer does not cooperate after an injury?

Not every injury at work requires a lawyer. One of the main benefits of the Minnesota workers' compensation system is that it allows people recompense without an involved court process that pits them against their employer. With that in mind, your application should be relatively smooth.

If you are experiencing any kind of trouble or noticing any hesitation, it could be a sign that your process is not going the way it should be. However, some employers are simply less efficient than others in handling these incidents. Here are some things that could warrant further scrutiny and possibly legal action.

Preventing amputation injuries on the job

One type of workplace injury in Minnesota that irrevocably changes lives in mere seconds involves amputations. Despite an increase in awareness and safety regulations, many construction and manufacturing workers still encounter hazards that increase the likelihood of them losing limbs while performing their jobs. Accidents that result in the loss of one or several limbs are not isolated to these sectors. Many retail, administrative, healthcare and other work environments contain hazardous equipment and expose workers to dangerous conditions that can result in accidents and amputation injuries. 

Due to the seriousness of amputation injuries, victims often become permanently disabled and encounter challenging recoveries, lifestyle adjustments and a loss of employment/earning capacity. Some individuals and their families face mounting financial challenges from their trauma. Though amputation injuries do not happen as often as other types of less severe workplace trauma, it is still important for employees to take proper precautions to avoid them. 

The risks of ladder falls and subsequent injuries

Minnesota construction workers face many physical risks when on the job. However, not every source of injury is specific to the industry. In fact, ladders pose one of the biggest safety threats. Ladder falls are hugely damaging in more ways than one, and can permanently alter a workers' life.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that falls are one of the highest causes of unintentional injury mortality. 43% of those falls are from ladders among the general populace. However, 81% of the fall injuries construction workers suffer from involve ladders.

On-the-job injuries are unexpected and require prompt care

Let us say that you have a manufacturing job here in Minnesota. You have been around machinery all your life and know it can be dangerous.

You have only had occasional bumps and bruises, but recently you were working on the repair of a conveyor system and now you have a fractured wrist. What are your next steps?

Understanding how to circumvent workplace risks

When people in Minnesota are interviewing for a new job, their foremost concerns are often those related to formalities. Factors such as compensation, benefits and responsibilities are discussed in detail, but many people may not immediately begin thinking about the risks of their job. However, it is critical that people are familiar with the unique risks of both their industry and their job-related duties so they can actively seek training and instruction to better protect their safety. 

The Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index recently announced that of eight various industries ranging from health care and construction to retail and hospitality, overexertion was a reigning workplace risk across all sectors and one that could cause injury or even death in serious cases. Other common hazards included falls, roadway accidents and being struck or trapped by an object among other things. While awareness of such risks is a valuable first step, experts urge employers to understand the root causes of the risks in their workplace. Doing so can help them to develop programs designed to educate their employees on protocols to reduce their risk, optimize their work efforts and increase their overall safety. 

Understanding National Work Zone Awareness Week

Spring is here and along with the daffodils and budding trees, Minnesota residents can look forward to road construction. While drivers may consider road construction a pain, residents may also understand that it is necessary to keep the roads and communities safe and in good repair. At Lindberg Law, P.C., we are certain you have a deeper appreciation for work zone safety if construction is your job.

In 2017, 132 construction workers were killed in traffic accidents at road construction sites, in addition to hundreds more who were drivers, motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians, reports the Federal Highway Administration. This is why the week of April 8 through 22 is designated National Work Zone Awareness Week. Whether you work in road construction or are a driver or pedestrian, you face numerous hazards where road construction is present. Speed is a particularly dangerous factor near road construction. In 2017, about 29 percent of work zone fatalities involved a speeding driver. However, speed is not the only dangerous factor. The following hazards can also endanger construction workers, drivers and others:

  • Sudden stops that drivers do not anticipate
  • Distracted drivers
  • Drivers who fail to heed warnings or road crew instructions
  • Large construction vehicles entering and exiting construction zones

Recognizing construction’s ‘fatal four’ injuries

The construction industry is an integral part of the American workforce. However, this dangerous job leads to a significant number of injuries and deaths every year. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, there are 252,000 construction work sites across the U.S. on any given day, employing 6.5 million workers. In 2017 alone, 971 construction workers were killed. That equates to one in five workers who were killed in the U.S. were employed in the construction industry. The leading causes of these construction deaths are referred to as constructions ‘fatal four’, as they are the most dangerous in the industry.

Falls are the number one cause of death at the construction site. More than 39 percent of fatal accidents at the work site occur from falls. Employers are obligated to set up strong worksite platforms, scaffolding and work stations that are sturdy and can provide a safe workplace for employees.  The second most frequent cause of death in the construction industry occurs when people are hit by a falling object. Although workers are required to wear certain protective equipment, falling objects may be heavy and can cause serious damage.

Top 3 workplace hazards for home health care aids

Working as a home health care aide is a commendable and fulfilling job. You play a vital role in the health care industry. But there may come a time when your job causes you to get hurt. According to a recent study, 13 percent of home health care workers suffered an occupational injury in the last year.

You face a variety of on-the-job hazards that are unique to private homes as compared to nursing homes or hospitals. Being aware of these risks and learning about safety tips will reduce your risk of sustaining an injury. Here are the ways you are most likely to suffer from a workplace injury as a home health care aid.

Do you qualify for permanent total disability?

The purpose of workers' compensation is to help injured parties cover medical and living expenses while they recover from their injuries. Workers' compensation is not supposed to serve as a long-term source of income. However, Minnesota workers' comp law does allow harmed workers to recover permanent total disability benefits if they are never able to return to gainful employment. If your injuries have left you disabled and unable to work, you may qualify for PTD.

According to the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, you may be able to recover PTD if your injury or occupational illness results in the loss of both arms at the shoulder; loss of eyesight in both eyes; loss of both legs so close to the hip that you cannot use prosthetics; total and permanent loss of mental facilities; and/or complete or permanent paralysis. You may also be able to recover PTD if your condition hinders your ability to work at any occupation and if you fit into one of the three following categories:

  •       You have a 17 percent permanent partial disability rating over your entire body
  •       You have a 15 percent PPD rating over your entire body and were 50 years old at the time of injury
  •       You have a 13 percent PPD rating, were at least 55 years old at the time of injury and you do not possess a GED or high school diploma

Tips for going back to work after a job injury

A workplace injury can turn your life upside down. Recovery can take months to years, or never fully happen depending on the injury. During this time, you likely are not able to work. Light duty may be an option if you are lucky.

Once you are ready to go back to work, it usually is not as easy as just picking up right where you left off. Your abilities may never be the same due to long-term damage. You may be behind in training and advancements in your field. Follow these tips to help you have a smooth transition back into employment.

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