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Sauk Rapids Workers' Compensation Law Blog

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.

How do forklift incidents happen?

Minnesota construction workers like you are surrounded by equipment and machinery that can harm you if it isn't maintained and used properly. Today, Lindberg Law, P.C., will take a look at the dangers that forklifts in particular may present.

First of note is the fact that both the forklift itself and the items it is carrying can cause injury. A forklift is an extremely heavy piece of machinery, even if it moves at relatively slow speeds most of the time. Additionally, due to its purpose, it is often carrying heavy loads. Being hit - or even run over - by something so heavy can cause immense and even deadly damage. Visibility and clarity of vision are the two factors that contribute to this risk the most. The drivers should have a clear path of vision, and other workers should be wearing visibility attire.

Disregarding safety procedures can injure others

Construction workers know that the safety standards they learned during their training are vital in keeping them and their associates safe. Construction is one of the most dangerous industries in Minnesota, as well as the rest of the country. If a safety procedure is ignored or done improperly, it is not only construction workers who can be endangered. Innocent bystanders can be hurt or killed as well.

Construction cranes are part of the skyline in many urban areas. They are a common element when buildings are under construction, and they generally pose little danger when safety procedures are observed during their erection and dismantlement. As safety experts explain, safety pins hold each section of these extremely tall structures secure, even in high winds.

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?

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