In Minnesota, you may be legally entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if you are hurt on the job. These benefits help cover your medical expenses, lost wages and other related costs.
While not all workplace injuries qualify for workers’ compensation coverage, injuries within the following seven common injury categories typically qualify for coverage via a workers’ comp claim.
Sprains and strains
Sprains and strains involve stretched or torn ligaments, muscles or tendons. These injuries are among the most common workplace injuries, usually resulting from improper lifting, carrying, or pushing heavy objects. They can also happen in an office environment due to desks and equipment that are not ergonomically correct.
These injuries take place in a variety of work settings due to slips, trips, and falls, which can all warrant a workers’ comp claim. Some of these injuries happen due to cumulative or continuous work-related trauma to the body over time, resulting in the degradation of joints, tendons or muscles.
Cuts and lacerations
Workers who handle sharp tools or work with machinery are at a higher risk of cuts and lacerations. These injuries can be minor or severe and may require stitches or surgery. Cuts and lacerations can tear deep into a worker’s skin or flesh and frequently happen in restaurants, machine shops and factories, although they can occur in any work environment.
A contusion is a bruise caused by a blow or impact. An injury crushes or breaks blood vessels but does not cut the skin. They can happen from dropping equipment, not using machine guards properly, falls, being struck by a falling object, or collisions with equipment or vehicles.
Broken bones are serious workers’ comp injuries that can happen from overuse or trauma. While they can happen anywhere, broken or fractured bones often result from manual labor jobs and workers using heavy machinery or equipment. Additionally, fractures can result from falls or being hit by a vehicle.
Hot liquids, steam, flames, chemicals, or electrical hazards can cause burn injuries to the skin and other tissues. They might range from mild first-degree burns to severe third-degree burns and, in some cases, can require hospitalization and skin grafts.
Industries such as manufacturing, production and restaurants that use strong acid or base chemicals or heat sources during work processes may have more burn incidents. Work environments that use chemicals can also expose workers to eye injuries if they do not wear appropriate protective gear.
Workers that lose a limb experience a severe and life-altering injury. These injuries can happen in workplaces where workers use heavy machinery, saws, or other dangerous equipment. Improper use of machine guards, or guards that malfunction, can contribute to amputations and other serious injuries.
Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
TBIs commonly occur from falls, being struck by a falling object, or being involved in a vehicle accident. They range from mild concussions to severe brain damage and may require extensive, ongoing medical treatment and rehabilitation.
Workplace safety programs, training, safety gear and other strategies can keep employees safer and reduce workplace injuries.