All Minnesota employers are required to become self-insured or obtain a workers' compensation insurance policy, according to state workers' compensation law. This system is set up to provide benefits to workers who have become ill or suffered injuries in the workplace. These benefits are provided without regard to fault on the part of either the employee or the employer.
A Minnesota loading dock may not only be filled with cargo, equipment and semi-trailers but also many potential dangers. In fact, many workers are injured or killed annually in loading dock accidents. Some workers may incur spinal injuries or pain referred to as dock shock.
Workplace accidents in Minnesota are all too common. In 2012 alone, 77,600 Minnesotans suffered injuries while on the job, and 70 people were killed in workplace accidents. While the state's statistics match national trends, workplace safety remains an important area for needed improvements.
The Hopkins Police responded to a 911 call about an incident inside the Supervalu Food Distribution Center on Sept. 21 resulting in one death. The 51-year-old man suffered serious injuries at about 2:35 p.m. in the warehouse on the 300 block of 2nd Avenue South and died before emergency personnel could assist him.
Workers' compensation is financial compensation for injuries, illness or disease suffered while on the job. Minnesota has a workers' compensation system that covers nearly all workers in the state. The first step to making a workers' compensation claim is to notify the employer of the injury or illness. The employer must then fill out an FROI form for submission to the insurance company. The worker must then seek medical attention if necessary. The doctor will fill out a Report of Work Ability.
An accident in the workplace can be challenging as you deal with medical treatments and potential time away from work. Although most Minnesota employers are required to carry workers' compensation insurance to address such situations, there may be cases in which a worker's classification may fall outside this protection. In other cases, it may be tempting to ignore a seemingly minor injury suffered in the work environment. However, complications arising from infections or other issues might not present symptoms until some time after the accident. Prompt filing of a report and attention to medical needs is important.
According to a recent report, the Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited a state-run hospital over poor safety-related working conditions following an Aug. 1 inspection of the facility by OSHA authorities. The citation reflects an ongoing problem the hospital has had in relation to patient and employee safety issues in the past several years.
As many Minnesota readers know, construction sites are some of the most dangerous workplaces. Construction workers are at high risk for accidents and work-related injuries. Agencies such as the Occupational Health and Safety Administration along with federal and local statutes seek to promote safe practices to prevent construction site accidents.
On July 28, a 911 call came into the Renville County Sheriff's Office reporting that two workers had been electrocuted northeast of Fairfax at 8:43 a.m. They were working on the CapX2020 power line at the time of the accident. One of the two men was from Wisconsin and the other from the Twin Cities area. Attempts by first responders to resuscitate the two men were successful on only one of the workers. The worker from Minnesota died after they were both transported to trauma centers via helicopter. The other worker's condition is still unknown.
Minnesota electric utility workers may be interested to know more about new safety rules put into place by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The regulations are meant to curb the commonly used practice of "free climbing." Up until now, electric utility workers were often allowed to climb electrical towers without safety straps, belts or harnesses