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Minnesota Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Did you suffer a concussion in a workplace accident?

 

When you go to work in the morning, you are probably not thinking about the ways you could experience an injury at some point in the day. Unfortunately, workplace accidents are a reality for many Minnesota employees. Sometimes these can lead to serious injuries, such as head injuries and concussions, both of which can affect a worker for weeks or months.

Working from home can also lead to injury

These days, a higher percentage of the workforce works from home than ever before. Many circumstances, including the recent COVID-19 outbreak, may contribute to this growth. Though remote workers may not be in the office physically, they can still suffer work-related injuries.

And like other workers, work-from-home (WFH) employees are still entitled to workers' compensation insurance in the state of Minnesota.

Are you facing the consequences of serious work injuries?

Regardless of your occupation, or in which Minnesota industry you earn your living, the risk of suffering serious occupational injuries is ever-present. Thousands of workers nationwide suffer severe or even fatal injuries each year. In many cases, the consequences cause financial instability, along with long-term health problems or disabilities. How will you cope in such circumstances?

When looking at the most common work-related injuries, insurance providers across the country agree that a significant percentage of injuries are not freak accidents but random incidents that could happen to any worker in any industry. That does not make them less dangerous -- even a slip-and-fall accident can cause a traumatic brain injury.

Are you ready for outdoor work in the cold Minnesota winter?

Minnesota tops the list for most brutal winters, but that does not mean the work stops. If you have an outdoor job in or near Saint Paul, your employer must comply with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's safety standards to protect you from known hazards, whether you work in construction, transportation or a warehouse. Do you know your rights to a safe work environment? 

Your best chance of staying safe through winter would be to attend all safety training sessions that deal with potential cold weather-related hazards and how to mitigate them. Regardless of whether your job involves ice and snow removal from rooftops, decks or other structures, driving in dangerous conditions or clearing away downed trees, cold stress remains a hazard.

How serious can a fracture be?

Construction workers face significant dangers every day. From falling to equipment failure, any number of accidents can cause serious injuries.

One type of injury that construction workers race are compound fractures. Though a fracture may not sound as scary as a spinal cord or brain injury, these injuries can also cause serious, life-altering consequences.  

Fall arrest harness: The life-threatening safety device

Does your job in Minnesota have you working at heights that require you to wear a fall arrest harness? Have you received adequate training in the correct use and maintenance of the gear? If you are not familiar with the proper inspection steps before you strap on your harness, then you will probably also be unaware of the fact that a fall arrest system can save your life -- only to cause your death.

Did you know that you could lose consciousness within minutes from the arrest of the fall? Suspension trauma can cause your death if you hang for more than about five minutes. Your level of understanding of the risks could determine how safe you are throughout the different phases of a fall.

Grain handling poses life-threatening hazards

Do you work in a grain handling facility in Minnesota? Such facilities serve to receive, store, process, handle and ship grains in bulk. The raw agricultural products could include, among others, wheat, corn, oats, sunflower seeds, barley and soybeans. The facilities typically consist of feed mills, grain elevators, dust pelletizing plants, soybean flaking and grinding operations, along with dry corn, rice and flour mills.

As a worker in any of these grain handling facilities, you will face an endless list of hazards, some of which could be life-threatening. Your safety is the responsibility of your employer, who must provide appropriate safety training and personal protective equipment.

Life-threatening hazards are common in factories

If you work in the manufacturing industry, you will risk catastrophic injuries or worse every time you report for duty. All factories are dangerous workplaces, from candle making to battery manufacturing, and everything in between. Certain aspects of production that are present in all factories will always be hazardous. For that reason, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration prescribes strict safety standards to protect workers nationwide, including Minnesota.

Sadly, many employers prioritize profits over workers' safety, and if you work in a hazardous environment without the necessary protection, you might become a victim to life-changing injuries that could leave you with temporary or permanent disabilities.

Are you at risk of suffering serious work-related injuries?

There are people in Minnesota who put their lives on the line every day. Are you one of them? Even if you are not an underwater welder, bull rider, snake milker or crocodile wrestler, several common, every-day occupations pose life-threatening hazards. You need not be a daredevil to face daily risks that could leave you with long-term health consequences or worse.

It is common knowledge that avoiding tobacco and excessive consumption of alcohol, along with a healthy diet and regular exercise, are necessary to maintain good health. However, working with dangerous equipment, exposure to toxic or poisonous materials, and other hazards could send you to the hospital. How will you cope with the medical expenses, and will you be able to care for your family if you are unable to return to work for an extended period?

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The Minnesota Department of Labor and the Office of Administrative Hearings have temporarily halted all in person conferences. In addition scheduled hearings may also be delayed. Atkinson Gerber Law will continue to remain open with a small staff to continue assisting existing clients and answer the questions of new potential clients. The remainder of our staff will continue to assist you working remotely. We understand that this emergency magnifies the already pressing situation injured workers face with wage loss and lack of medical care. There may be some delays in responding to calls but we are making every effort to assist you. Thank you for your understanding and patience.

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