Rosengren Law Office, LLC

Southern Minnesota Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Many workers' compensation claims involve pinch point injuries

Pinch points are hazards that exist in virtually all workplaces. Very few tasks do not require workers to use their hands, yet many people fail to stop and consider how serious hand injuries can affect their quality of life. Hand injuries are number two on the list of workplace injuries nationwide. Many of the workers' compensation claims filed in Minnesota are for crush injuries caused by pinch point hazards.

Pinch points cause crush injuries under numerous circumstances. Frequently reported pinch point injuries occur when workers hook up trailers, lift heavy materials, do equipment maintenance and work on assembly lines. Pinching or crushing occurs when a hand, finger or other body part is caught between a stationary and a moving part of the equipment.

Aches and pains par for the course for health care workers

Nurses and other health care workers in Minnesota often spend up to 16 hours on their feet, treating the aches and pains of their patients. However, who will address the nurses' aches and pains that follow the many hours of strenuous activities throughout extended shifts. Reportedly, six in every 10 nurses seek solutions for their job-related aches and pains -- many of which seem insignificant enough not to justify a visit to a doctor, yet severe enough to look for other solutions.

According to the analysis of workers' compensation claims, the numbers of back-related injuries for nurses exceeds all other occupations. Most prevalent are strains and sprains suffered through improper lifting and transferring of patients. Hot and cold packs are suggested for the treatment of sore muscles, and frequent stretching exercises could improve suppleness.

Nurses face higher risks for workplace violence

Nurses play a vital role in the health care system. These men and women generally spend much more time with patients than doctors and specialists. From managing patients' pain levels to even providing emotional support, nurses work tirelessly for their patients. On the other side of things, nurses receive very little support from the health care system. The exceptionally high rate of workplace violence against nurses is just one example of this.

Workplace violence might not be the first thing that jumps to mind when talking about work injuries. However, violence in the health care field is a hidden epidemic. This might be partly because so few people seem willing to address the problem.

Formaldehyde poses workplace injury risks in more than morgues

There are likely some workers in Minnesota who are exposed to dangers of which they are unaware. Employers must protect their employees against workplace injury and illness hazards, and that responsibility includes keeping workers informed about known risks. Formaldehyde is such a hazard that is not only used as preservatives in morgues but also in many other industries.

The strong-smelling, colorless gas produced by formaldehyde poses deadly risks to anyone who works with plywood, paper product coatings, glue and various household items. It is also present in industrial disinfectants, germicides and fungicides. Workers can be adversely affected if they inhale the vapor or gas emitted by formaldehyde or if the skin absorbs the liquid.

Crowd-related workplace injuries prevalent during shopping season

With the many promotional events and special sales arranged in Minnesota and across the United States in the time leading up to the holidays, workers in many industries face significantly more risks of workplace injuries than at any other time of the year. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration urges employers to plan ahead and provide employees with the training necessary to deal with potentially hazardous situations. Crowd-management planning is crucial for retail facilities at which large crowds are likely to arrive to purchase marked-down items at sales events.

Not only must workers receive training in protecting their own safety, but they must also learn how to deal with emergencies in which customers are involved. Employers must delegate specific staff members to take charge of the different areas of the facility. Other staff members must report emergencies to that person who will know how to contact emergency services promptly.

Beware of weather-related workplace injury risks this winter

Regardless of the weather, work must go on, even though Minnesota workers face seasonal risks that could have severe consequences. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has strict safety standards for protecting workers from cold-related workplace injury hazards. With the drop in temperatures comes the risk of hypothermia, trench foot, frostbite and other cold-related illnesses.

According to OSHA, winter hazards put those at risk whose jobs involve driving, shoveling snow, using snowblowers and other powered equipment. Road construction crews are exceptionally vulnerable, and so are teams who must clear away downed trees and repair damaged or downed power lines. Even just working close to power lines is dangerous. Workers tasked with clearing snow from heights like roofs face unique hazards, which also apply for other work in elevated areas.

Hazardous chemical in restaurant causes fatal workplace injury

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has launched an investigation into the death of a restaurant worker in another state. Reportedly, a kitchen worker inhaled the fumes of a sanitizer containing sodium hypochlorite. This type of workplace injury is preventable, and employers nationwide, including Minnesota, must provide safety training and personal protective equipment to mitigate chemical hazards.

In this case, the strong fumes affected several workers and even customers of the restaurant. Reportedly, one worker became nauseous and was rushed to a hospital. Sadly, he did not survive the incident. The restaurant was evacuated when several patrons and workers suffered eye irritation and breathing problems.

Don't give up if your workers' comp claim is denied

Whether your job is inherently dangerous, such as construction, or you have a relatively low-risk occupation, you may find some comfort in knowing your employer carries workers' compensation insurance. This insurance offers a variety of benefits for those who suffer injuries in the course of their duties at work. If you have an accident on the job or develop a work-related illness, you may receive funds to cover a portion of your lost wages, medical expenses and other things you may need to recover and get back to work.

However, if you recently filed a claim for workers' compensation, you may have been shocked and disappointed to receive a letter from the insurer saying that they had denied your claim. While medical bills pile up and your income has dwindled, you may feel some concern and frustration. Fortunately, you may have options.

Freak workplace injury claims life of transportation worker

Road construction crews in Minnesota put their lives on the line each day. A recent freak workplace injury in another state underscores the dangers to which roadside workers are exposed. The incident claimed the life of a 41-year-old worker.

Reportedly, the man, a township supervisor with 10 years of experience, was collecting debris on the side of the interstate when the incident occurred. Under circumstances that are being investigated, a passing semitrailer lost two tires during the early morning rush hour. The tires struck the worker on the side of the road at approximately 7 a.m. on a recent Wednesday.

Nail gun accident causes construction worker injury

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 37,000 nail-gun related incidents occur nationwide each year. Almost one-third of those injuries occur on construction sites in Minnesota and across the country. One such event in another state recently sent a construction worker to the hospital.

A worker accidentally shot a nail into his leg and then attempted to pull it out with pliers. That process turned out to be excruciating, and he opted to wait for paramedics. He was rushed to a medical facility, where the nail was removed from his leg. The CDC says this was not a life-threatening incident, but instances of fatal nail gun accidents have been reported.

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