Rosengren Law Office, LLC

Southern Minnesota Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Concern exists over workplace injuries that lead to amputations

In 2015, it became compulsory for business owners in Minnesota to report occupational amputations to the Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health Administration within 24 hours. Since then, the agency reportedly investigates an average of 13 such workplace injuries per year. MNOSHA recently expressed concern over the sudden increase in these numbers.

The agency reports that 15 amputations have occurred between Oct. 1, 2018, and June 19 this year. Reportedly, the majority of these incidents involved the fingers and hands of workers. Employers are urged to reassess workplace safety and take the necessary corrective action. By law, employers are responsible for the health and safety of their employees.

Fatal construction site injury claims life of 38-year-old worker

According to the Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the recent incident that claimed the life of a worker in St. Paul is the fourth fatal workplace accident so far this year. A spokesperson for the agency says an investigation was launched on the day following the accident. Reportedly, struck-by accidents are the most common cause of occupational fatalities in Minnesota.

An incident report indicates that the 38-year-old worker was a marble mason who was a member of a crew working at the new China Garden at Phalen Regional Park. The St. Paul Fire Department responded after receiving an emergency call at approximately 3 p.m. on a recent Tuesday. Paramedics treated the injured worker at the scene and then rushed him to the hospital. Sadly, he succumbed to his injuries later that day.

Trench safety can limit construction site injuries

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration reminds all the role players in the construction industry of the importance of trench and excavation safety by organizing a stand down during June each year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says, despite these efforts, a significant number of fatalities and construction site injuries are caused by cave-ins in Minnesota and across the country each year. The week of June 17 to 21 will be dedicated to trench safety this year.

Although collapsed trench walls pose dangerous hazards, other threats include drownings in accumulated water at the bottom of a trench, electricity, gas or other utility strikes, poisonous air quality, and falls into unbarricaded trenches. Compliance with OSHA's safety standards can prevent such accidents. A competent person must analyze the soil to determine whether shoring, sloping, benching or the use of a trench box would be a suitable method to secure the trench walls.

Tower workers face exceptional risks of fatal workplace injuries

Workers in many industries put their lives on the line with every shift they work. They have one of the most dangerous occupations in the country. Minnesota workers who risk their lives on TV towers are understandably concerned every time they read about another tower worker falling to his or her death. One such a tragedy claimed the life of a worker in another state on a recent Wednesday.

According to authorities, a 50-year-old man was working 1,000 feet up on a TV tower when he fell to his death. At this time, the circumstances that led to the fall remain unknown. However, county deputies say they have launched an investigation to document exactly what occurred.

Elevated work spaces pose safety hazards on construction sites

Employers in all industries in Minnesota are responsible for the health and safety of their employees. Working at heights is not only dangerous on construction sites but also in sectors like oil and gas extraction, aviation, shipping operations and infrastructure workers in energy and telecommunication facilities. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration prescribes strict safety guidelines, and compliance can prevent injuries.

The obvious danger in working at heights is falling, and for that reason, no worker should be at elevated levels without the necessary fall arrest system. Fall protection typically consists of strong and secure overhead anchorage, harness attachments and a horizontal lifeline system. Also, the worker should have a self-retracting lifeline, tie back applications, twin-leg lanyards and sufficient training in the use of the equipment and the importance of procedures to prevent fall suspension trauma.

Workplace injury: Poultry workers ask for safe work environments

Poultry workers in Central Minnesota demand safe work environments from their employer, Pilgrim's Pride. The employees complain of workplace injury problems and safety violations, such as line speed, that makes their jobs dangerous. The workers also rallied against religious discrimination and unfair firing of employees, as well as the company not adhering to bathroom break rules. The workers fear that their jobs in the poultry processing plant are creating people with disabilities and occupation-related health issues that compromise their ability to live sustainable lives.

The workers asserted that they appreciate Pilgrim's Pride offering them jobs but ask management to address safety and health concerns. They believe slower line speeds will limit the number of workplace injuries at the facility, and they request medical care to be provided immediately after incidents that cause injuries. They also seek accommodation when necessary after events of occupational injuries.

Different types of burns can cause severe workplace injuries

Some of the safety hazards that Minnesota workers face do not receive the attention they deserve. Thousands of workers are hospitalized with workplace injuries involving burns each year, and in most cases, proper safety precautions could have prevented it. Compliance with the safety standards of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is crucial in the prevention of burn injuries.

Adequate safety training can prepare workers for the different types of burn hazards, one of which is thermal burns. Explosions, fire, contact with hot surfaces and hot liquids cause these burn injuries. Precautions include guards to prevent contact and proper personal protective equipment.

5 of the most common office injuries

At-work injuries are common in dangerous jobs, but what about corporate America’s employees? Does a sea of cubicle workers face any risks at their desk?

Is an injury that an office worker gets treated the same as an injury a construction worker gets? Here are potential office injuries and whether they can be covered by workers’ compensation benefits.

Back injuries make up 20 percent of on-the-job injuries

Every member of the Minnesota workforce is exposed to injury hazards, regardless of his or her occupation. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that one in five reported workplace injuries nationwide every year involve back injuries. Workers in all industries can injure their backs while lifting objects that are too heavy, or even by repetitive lifting of objects of any size or weight. Twisting the body while lifting objects can also cause back injuries, and one of the best precautions is to use the leg muscles instead of the back muscles when lifting objects.

Employers are responsible for the health and safety of workers, and they can use various control systems to prevent back injuries, the first of which is to eliminate the need for workers to lift heavy objects manually. Forklifts, pallet jacks, dollies and conveyor belts can be used, or heavy loads can be broken down into smaller, lighter objects. Ergonomically friendly work environments with easily accessible shelves and storage can prevent back injuries.

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