St. Paul Workers' Compensation Blog

Hazards created by strong winds on a construction worksite

As a construction worker, you know there will be days when you spend one hour after the next outdoors.

While it can be enjoyable to work outdoors, there are times when it's downright miserable. This is often related to the weather conditions, such as strong winds and heavy rain.

Workers’ compensation: 4 questions to answer

Even if you are extremely careful, there is always a chance you could suffer an injury at work. For example, an office worker could slip and fall on a piece of debris, thus resulting in a concussion or back injury. Or a construction worker could fall from height, breaking multiple bones upon hitting the ground below.

If you suffer any type of workplace injury, you should immediately take these steps:

  • Stay where you are and call for help
  • Report the injury to your supervisor or HR department
  • Receive medical attention
  • Follow the treatment schedule outlined by your medical team
  • Get a better understanding of how long it will take to make a full recovery

Inside the opioid epidemic

After a serious workplace injury, doctors often prescribe opioids. These are high-caliber painkillers that you can only get with a prescription. They do work very well, and the amount of legal use is widespread.

Unfortunately, these painkillers are incredibly addictive. Many people begin to abuse them or use them illegally as the result of an injury and a valid prescription. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services calls this an epidemic. You cannot overstate the seriousness of the situation.

A spinal compression fracture requires immediate attention

There are times when a spinal compression fracture results from things such as old age and weakening bones. However, this is not always the case. There's a chance you could suffer this type of injury in a number of other ways, such as a slip and fall.

It can be a challenge to diagnose a spinal compression fracture on your own, as it's often associated with the same symptoms of many other back and neck injuries.

General forklift safety tips to help prevent trouble

As a forklift operator, it's easy to assume that nothing will ever go wrong. After all, you've never run into a sticky situation in the past, so you shouldn't in the future. Unfortunately, this line of thinking can result in a serious accident that can cause injury or even death.

Even the most experienced forklift operators can make mistakes that cause an accident, so it's important to follow a variety of safety tips every time you get behind the wheel. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Always examine the forklift for defects and/or damage before using it
  • No two forklifts are the same, so make sure you get your bearings before you take on the task at hand
  • Never leave on the ignition of an unattended forklift
  • Don't use a forklift in close proximity to others
  • Always follow designated roadways to help lessen the risk of striking another worker
  • Follow all work site rules and regulations regarding forklift use
  • Keep your hands and feet inside the cabin and away from the mast
  • When not in use, park the forklift in a safe place (and apply the parking brake)

Ladder safety tips to help you prevent a workplace injury

Depending on your profession, you may be required to use a ladder or scaffolding each and every day. While you understand the benefits of using these tools to work at height, you should never overlook the fact that a simple mistake can cause a serious accident that results in injury.

The more you use a ladder the easier it is to assume that you'll never be part of an accident. However, you shouldn't think this way. You must always be on your toes, as even the more experienced professionals make mistakes.

Do you have a concussion?

A head injury, such as a concussion, is extremely serious. Not only can this alter your life immediately following the accident, but it can have a longstanding impact as well.

If you have any reason to believe you're dealing with a concussion, the best thing you can do is receive immediate medical treatment. This will confirm your situation, thus giving you the best possible chance to make a full recovery.

4 tips for working safely in the rain

If you live and work in the state of Minnesota, you know that the spring and summer months are among the most enjoyable of the entire year. You also know that wet weather can move into your area at any time, including when you're outside working.

Here are four safety tips to follow when working in the rain:

  • Slow down: You can't move quite as fast in the rain, as slick conditions increase the risk of an accident. So, even though you want to get out of the rain, you should slow down and take your time.
  • Wear rain gear: It may not be the most comfortable clothes you can wear, but keeping the water off your body is imperative.
  • Wear hand protection: For example, slip-proof gloves can go a long way in maintaining a high level of safety when working in the rain.
  • Make it easy for others to see you: High visibility clothing is a must, as you want others to know where you are at all times. If you neglect to do this, another worker or passerby may not see you, which increases the chances of an accident.

Facts and statistics about hearing loss

Hearing loss can happen naturally as a part the aging process and people are sometimes born with hearing problems. It can also happen as a result of environmental factors, such as the various circumstance one encounters on-the-job.

If you work with heavy machinery, or if you work in a noisy environment of any kind, you could be in danger of contracting job-related hearing loss.

Roofing safety tips to help prevent an accident

Working as a roofer can be an enjoyable job, but you should never overlook the potential safety risks of this career. It only takes one misstep or mistake to result in an accident that causes serious injury or even death. This is why every roofing professional, regardless of experience, should follow a variety of safety tips:

  • Always use a safety harness. Even if you think you don't need this, it's better to be safe than sorry. Get into the habit of setting up a safety harness the second you arrive at the job site.
  • Ladder safety is a must. As a roofer, you'll use a ladder day in and day out. There are many safety tips to follow, such as: Always place your ladder on firm and level ground, keep three points of contact, and inform others when you're going up or down.
  • Never work in inclement weather. As a roofer, you're used to working in both hot and cool conditions. While it may be impossible to avoid this, you don't want to get on a roof if the rain is falling or strong winds are in the area. It's best to wait for the weather system to pass.
  • Choose the right shoes. Good traction is an absolute must when working on a roof, so make sure you choose shoes with plenty of tread.
  • Watch out for debris. As the day goes on, there's a greater chance of debris piling up on the roof. From tools to old shingles, do your best to keep your work surface clean and clear.
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