St. Paul Workers' Compensation Blog

5 of the most dangerous jobs

Regardless of your profession, safety should always be at the forefront of your mind. Even if your job isn't physically demanding, this is no guarantee that you'll never suffer an injury or become ill at work.

While every job has its risks, these five are among the most dangerous:

  • Logging workers: There are many risks of working as a logger, ranging from a fall from height to the use of dangerous equipment. Also, due to the nature of the job, loggers don't always have access to medical care when they need it.
  • Aircraft pilot: In addition to the potential for a crash, aircraft pilots must also contend with a high stress environment on a nearly daily basis. This doesn't even take into consideration extended time spent in the cockpit, which can result in a variety of injuries.
  • Roofers: Working at height is always dangerous, even when the proper safety equipment is in place. Roofers spend their entire day at height, so they must be on their toes. They must also deal with exposure to elements, such as extreme heat in the summer and cold temperatures in the fall and winter months.
  • Truck drivers: Truckers face many risks on the road, and one mistake can cause an accident that results in serious injury or death. Also, since truckers spend so many consecutive hours behind the wheel, neck and back injuries are extremely common.
  • Landscapers: Landscapers face a variety of risks, which include but are not limited to extreme weather, rough terrain, machinery accidents, electric shock and falls from ladders.

Workers’ compensation denial: Protect yourself by acting fast

If you suffer a workplace injury, your immediate attention should focus on your health and well-being. While there are other things to consider, like your ability to return to your job in the near future, there's time to deal with those details after you have sought medical treatment.

Filing a claim for workers' compensation benefits must be done according to the instructions in order to protect your legal rights. If you make an error on your application, it could result in a denial and the need for an appeal.

These backhoe safety tips will help you avoid trouble

Most construction sites have at least one backhoe in service at all times, as it's one of the most versatile pieces of equipment. While there's no denying the benefits of using a backhoe for a variety of construction-related tasks, doing so improperly can put the operator and other workers at risk of serious injury or death due to an accident.

Here are four important backhoe safety tips to follow:

  • Safety starts on the ground: Before you ever get into a backhoe, perform an inspection for damage and defects. If you find that something isn't functioning as it should, don't use the backhoe until it's repaired.
  • Watch for other vehicles and pedestrians: Many backhoe accidents are the result of other vehicles or pedestrians getting in the way. Always be aware of your surroundings, while letting others know your intentions.
  • Stability is key: By creating a stable digging platform, you reduce the risk of slipping or tipping. Get into the habit of putting the stabilizers down before digging or trenching.
  • Think before lifting: Not only do backhoes have lifting capacities, but you also need to consider the positioning of the machine. Lifting on a slope, for example, increases the risk of tipping or dropping the load.

Are you following these circular saw safety tips?

As a construction or industrial worker, there's a good chance you use a saw to complete a variety of tasks. For example, a circular saw is one of the most commonly used tools in the construction industry.

While there's no denying the many benefits of using a circular saw, including precise cuts and increased efficiency, safety should always be at the top of your mind.

A spine fracture calls for a detailed treatment plan

Any type of spine fracture, regardless of the location or severity, requires immediate attention from an experienced and knowledgeable medical professional. Neglecting to treat this injury in a timely manner can result in further injury.

Treatment of a spine fracture begins with stabilizing the injury. This helps prevent additional damage, while also controlling pain and discomfort. From there, there are several additional treatment strategies that are commonly used:

  • Instrumentation and fusion: Both of these surgical procedures are used to stabilize a spine fracture. Fusion, for example, uses hardware, such as rods and plates, to hold together two vertebrae.
  • Braces: There are many benefits to wearing a brace after a spinal fracture, e.g., to maintain spine alignment, immobilize the area during recovery and restrict movement to reduce pain.
  • Minimally invasive surgery: These procedures, such as vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty, are growing in popularity. Not only do they generate positive results, but they reduce the likelihood of risks associated with traditional surgery, such as excessive bleeding and damage to surrounding tissue.

Important things to know about a pinched nerve in your back

Not only can a pinched nerve in your back cause pain and discomfort, but it can also stop you from living your day-to-day life. For this reason, you shouldn't hesitate to receive a medical diagnosis and follow the treatment schedule outlined by your doctor.

You can suffer from a pinched nerve in many parts of your body, with your back and neck among the most common. This happens when pressure is applied to a nerve by surrounding bones, tissues, tendons, muscles or cartilage.

These tools can cause serious injury, death

If you work in the construction industry, you're likely to use a variety of tools throughout your day. While these are meant to make your life easier, they also increase the likelihood of an accident and injury.

Here are five tools that can cause serious injury or death:

  • Chop saw: Often used by construction and industrial workers, this type of saw is designed to cut steel in a quick and efficient manner. However, due to the power and speed of the blade, any mistake can be costly.
  • Angle grinder: From stripping paint to grinding metal, this tool has many uses. However, just the same as a saw, one slip-up can cause an accident.
  • Nailer: Rather than use a hammer and nail, a nailer allows you to move at a faster pace. However, since nails fire on contact with extreme power, you must be careful.
  • Snowblower: These tools appear harmless, until you realize that the moving blades are quite sharp. Furthermore, they're not always easy to see, especially when covered in snow.
  • Riding mower: From tipping over to striking another worker, many types of accidents can result from the use of a riding mower on a job site.

Concussion: Diagnosis and treatment details

Any type of blow to the head, even one that doesn't seem severe, can cause a serious injury such as a concussion. Rather than hope you can treat the injury on your own, it's critical to receive immediate medical attention.

Your medical team can run a variety of tests to diagnose your condition, including but not limited to:

  • Imaging tests, such as an X-ray, MRI and CT scan
  • Cognitive testing
  • Neurological exam

Don’t ignore the symptoms of whiplash

Whiplash is a serious neck injury that occurs as the result of force that jerks your head forward or backward. For example, this often happens if your vehicle is struck from behind.

The most common symptoms of whiplash include:

  • Pain when moving your head from front to back or side to side
  • Intense headaches, typically originating in the base of the skull
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Tightness in the neck
  • Tender to the touch

Steps to appeal a workers’ compensation denial

If you're injured on the job, you may decide to file a claim for workers' compensation benefits. While you hope to receive an approval letter in the near future, you may get the exact opposite: a denial.

Here are the steps you can take to appeal a workers' compensation denial:

  • Contact your insurance company: This gives you the opportunity to ask questions, learn more about the denial and determine if there is anything you can do to have the decision reversed. For example, they may be missing a document that you can quickly supply.
  • File the necessary paperwork: You can't simply contact your insurance company and ask for the decision to be overturned. You need to file the necessary paperwork, such as an application to formalize the process.
  • Collect evidence: Supply your insurance company with whatever you can find to back up your claim. For example, medical records often come in handy if your employer is arguing that you didn't suffer a serious injury. It's always better to collect more evidence than not enough.
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