St. Paul Workers' Compensation Blog

3 ways you can sabotage a workers’ comp claim

If you are a machinist in St. Paul, you more than likely know how dangerous your job is. You may haven seen a colleague or two suffer a serious injury while on the job. In reality, it only takes a second for something to go wrong on the machine shop floor and cause someone to lose a finger or a limb, or end up with some other catastrophic injury.

If you have a work-related accident that results in an injury, do you know what to do? While you might be eligible for workers' compensation, you still have to follow certain procedures to file a claim. In fact, by making one of these common mistakes, you could actually blow your chance of receiving the benefits you deserve.

What if I was attacked while working as a cashier at night?

Most cashiers and sales clerks do not consider themselves to be employed in dangerous jobs. Rather, the term "dangerous job" usually brings up thoughts of roofers, construction workers, firefighters, police officers and so forth. However, there's one terrifying danger that every cashier faces: the threat of getting robbed at work.

Robberies at gunpoint have happened at St. Paul retailers before, and in other cases cashiers have been physically assaulted. Sometimes, cashiers get physically attacked during these incidents. If something like that happened to you, and you got hurt in such an event, you may want to learn more about your legal rights and options.

Falls remain the most common disabling accident in offices

Many people associate serious work injuries with workers employed in construction, manufacturing or other demanding physical jobs. It's easy to forget that disabling injuries can occur in an office environment as well. Pain doesn't distinguish between a roofer and a receptionist.

According to the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, along with being the most common accident in an office, falls also are the top cause of disabling injuries for office workers. Reportedly, the likelihood of suffering a fall-related disabling injury is 2 to 2.5 times higher for office workers than for other workers.

Mental health factors increase work injury rates among women

Female workers in Minnesota should learn about a recent study regarding mental health because the results have a nationwide relevance. Researchers from the Center for Health, Work & Environment, part of the Colorado School of Public Health, teamed up with the state's largest workers compensation insurer to analyze the claims of 314 businesses. Over 17,000 employees holding everything from labor jobs to executive jobs were represented.

Researchers found that women's work injury rates increased wherever mental health conditions were involved, such as fatigue, depression and anxiety. While men had higher injury rates, about 60 percent of women reported having a behavioral health problem prior to the accident, compared to 33 percent of men.

What employees think about worker safety

Employers and employees in Minnesota and throughout the country don't necessarily agree on what workplace safety means. Companies that have younger workers may need to try even harder to communicate workplace safety plans and goals. Of those under the age of 45 who took part in a Rave Mobile Safety survey, 53 percent were either not aware that their employer had a safety plan or said that there was no plan.

Of those who were aged 45 or older, only 34 percent said that they were unaware of a plan or that it didn't exist. Furthermore, 87 percent of respondents said that they only knew about planned responses to fires at work. However, only 57 percent said that they knew what their employer had planned in the event of poor weather, a hazardous chemical situation or if there was an active shooter situation.

Panel publishes guidelines on EMS worker fatigue

Minnesota paramedics have a very stressful and tiring job. In order to address this issue, the National Association of State EMS Officials and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center have established a set of guidelines to help emergency medical services workers cope with on-the-job fatigue.

Researchers analyzed nearly 40,000 articles and studies on EMS worker fatigue and presented their findings to a panel of experts. The literature showed that more than 50 percent of EMS workers suffer from extreme physical and mental fatigue while on duty. It also showed that they get poor quality sleep and experience little recovery during off hours. Meanwhile, half of all EMS workers report getting less than six hours of sleep each day.

Heavy lifting: How to avoid back injuries as a nurse

Nurses are some of the hardest working people on the Earth. They focus on their patients, lift them, move them and give them medications. They care for them while keeping in touch with their families. They work long hours and often don't get the rest they need.

As a result of the difficulties of the job, it's easy for nurses to get hurt. One wrong move is all it takes to end up with a career-ending injury. Fortunately, there are a few ways to avoid back injuries, so you can continue doing the job you love for longer.

The very real dangers of hospital work

When people think about the most dangerous professions, they likely think of ice road truckers, deep sea fisherman or perhaps construction workers. All of these careers carry higher-than-average risks for the people who pursue them. However, one very dangerous field of work that people rarely recognize as such is hospital work. Every day, health care workers in Ramsey County risk exposure to disease and to serious injuries caused by their work.

Nurses, nurse's aides and others who are responsible for the direct physical care of patients incur real risk of both injury and illness. Many times, nurses and other health care workers end up needing workers' compensation benefits while they recover. Medical benefits, as well as compensation for lost wages, can help offset the financial impact of an occupational illness or injury.

Pumps for gas monitoring can be important for safety

Workers in Minnesota who use electronic gas detectors often use devices with pumps. When to use a pump is a common question, and the decision whether to utilize one of these devices can have serious impacts on the safety of workers on the job. The use of a pump on a gas monitor can add a significant level of safety to gas detection tasks. These devices allow workers to collect air from an atmosphere with unclear properties and bring it to a gas monitor location, allowing individuals to view the results of the monitor in a location where the air is known to be safe.

Pumps can prevent workers from being exposed to combustible sites and toxic or contaminated air. Assessing the results using the monitor can indicate that an area is clear of dangerous or flammable gases and allow the workers to safely begin their jobs. Confined spaces that span large distances can be important places for the use of a pump. Workers can enter the area slowly and keep their probes ahead of their paths as they enter, ensuring they are moving in a safe direction.

Workplace fatalities increased by 7 percent in 2016

Workers in Minnesota, especially those in the construction, transportation, and food industries, should know that in 2016, the number of workplace fatalities rose by 7 percent around the country to a level not seen since 2008. The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its Census of 2016 Fatal Occupational Injuries report, which states that there were a total of 5,190 fatal injuries in the U.S. that year.

Transportation incidents accounted for about two out of every five of those fatal injuries. Following that, the most prominent causes were slips, trips, and falls. Fall-related deaths rose by 25 percent among roofers, carpenters, tree trimmers, and commercial truck drivers alone. With the current opioid crisis going on, overdoses have increased dramatically in the past several years as well.

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