St. Paul Workers' Compensation Blog

Follow these riding mower safety tips this summer

With warm weather here to stay for the next few months, you may find yourself regularly working outdoors. For example, if you work in the maintenance industry, it may be your responsibility to maintain the grounds around commercial buildings.

Using a riding mower speeds up the process of cutting grass, while also ensuring better results. However, there are many safety risks associated with this type of machinery. Here are three things you can do to maintain your safety:

  • Inspect the mower for damage and defects: Over time, a riding mower has the potential to suffer damage. If you notice any type of damage or defect, stay away from the mower until it's repaired.
  • Comb the area for dangerous objects: Depending on the size of the area, it's difficult to inspect every last inch. By taking the time to do so, you can remove potential flying objects, such as sticks and stones.
  • Protect yourself: Gloves, headphones and goggles can protect you from injury. For instance, if an object hits the blade and flies toward your face, goggles will protect your eyes from injury.

5 roofing safety tips to follow at all times

Any time you find yourself on a roof, there's nothing more important than your safety. Even if you have many years of roofing experience, you must always follow a variety of safety tips to avoid a serious accident and injuries.

Here are five roofing safety tips to follow at all times:

  • Don't work alone: If possible, work with at least one other person, as there is someone to help you in the event of an emergency.
  • Carefully place your ladder: Proper ladder use is a must, as a simple mistake, such as placing it on uneven ground, can cause an accident.
  • Wear a safety harness: It may sound like overkill, but it's the best way to protect yourself should you slip.
  • Wear the right shoes or boots: For example, good traction is a must, as it reduces the likelihood of slipping.
  • Keep an eye on the sky: Bad weather is extremely dangerous when working on a roof. If you see rain moving in or the wind is picking up, stop what you're doing and move to safety.

Ladder safety tips: Don't forget to follow these

Your profession may require you to use a ladder for a variety of reasons, such as to reach the roof of a commercial building or paint the interior of a home.

Even if you have many years' experience using a ladder, there are some safety tips you must follow at all times. Here are five that can help you prevent an accident:

  • Inspect the ladder before use: You're looking for any defects or damage, such as a broken rung, that puts your safety at risk.
  • Choose the right size ladder: Using the wrong size, such as a ladder that's too short to reach the top of a structure, may cause you to reach or stand on the top rung, both of which increase the risk of an accident.
  • Set the ladder on firm and level ground: It may take some time to find the perfect spot, but it's better than placing the ladder on soft or uneven ground, as this can lead to it tipping.
  • Maintain three points of contact: Two feet and one hand or two hands and one foot should be in contact with the ladder at all times.
  • Don't place the ladder near doors or traffic: If a pedestrian or vehicle strikes your ladder while you're on it, it's difficult to maintain your balance.

Truckers put a lot of strain on their body

As a truck driver, you know just how much strain you put on your body. Day in and day out, you're behind the wheel, carrying heavy loads and getting in and out of your truck.

Furthermore, truckers are at risk of an on-the-road accident with another vehicle, which can result in a variety of serious injuries, ranging from a concussion to broken bones to lacerations.

Nonsurgical treatment of a pinched nerve

If a nerve in your neck becomes compressed, it can result in pain, discomfort, numbness and muscle weakness among various other ailments.

As you seek treatment for a pinched nerve, it's important to better understand the cause. For example, this may be related to the heavy loads that you lift at work every day of the week.

Tips to help nurses work without injury

Nurses have a fairly hazardous job with a lot of occupational risks. Injuries are common, and they can be quite serious. Not only is it important for nurses to understand this risk, but they also need to know what they can do to stay safe and healthy on the job.

To help, here are a number of tips that you can implement on a daily basis:

  • Never pull a patient if you have to move them. Always push. This protects your body -- especially the back and the spine -- from injury.
  • Similarly, if you have to help someone up or even pick them up, do not bend and lift with your back. Instead, squat down and lift with your legs.
  • Make sure you know what allergies you have to things like latex, medications, drugs and much more. Try to limit your exposure when you can.
  • Try to avoid distractions. This is a busy profession, with a lot going on, but even a moment of distraction can lead to a mistake, a fall, or all manner of injuries.
  • Do not rush. You may need to hurry, but know your limits. It is usually better to slow down and stay safe than to rush and put yourself in harm's way.
  • Take care of yourself. Eat well. Get enough sleep. Get some exercise. Make sure you're physically and mentally ready for work, especially when you have a long shift.

What’s the best way to fight extreme stress at work?

Depending on your profession, you may find yourself faced with a variety of stressful situations throughout your day. For example, airline pilots and truck drivers fit into this category.

While stress is part of every occupation, there may come a time when you feel that the world is falling in around you. Here are some of the better ways to fight extreme stress at work:

  • Ask for help: You don't have to do everything yourself, even if it feels this way. There are people in your company who are willing to help, so don't be shy about reaching out. If you have too much pride to do so, it will continue to take a toll on your health.
  • Know your limits: Everyone has limits, so make sure you guard yours closely. If you push yourself to the brink of a breakdown too often, you'll eventually go over the edge.
  • Take breaks: How you do so depends on your profession, but everyone should find time to rest their mind and body. Pushing yourself too hard for too long will result in increased stress, which leads to other mental and physical concerns. For example, truck drivers should regularly pull to safety to clear their mind.

Think about your back health when sitting at your computer

Many people work an office job in which they spend a large portion of their day sitting at a computer. While you're not partaking in physical labor, you're still putting a lot of strain and stress on your body.

Spending too much time in front of a computer can take a toll on the discs in your back. This can result in pain, discomfort and stiffness, among a variety of other ailments.

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.

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