Workers' Compensation Archives

Construction workers have highest fall risks says OSHA

Fall protection remains a persistent problem in workplaces in Minnesota and across the country, and the data suggests that workers in the construction industry face the greatest fall risks of all. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports that almost 40 percent of the construction workers killed on the job in 2015 died in incidents involving falls, and four of the agency's most commonly cited violations deal specifically with construction sector safety regulations.

The importance of fall protection in the workplace

Minnesota workers could be putting themselves at risk if they do jobs without the necessary training and safety equipment. One 33-year-old man was killed when he fell 7 feet from a pallet that had been raised by a forklift onto a concrete floor. At the warehouse where he worked, using the forklift and a pallet in this way was common practice.

OSHA standards for worker fall protection

Employers in Minnesota are required to protect employees from fall hazards along unprotected edges that are 4 feet or more above the level below. According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, adequate fall protection may include any device, system or equipment that prevents employees from falling or mitigates the consequences of a fall. Employers may choose to make use of guardrail systems, personal fall arrest systems or safety net systems.

Focusing on potential serious injuries to improve worker safety

Working people in Minnesota could face dangers at work no matter what type of job they do. Businesses take precautions to keep their employees safe, but strategies for workplace safety vary. Many safety experts are advocating for a change to the general belief that companies should just be reporting accidents. They believe that the potential for serious injuries should get special focus, even if workers have a narrow escape from actual injury.

Computer vision syndrome may be a problem for office workers

When Minnesotans think about workers' compensation, they might normally imagine injury accidents that happen while they are on the job. However, some work-related injuries and conditions do not involve traumatic incidents. Like other work-related injuries, conditions and illnesses that arise because of job requirements and conditions are also compensable under the workers' compensation system.

Common pipe repair method exposes workers to chemicals

Municipal water and sewer departments in Minnesota can no longer assume that cured-in-place pipe repair methods do not pose a hazard to workers and citizens. A study of the technique conducted by researchers from Purdue University discovered that the process releases plumes of chemicals that could expose workers and perhaps the public to carcinogens.

Common Minnesota construction injury accidents

According to a report by the Center for Construction Research and Training, approximately 800 construction workers, lost their lives between 2011 and 2015 due to struck-by incidents. These include situations in which workers are hit by equipment, objects or vehicles. The CPWR reported that 48 percent of fatalities involved vehicle accidents, and that 57 percent of those cases occurred in designated work zones.

Trenching accident injuries

Although all construction work in Minnesota has its hazards, trenching is considered to be one of the riskiest ones. In 2016, for example, the number of trenching fatalities around the country were more than twice that of the previous year. Trenching is so dangerous due to the fact that dirt can weigh more than a ton per cubic yard, which is heavy enough to crush workers if they become trapped in a collapsed trench.

Changing workforce demographics contribute to job injuries

An inability to afford retirement has prompted many older Minnesota workers to stay on the job. Longer lifespans have added to the trend as well for people who desire to remain employed. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has identified these two factors as major contributors to the aging of the nation's workforce. It estimates that people age 65 and older will be the fastest growing segment of employees through 2024. The proportion of workers in the 25-to-54 age group will increase at a much slower rate.

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