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What are occupational diseases?

In Minnesota, you have the right to be protected against occupational diseases. According to Encyclopaedia Britannica, an occupational disease is a condition caused by your work environment. This could include a range of things, such as lung disease, repetitive stress injuries or cancer. Such conditions often take time to develop and occur due to consistent and prolonged exposure to the source causing the disease.

Employers are required by law to take certain measures to ensure you are not exposed to things that could result in an occupational illness. This includes eliminating exposure, adjusting work duties to limit exposure and providing proper safety training. There are many government agencies also tasked with assisting employers in ensuring your workplace is safe, such as OSHA. However, before protective steps can be taken hazards have to be identified.

Early symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome

Musculoskeletal disorders are those which affect the muscles, nerves and tendons in your body. Carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis and low back injuries are a few examples of MSDs. Many workers in different industries have to deal with MSDs. OSHA reports that MSD cases accounted for one-third of all worker injuries and illnesses in 2013. Most MSDs are preventable, but employers and employees have to work together to reduce the problems. 

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common problem for office workers who type at a keyboard. The nerve in the wrist becomes compressed from the repetitive movements. It can result in numbness or a tingling feeling in the wrist, fingers and thumb. One key factor in reducing MSDs is to identify and treat symptoms early to reduce the progression of the disorder. 

OSHA guidelines for workplace vehicle safety

Workplace vehicle accidents in Minnesota should be a concern for employees and employers. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, employees are most likely to die due to vehicle accidents while on the clock than from any other type of worksite accident. These deaths can be greatly reduced by following guidelines outlined by OSHA for safe vehicle use.

The biggest piece of advice OSHA offers is all employees inside a vehicle should wear their seat belt at all times. The laws in every state back this up. These safety devices are critical because they can save lives. It’s been shown that they reduce the chances of dying by 60 and 45 percent when riding in trucks or SUVs and cars, respectively.

What are America’s most common workplace safety violations?

When you show up to your Minnesota job each day, you probably assume at least some level of risk, although certain professions are undeniably riskier than others. Regardless of how severe the hazards associated with your industry are, your employer has an obligation to protect you to the fullest extent possible.

Regrettably, this does not always happen, and Safety + Health reports that there are some workplace safety violations that are far more common than others. When proper precautions are not taken, you and everyone else in the workplace may pay the price, so it is important to recognize these common lapses so that you can call attention to them and see that the problems are remedied. The single-most common workplace safety violation in America has to do with employers not taking proper steps to prevent falls. This might mean workers are not wearing proper safety gear that will protect them in the event of falls, and it may, too, mean employees are not under adequate supervision or equipped with proper safety systems.

Injuries commonly suffered by construction workers

As a Minnesota construction worker, you face a unique set of hazards that place you at considerable risk of suffering a work-related injury. At the Fellman Law Office, we assist many clients who suffer injuries while performing jobs like yours, and we have a solid understanding of the physical and financial hardships that can develop because of your chosen career.

Per Industrial Safety & Hygiene News, your construction job places you at risk for a broad range of injuries, ranging from the relatively minor to the potentially fatal. You may suffer cuts and lacerations because of your use of certain cutting tools, nails, drills and related machinery and equipment, and you may also experience vision or hearing loss, which can develop due to continued exposure to harsh chemicals or loud noise. Taking certain safety precautions, such as donning protective eye and ear wear, can reduce your risk of experiencing vision or hearing loss, though doing so may not eliminate your risk completely.

Facts about Workers’ Compensation in Minnesota

Most people who work in Minnesota are covered by workers’ compensation insurance. When a worker is hurt, it is important that he or she understands the rights afforded by this insurance. According to the Minnesota Department of Labor & Industry, all employers are required to have insurance either through the state’s workers’ compensation program or another approved program that provides for employees who are hurt on the job.

Insurance of this type should cover lost wages and medical expenses for the worker. Individuals may also be able to get coverage for rehabilitation and training needed to be able to return to work. Injuries covered are any that are caused or aggravated by regular work activities and can include those caused by an accident or repetitive injuries caused over time.

Did you suffer a serious electric shock at work?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics keeps track of statistics related to electric injuries, and the numbers indicate that 97 percent of the one million electricians in North America have suffered some kind of electric shock or injury. You do not have to be in this line of work, though, to receive a similar injury. You could have been performing a simple maintenance chore or changing a light bulb in the office when you received a shock because of faulty wiring or touching equipment that had not been de-energized.

OSHA keeps close tabs on protecting workers from such injuries, and employers are required to adhere to general rules for controlling hazardous energy. Learn more about electric shock injuries.

Road construction workers beware as projects kick off in MN

With winter behind us, Minnesotans are coming out of hibernation to enjoy the warmer, sunnier weather of spring. Or, as some people often refer to this time of year, road construction season.

Across the state, hundreds of road construction projects have already been kicked off, which will likely make spring and summer road trips longer and more frustrating for motorists. The significant number and scope of projects might also make those who are working on the projects a little uneasy. In order to keep everyone as safe as possible, drivers should take care to observe some basic safety precautions when they are in or approaching a construction zone.

Dangers of glyphosate still being debated

If you work in gardening, landscaping or farming in Minnesota, you should be well aware that there are risks associated with these occupations. Not only are you exposed to the elements, which can be severe in this state, you also work with powerful machinery and potentially harmful chemicals.

For instance, many people in these industries work with Roundup, a widely used weed killer. While it may be effective for its intended purpose, Roundup contains glyphosate. This chemical could be relatively safe or it could cause cancer, depending on which research you look at. However, even this research can be misleading, as indicated by the recent unsealing of documents from Monsanto, the makers of Roundup.

3M prioritizes worker safety

Minnesota is known for its large businesses. One of those businesses, 3M, is a technology leader. You probably know about products like Post-it Notes and Scotch tape, but 3M makes plenty of other products.

3M is leading the way in worker safety by being at the forefront of technology and training.

Fellman Law Office
400 Robert Street North Suite 1740
Saint Paul, MN 55101

Toll Free: 866-532-5051
Phone: 651-222-9515
Fax: 651-225-5656
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