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Saint Paul Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Firefighters take a stand against toxic exposure

Many people including those in Ramsey, Minnesota, often forget that firefighters are workers themselves. And like any other worker, firefighters are exposed to certain risks. Firefighters brave critical conditions in order to save lives and property. However, as dangerous as their occupation is, firefighters should not be subjected to any more unnecessary job-related risks, particularly toxic exposure.

Recently, over 200 empty pairs of firefighters' boots recently lined the City Hall of one city. Each pair represented a firefighter who died due to cancer. Across the country, similar "Give Toxics the Boot" events were held. The events instilled awareness and sought stricter laws on the use of toxic chemicals that cause cancer and other diseases. When firefighters do their jobs, they are not just exposed to the fire they are trying to put out, but also to a toxic concoction of flame retardants and other chemicals as well.

Many options available to stop construction site accidents

Every job has a set of varying risks for accomplishing a certain task. However, some job risks are more serious than others, with some arguing that the construction industry is the most risky. Construction work in St. Paul County, Minnesota, is a collaborative endeavor among numerous workers prone to human error-based accidents. But certain precautions can be taken to avoid or lessen the effect of a workplace accident.

First, safety equipment is a must. Although safety equipment does not lower the probability of an accident occurring, it does protect a worker if it happens. Construction companies should invest in high-quality, cutting-edge safety gear for employees, ensuring that such gear is worn or used by workers at all times.

Bill seeks to trace work records of Minnesota cancer patients

Most St. Paul, Minnesota, workers are aware that they can get workplace injuries. However, there are some workers that forget that besides injuries, they can also be susceptible to workplace illness. Cancer, in particular, can be developed through asbestos exposure or exposure to certain types of chemicals. Such an illness may necessitate long-term treatment and a considerable amount of expenses on the part of a worker.

Minnesota OSHA seeks to curb work-related fall accidents

Workplace accidents due to falls typically are preventable. However, Minnesota officials are claiming that falls are one of the most common type of on-the-job accidents. This kind of workplace accident has become more common over the last few years with the number of such accidents doubling in 2012 from a consistent seven annually over previous years. Now the Minnesota chapter of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is seeking to decrease workplace falls across the state.

Farm workers and employers should be mindful of worker safety

For many local readers, agricultural work may seem like a risk-free job. However, like any other occupation, it does have its own set of risks. After all, large loads, heavy equipment and a fast-paced work environment are part and parcel of farm work.

Road worker hit by car can file workers' compensation claim

Every job poses a level of risk for workers. Minnesota employees should know that sustaining any level of injury in the workplace could greatly affect finances. It is impossible to predict how long complete recovery will take and how much income will be lost in the process. An injured worker also must deal with costly medical expenses. The good news is that injured workers could rely on workers' compensation to help obtain benefits that they have earned.

Recently, a public works employee in Washington County was removing snow on a bridge when a vehicle struck him. Based on a report, the worker was part of a snow plowing detail working near two county roads when the accident happened.

Hearing loss may be the most common workplace illness

Many occupational diseases or illnesses result from exposure to substances or other elements in the workplace that are clearly hazardous to human health. Lung diseases, cancer and blood diseases, for example, are among the byproducts of exposure to toxic chemicals. All too often, workers appear healthy before symptoms appear.

Minnesota workers should also note that workplace illness is not limited to diseases caused by chemicals. In fact, both depression and hearing loss are considered workplace illnesses in Minnesota and elsewhere in the United States.

Update to TCSA would affect toxic exposure law cases

In Ramsey, Minnesota, workers perform their jobs in various working environments, including factories where lead, benzene and other harmful chemicals are handled daily. Those hazardous chemicals have serious effects on workers' health. Sometimes, it takes time before a worker develops a disease caused by toxic exposure in the workplace. If this happens, the worker can seek compensation from the employer or, possibly, the manufacturer of the hazardous chemical.

However, a future change to the Toxic Substances Control Act would affect how legal claims are handled by federal courts in the various states. Users and chemical manufacturers have expressed their support for this new act, the Chemical Safety Improvements Act, which would enact evidentiary preemption..

A little common sense can prevent workplace accidents

In Ramsey, Minnesota, and throughout the country, a little common sense can go a long way. The United States Army Corps of Engineers plans to further bolster their efforts in curbing workplace accidents this year. According to the Corps of Engineers, civilians, soldiers, contractors and employers are at risk of sustaining injuries on the job, and the key to prevent those injuries from happening is creating healthy workplaces.

The USACE's Chief of Safety stated that many workers do not recognize the hazards present in the workplace, as they are accustomed to them. Identifying those workplace hazards is the job of supervisors and employers. Once the hazards have been identified, the employers can prevent the accidents from occurring by developing control measures.

Workers' compensation provides relief to injured employees

In Ramsey, Minnesota, and elsewhere around the country, there is always the possibility of sustaining injuries on the job. Depending on the industry, a worker can be exposed to various risks that can cause injuries and even death. Fortunately, there is workers' compensation to provide relief to workers who have sustained workplace injuries. Lost wages and medical expenses can be reimbursed through workers' compensation.

Saint Paul readers may be interested to know that there was a reported workplace accident in the neighboring state of Iowa. Based on the report, five workers were sent to a local hospital after they were struck by an arc blast while working on electric lines at Timewell Drainage.

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