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Preventing Minnesota Workplace Accidents Before Workers’ Compensation Is Necessary

On Behalf of | Jul 21, 2018 | Workers' Compensation

Most employers are required to purchase workers’ compensation insurance in order to compensate employees who get injured on the job. However, many companies also have a legal team who try to reduce the amount employers and their insurance providers pay when workers are injured. This makes getting the necessary help difficult for many injured workers in Minnesota while businesses are less productive when missing employees. Since workplace accidents have negative ramifications for everyone, creating a safe environment and preventing injuries is important.

Set And Follow Safety Standards

Thousands of workplace fatalities are preventable while there are around three million total job-related injuries every year. More than one-third of the total injuries are serious enough to warrant time off from work to heal. Companies should have and enforce safety protocols to reduce the number of accidents that take place on the job. In addition to safety standards, workers should always have access to and use the correct safety equipment like eye protection, fall protection, safe footwear and more. When considering the inherent dangers of a given work area, safety organizations like OSHA suggest protocols and products to limit possible injuries.

Training, Training and Training

Accidents normally occur because workers do not know about hazards, not because the workers are goofing off on the job, and this explains why those who are new to an industry are more likely to be injured as they have the least experience. To avoid accidents, employers should start training their staff when they are hired. This could include explaining safety procedures and potential hazards, giving demonstrations and instructions for the devices workers are going to use, having workers learn from seasoned staff and instituting a protocol for what to do when accidents occur.

Training is not a onetime occurrence in safe workplaces. When upgrading machinery or implementing new protocols, employees should get appropriate instruction when changes take place. Giving refresher courses in safety is also helpful to keep the information fresh in worker’s minds and highlight hazards.

Watch Out For Heavy Lifting

Overexertion is the most frequent type of injury and can occur in several fields from manufacturing to sales and nursing. Lifting, pulling or carrying heavy items may lead to strains and sprains in the lower back, and this sometimes occurs because workers think they do not need help or because protocols for heavy lifting are not enforced. To protect against overexertion:

  • Use correct lifting methods
  • Have and utilize the proper equipment
  • Multiple people can lift heavier items together
  • Take breaks and tend to sore muscles
  • Stop when experiencing pain

These Accidents Can Happen Anywhere

Even if you think you work in a safe environment or are an office worker who does not engage in strenuous activity, slips, falls and trips can happen to any employee. These injuries seem mild but could result in torn ligaments, sprains and fractures. Walkways should be kept free of debris and wires and cords that can trip people. If a spill happens, quick cleanup and posting signs are vital. If an area frequently has slippery floors, cover floors in non-slip mats and wear non-slip shoes.

If An Accident Does Happens

If a work injury does occur, report it to a supervisor as soon as you can. Under Minnesota Law, it should take no more than 14 days for wage-loss benefits to begin unless there is a problem with your claim. When you are involved in a workplace accident, you have the right to an attorney who can look out for your best interests just as your superiors likely have an attorney to protect their best interests. Contact us so that we can help ensure that you receive appropriate compensation after suffering an on the job injury.

Sources: 1, 2