Minnesota Workers Compensation Lawyer
Throughout the country, green industries are growing each day, and with that comes a demand for new workers. Minnesota certainly has been no stranger to this new expanding industry, either. With clean-energy production and installation growing 5.3 percent in 2016, it made it the fastest growing major industry in the state. However, while these green jobs are as great for workers as they are for the environment, they still present certain hazards. As environmentally-friendly industries grow in Minnesota, so, too, does the potential for injuries that can be covered by worker’s compensation. So what injuries are common in those who are moving into green industry jobs?
Any job that involves installation or construction has the potential for fall injuries. With wind and solar power growing in popularity each day, the demand for these renewable energy structures grow. However, many installations happen off the ground which leaves the workers open to devastating falls even if they are excessively careful. Essentially, those that work in solar or wind installation are prone to the same hazards are roofers, for which fall accidents are the biggest cause of workplace injuries.
Exposure to Hazardous Materials
Green industry jobs are not just about putting in new renewable practices that help the environment, they are also about cleaning up the damage we have already done. Recycling and renovation jobs are particularly at risk for the exposure to hazardous substances. Recycling jobs often have to work with a number of materials and sometimes this involves removing particularly hazardous ones. Alternatively, renovation crews helping property and homeowners add in energy efficient windows, insulation, or roofing will often be exposed to older building materials. For particularly old buildings, the ones that often need this renovation the most, it can come with exposure to silica dust or even asbestos that can have long-term health effects. However, exposure to lead, mercury, and lithium can also be just as damaging.
Similar to falls, electrocution can be a common workplace accident even outside of the green industry jobs. Even an office worker who uses the wrong outlet can suffer an electrocution injury. However, because the green industry relies on the installation of new energy infrastructure, the potential for electrocution is high, especially for workers who lack the years of safety experience that makes a job safer.
Injuries Generated From a Lack Experience
Any worker can get injured at their job. One moment of lost focus or one off-day could leave them racking up the medical bills. However, in many industries, there are extensive safety rules in place to keep everyone safe. Furthermore, there are employees who have done the job safely for decades. In old industries, this worker safety experience is something that is often passed down to new employees. Unfortunately, green industries are often a new frontier. Many jobs are old jobs repurposed with the environment in mind, yet the workers face new hazards that they may not know how to handle safely.
It is this lack of experience that is perhaps the most dangerous for workers entering green industry jobs. They will need to find out what is safe to do above and beyond OSHA regulations, and to do that, it may take some workers making mistakes first.
The green industry will continue to grow, and with that growth will come a need to evolve. The world has an increasing need for environmentally-friendly industries, and thus they will need workers. However, if you have already entered a green industry and had the unfortunate displeasure of getting hurt on the job, contact us. The Law Office of Joshua Borken is dedicated to getting all Minnesota workers the compensation they deserve for their injuries, and we are definitely ready to help make sure that green industry workers in Minnesota are well taken care of as well.