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Bettendorf Workers' Compensation Blog

Do you understand your rights to workers' compensation benefits?

The purpose of workers' compensation benefits is the support and care of individuals who suffered injuries in work-related accidents. You may know that you have a rightful claim to this financial support after suffering an injury in a workplace accident, but it is beneficial to understand this process and what to expect when filing a claim.

Most employers are required to carry this type of insurance. This offers employers a certain amount of protection because by seeking these specific benefits, an employee relinquishes his or her right to sue. An Iowa employee has security knowing that support is available in the event of a workplace accident.

How much can you rely on workers' compensation benefits?

Construction workers in Iowa face multiple safety hazards every day. You might have witnessed co-workers suffering serious or even fatal injuries. Some of them may be unable to return to work for extended periods — if at all. You might find comfort in knowing that the Iowa workers' compensation system will have your back if you should suffer severe injuries.

But, how reliable is the system? The workers' compensation program entitles you to benefits that will help you take care of your financial obligations while you are incapacitated. The most basic benefits will cover your medical expenses and lost income.

What do you need to get back to work after a workplace accident?

When Iowa workers experience injuries in the workplace, they may experience both financial losses and physical setbacks. If you are currently unable to work, your goal is likely to get better and get back to work as soon as possible. Fortunately, there are tools available to you through workers' compensation insurance that can help you accomplish this goal.

Workers' compensation exists for the purpose of supporting workers who suffer injuries in the workplace or while carrying out their job-related duties. These benefits include recovery of a portion of lost wages, recovery of medical bills, as well as benefits that can help you get back to work.

Are you the only one concerned about your safety at work?

In an ideal world, workers in Iowa and elsewhere would be able to trust their employers with their safety and health. Unfortunately, that will likely remain a dream because, every year, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration publishes a similar list of most cited safety violations. A comparison from year to year underscores the fact that many employers continue to prioritize profits over employee safety.

For that reason, you may be wise to take note of the hazards in your work environment, and do what you can to protect yourself. Fortunately, the workers' compensation insurance system has the backs of injured workers and the surviving families who lose loved ones in work-related accidents.

Never trust a fall protection harness with your life

Does your job involve working at heights and relying on a fall protection harness to save your life if you should fall? You may not realize that the protection equipment can arrest the fall before you hit the ground, but your life will remain in danger. Your survival may depend on the prompt arrival of rescuers to get you out of the safety harness.

Your Iowa employer is responsible for your health and safety on the job, and this responsibility includes providing comprehensive training in the correct use of fall arrest systems. It is essential for you to learn about the risks of suspension trauma, and also how to stay safe.

Do you struggle to button your shirt? You might have HAVS

Does your job include the use of vibrating, handheld power tools like a jackhammer, chainsaw or an industrial impact grinder or wrench? Then you might start noticing signs of Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS). If you ignore the signs too long before seeking medical treatment, it could cause long-term harm.

Thousands of workers in various industries in Iowa work with vibrating tools that threaten their health and expose them to this work-related disorder. The repetitive motion of the intense vibration damages nerves, blood vessels and muscles in your wrists and arms while you operate such tools.

Is your job making you sick? You could have a claim

Iowa workers know that they likely have a rightful claim to workers' compensation if they get injured at work. However, you could have the same rights if your work makes you sick. There could be factors involved with your job that could eventually lead to the development of illnesses or other medical conditions.

Occupational illnesses could be grounds for a workers' compensation claim, but it is not always easy to actually obtain these benefits. If you think your work is making you sick, you would be wise to take quick action to protect your interests. It doesn't matter what type of job you have, if your work is the cause of your occupational illness, you have rights.

How will you provide for your family if you fall from a scaffold?

Construction company owners in Iowa sometimes compromise employee safety to get projects done sooner. Unfortunately, this may leave you and your co-workers extremely vulnerable. One danger zone on most construction sites is scaffolding. If your employer pays little or no attention to edge protectors, railings, barriers and fall protection, you might have to take steps to look after your own safety.

It is only natural to be concerned about how you will provide for your family if you should fall from a scaffold. Who will pay your medical bills, and what will happen if the workers' compensation insurance program denies your claim? These are but some of the questions and issues of which an experienced workers' compensation attorney can handle.

Don't let a loading dock injury get you loaded into an ambulance

Does your occupation require you to sometimes work on a dock of a busy warehouse in Iowa? If you do, you may have noticed how many workers nationwide have suffered severe injuries or lost their lives while working on or around forklifts. While these areas present multiple safety hazards, lift trucks might be the most dangerous of them all.

For that reason, you should avoid operating a forklift if you are not qualified to do so. Furthermore, always keep an eye out for these vehicles to avoid being knocked down or crushed against a wall or shelf. Attending frequent safety training sessions to ensure you stay alert and avoid on-the-job injuries around the loading dock can prove invaluable to your safety and well-being.

The importance of safety training in all industries

Industrial hazards exist in all industries in Iowa, and although mining and construction workers are at the highest risk, blue-collar workers and technicians in various manufacturing industries also face many risks. Open wounds, muscle strains and sprains, fractures, and more are prevalent in all industries. The severity of workplace injuries can vary from muscle strains to traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injuries.

Although the nature of the industry in which you earn your living may make it impossible to eliminate all the risks, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration provides guidelines along with strict regulations to limit workplace injuries. However, only with proper training in all aspects of workplace safety and compliance can the OSHA guidelines be of any value.

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