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Bettendorf Workers' Compensation Blog

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.

Do forklift hazards make your work difficult?

It's no secret that some jobs are more dangerous than others. If you come close to forklifts on the job, you likely understand just how dangerous going to work can be. Forklifts are often used in construction, excavation and agricultural work and can accomplish tasks that may have once been nearly impossible. You've probably heard the saying that prevention is the best medicine, which may be true if you're talking about how to avoid forklift injuries.

When you're on the job, you know there's a certain amount of risk involved; however, you probably don't go to work every day expecting to suffer serious injury. Since most accidents occur very unexpectedly, it's always good to research current safety precautions ahead of time and to know where to turn for help if you are injured in a workplace mishap.

Speak up for your hearing

Recently, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration began a study on the current regulations for hearing protection at construction sites with a plan to determine if the agency should update those regulations, which they instituted over 40 years ago. If you work in this industry, you may feel this study comes a little too late.

Construction is one of the loudest occupations, placing your hearing at risk from prolonged, high-decibel noises from equipment such as jackhammers and air compressors. Although you may use your hearing protection required by the outdated OSHA regulations, it may not be enough to protect you.

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