Omaha Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Health care workers are at risk for many workplace injuries

Each day, the women and men working in the health care industry perform an array of physical duties, putting them at risk of suffering workplace injuries. Many of these injuries are minor and do not pose health risks or take the victim away from his or her job. Unfortunately, some workplace injuries in a health care setting are much more severe.

The health care industry in America is one of the leading industries for occupational injuries, according to data from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Although the most recent statistical data available is from 2011, it does paint a picture of the problem medical workers have been facing for the better part of a decade or longer.

Industrial workers should seek help when needed after an accident

For most of us, our work is more than just a job. It provides us with a way to care for our families and comes with many personal rewards. Industrial employees typically enjoy the work they perform and are not just there for a paycheck. Most industrial employees like the physical elements of their jobs as well as the mental challenges some industrial work poses. Unfortunately, industrial workers' accidents can interrupt these jobs and place financial hardships on Nebraska families.

Working in an industrial setting like a manufacturing facility or a meat-packing plant comes with many hazards, some of them permanent risks. Examples include chemical exposure, machine-related injuries and serious back injuries from moving heavy objects. However, the risk of suffering an industrial accident can increase without the proper approach to workplace safety.

Will you be able to get back to work after an on-the-job injury?

When injured at work, you may be entitled to certain benefits through your employer's workers' compensation benefits. These benefits can cover things such as what you spent on medical bills and a portion of your lost wages. However, you may also be able to secure support that will help you get back to work.

Every recovery is different, and what you need to get better and return to the workplace depends on factors such as the severity of your injury, your health at the time of the accident and any permanent issues you have because of your accident. Workers' who may need additional support to get back to work may be able to secure workers' compensation rehabilitation benefits.

Tips for preventing scaffolding accidents

When you work on a construction site, you put yourself in danger of suffering an injury every minute you are on the job. There's plenty of things you can do to ensure your safety, including wearing protective apparel and gear the entire time you are working. But what about working on scaffolding? Here are some tips to prevent a scaffolding accident at your construction site.

The scaffolding should be inspected every day prior to use. If the construction site is left unattended at night, you never know when someone trespasses and messes with the scaffolding. That's why it must be inspected. Make sure it is still properly assembled, and no important parts are missing. This includes ensuring that the scaffolding is still secured to the ground and the building.

Workers' compensation: Off-hours accidents in company vehicles

There are many employees in the United States who drive a company car as a part of their daily job responsibilities. This company car could feel like it belongs to you -- especially if you spend a lot of time in it. You might even use the car when you're not technically working. Additionally, you might use the vehicle for personal reasons, even when you're on the company clock.

Maybe you're making deliveries for your company, but you remembered that you needed to buy a few groceries, so you make a detour to the grocery store. If you do something like this, it's very important that you remember that engaging personal activities -- even while you're on company time -- could mean that you're not covered by your employer's workers' compensation policy while you're making the "detour."

What are the most common risks associated with scaffolding?

Scaffolding was not made to be risk-free. It was made to be useful. In fact, scaffolds are an integral part of most construction jobs because of the ease with which workers can erect them and disassemble them. They allow construction workers to get to places and set up a working platform where most people would never dream of being able to get the job done.

Under most circumstances, scaffolding doesn't result in an injury or accident, but there are some important risks and dangers workers need to be aware of before they climb up:

How many years do I have to pursue a workers' comp claim?

One of the most valuable things that a Nebraska worker has is the workers' compensation insurance that protects him or her in the event of a work-related injury.

Although you might not consider this to be a valuable commodity, you certainly will see it as one if you get catastrophically hurt on the job. This asset will not only pay for your medical care, rehabilitation and vocational training if your injuries prevent you from returning to the same job, it will also provide you with wage replacement benefits or disability benefits in the event that you're too injured to work temporarily or permanently.

Hauling hazardous chemicals can be life-threatening

Logistics companies in Nebraska that manage the transportation of hazardous chemicals have a significant responsibility to protect the environment, the general public and the drivers who have to move the dangerous cargo to destinations across the country. You and other big rig operators who haul such dangerous cargo might not realize that you put your lives on the line every time.

Your employer is responsible for your health and safety, and providing specialized training to deal with the unique dangers of hazardous chemicals is crucial. Appropriate storage in the warehouse and the truck must meet the specifications for the products that could be flammable, corrosive or one of a list of other hazard classes.

What are workers' compensation death benefits?

When someone dies in an on-the-job accident, their financial dependents -- like their children, their spouse and other dependent family members -- might be surprised to discover that they may be able to receive workers' compensation death benefits. These benefits could compensate family members and dependents for the income they have lost as a result of their deceased mother, father, husband or wife.

In the state of Nebraska, workers' compensation laws allow for up to $10,000 in funeral expenses to help pay for the deceased employee's funeral services. Support payments will also be made to surviving spouses and some dependents. In most cases, spouses and children who lived with the decedent can be considered dependents. Sometimes, other dependents -- if they prove their financial reliance on the worker -- can apply to receive payments as well.

An employer's obligations under workers' compensation

Every employee has specific rights under the law and every employer has specific legal duties under the rules for workers' compensation.

With specific regard to workers' compensation laws, most workers in Omaha can expect employers to do the following: