Omaha Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Workers' compensation and possible worker negligence

Let's begin this blog post by looking at a hypothetical situation. An Omaha factory worker suffers a serious head injury when a box of equipment falls and strikes the employee. Despite numerous signs posted throughout the workplace instructing workers' to wear hard hats at all times, this worker failed to don the required safety gear. Is he or she still eligible to receive workers' compensation benefits?

The short answer is to the question above is, "Yes." American states, including Nebraska, do not typically consider employee fault when reviewing a workers' compensation claim. This is the price business owners and employers pay to avoid injury lawsuits filed by workers. However, the possibility of receiving a claim denial still exists.

Health hazards in Omaha's cold meatpacking industry

Working in cold environments has very few advantages. One possible upside is that it can cool you down during the hot summer months. Other than that, it is uncomfortable.

Did you know that working inside cold warehouses, freezers and coolers can cause health problems and workplace injuries in addition to discomfort? Most of the people who work in Omaha's vast meatpacking industry fail to understand the hazards associated with cold locations. Therefore, they may not know that workers' compensation can cover illness or injury caused by this type of employment.

Workers' compensation may help you manage work-related stress

Most of today's work opportunities come with a large amount of stress. The employer's demand to produce, meet deadlines and take on extra work shifts cause employees to feel anxious and stressed. According to the American Institute of Stress, other causes include:

  • A lack of job security
  • Balancing work and personal life
  • Difficulty dealing with people

Whatever the cause, occupational stress plagues many workers. Most of these employees do not realize that workers' compensation can cover treatment for occupational stress in some cases. This means that workers can seek help for their suffering at no cost.

Working in a meatpacking plant remains a hazardous occupation

Injury and illness rates in meatpacking plants across the country, including Nebraska, are not as high as they were two decades ago, but they remain significantly higher than the national average for work-related injuries. Although the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has strict safety regulations in place, serious injuries continue to occur. Despite proof that the work environments in the meat industry are now safer than ever before, analysts say there is room for improvement.

Regardless of your position in the meatpacking facility, there will be dangers to face. Whether the risks you face include excessive noise, harmful chemicals, repetitive motions or equipment with dangerous moving parts, a thorough knowledge of the risks and the necessary safety precautions are crucial. Your best chance to return home safely each day is to take responsibility for your own safety and comply with prescribed protocols.

Practicing safety when working with trenches

Trenches are a typical part of many jobs, especially in the construction industry and when working with utilities, but they also carry a very high level of risk -- higher than many workers realize. If there is a trench collapse, workers can be buried and seriously injured or killed in mere seconds. The amount of earth that falls back into the trench could weigh thousands of pounds, and moving it quickly and safely may be impossible.

One of the main keys to safety, then, is to practice caution from the very beginning. Here are a few things that workers should do:

  • Understand where all electrical lines and other buried hazards are located before starting.
  • Consider the type of soil that they'll be working in.
  • Pick proper trench safety devices for the job at hand.
  • Monitor those devices and do daily inspections to make sure the trench is still safe.
  • Keep all heavy items -- materials, equipment, workers, vehicles, etc -- far back from the edge of the trench.
  • Keep ladders close to the trench, usually storing them within 25 feet, so that they can be used to help workers get out in a hurry if needed.
  • Have a reaction plan in place in case a collapse happens. It's better to plan for an event that never happens than to have no plan when it is needed most.

Never overlook safety if you work in the construction industry

If you are a member of Omaha's construction industry, you already know the many serious hazards that come with the job. The risk of suffering catastrophic injuries or even death remains with you while you are performing your duties.

It is critical it is to keep dangerous safety hazards in mind. However, we have also seen how overlooking basic safety precautions can lead to unexpected injuries. Why are basic safety measures so important? We offer several examples in the following list.

  • Helps workers avoid complacency
  • Minor construction accidents can still cause serious injury
  • Reminds your co-workers and supervisors to think safely
  • Prevents an aura of carelessness from permeating the work environment

Does workers' compensation cover travel-related work injuries?

When employees suffer an injury on the job, their employer must provide them with workers' compensation benefits. This can pay for medical expenses as well as lost wages, eliminating many financial hardships that often accompany an injury.

Many employment opportunities in Nebraska require workers to travel. Naturally, employees assume workers' compensation will also cover any injuries they suffer away from their worksite. In many cases, this is true, but all workers in the state should familiarize themselves with the rules governing travel-related injuries.

Construction workers beware of these common hazards

If you work in the Nebraska construction industry, it might be a good idea to protect your own safety instead of leaving it up to your employer. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration puts the responsibility of employee safety squarely on the shoulders of employers. However, construction sites pose countless safety hazards, some of which might threaten your life -- unless you take your own precautions.

This means never going without the necessary personal protective equipment and taking part in all safety training sessions. It might be up to you to learn how to recognize and mitigate common hazards if you want to return home unscathed after every shift.

Why you should always report workplace accidents

Do you always report even minor workplace accidents and injuries to your employer? Two examples of minor accidents include tripping over debris and getting struck by a lightweight falling object. To most Omaha workers, incidents like these do not seem to be worthy of making a report.

Stopping your duties to fill out an incident report when you are not hurt may seem like a waste of time. However, accurate reporting is vital to improving workplace safety.

Prevention is the best way to protect your back while working

The back and spine carry a great deal of the burden placed on the human body, especially in physically demanding occupations as well as jobs that involve a lot of inactivity, such as office careers.

Workers' compensation benefits can help Omaha residents overcome workplace injuries without experiencing significant financial hardships. However, prevention remains the best way to keep your back healthy. Protecting your entire body, including your back, helps ensure that you do not miss any work and that you may never need to file a workers' compensation claim. The following tips can help.