Omaha Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Garbage collection workers face many injury risks every day

Perhaps the phrase, "it's a dirty job but somebody's got to do it," came about solely for the workers who toil in the nation's solid waste management industry. The phrase certainly fits because these employees face many dirty and dangerous hazards each day.

Most people take garbage collectors for granted and are just happy to see their refuse taken away from the curbside. However, those who work in this field are all too aware of the risks. Workers' compensation will provide trash collectors with benefits if an occupational disease or injury occurs, but what exactly are some of these risks. Remaining informed about them can help you avoid a dangerous incident altogether.

Do you know the life-threatening hazards of trench work?

June is the month for the annual National Trench Safety Stand Down. It is also the time of the year when construction activities in Nebraska pick up significantly, putting more construction workers at risk. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration focuses the emphasis of the stand down on getting construction company owners to remind workers of trench-related hazards and compliance with safety standards.

If you spend time working in trenches, you might not realize that you have the right to refuse to enter a trench that does not comply with federal and state safety standards. Gaining knowledge of the OSHA safety regulations for excavations can save you from a trench being your premature grave.

Solutions for loading dock workplace accident hazards

Consumers rarely see loading dock workers, but these employees are essential to most Nebraska industries. Unfortunately, this type of occupational environment contains many workplace accident hazards. Although workers' compensation provides employees with financial benefits if an injury occurs, reducing hazards completely is preferable.

While dock workers receive training on performance and safety issues, it never hurts to review the hazards that go along with such employment. The following sections contain a review of three loading dock hazards as well as guidelines to prevent accidents.

McDonald's workers nationwide at risk of violence and injuries

No American city seems complete without at least one McDonald's restaurant. McDonald's is popular for its food as well as its late hours. The restaurants are convenient for those who wish to grab a snack or a meal at almost any time of the day or the night.

Unfortunately, the franchise is fraught with underreported workplace injuries caused by violence. A recent story on the website Salon.com goes into some detail about the violence that plagues restaurant workers. Two McDonald's robberies occurred here in Omaha. Both involved firearms. Examples of additional violent encounters leading to workplace injuries include perpetrators:

  • Attacking staff members with objects
  • Throwing hot beverages onto drive-thru workers
  • Attempting to forcibly pull workers over the counter
  • Kicking and/or punching staff members

Workers' compensation may cover necessary physical therapy

Physical therapy (PT) is a common form of treatment doctors prescribe after injuries occur. It offers patients many healing benefits and may help injured workers heal faster. You can count on workers' compensation to pay for the medical treatment you need following a work injury. In many cases, this treatment also includes PT.

According to the health care company Concentra, the many benefits physical therapy offers injured workers include the following.

  • Relieves injury-related pain
  • Corrects physical imbalances
  • Restores the body's ability to move and function
  • Improves conditioning and strength
  • Reduces the risk of additional workplace injuries
  • Promotes health in the long-term
  • Minimizes the length of recovery from injuries

Your occupation may place your spine at risk of injury

As a support system for the human body, the spine works very hard to help other anatomical systems function properly. As you might imagine, a serious spinal injury could take you away from your job temporarily or permanently. In turn, this may result in a significant loss of income and financial security, which could carry on for the rest of your life.

Unfortunately, many job opportunities in Omaha can be particularly hazardous to the human spine. A few examples of jobs that can result in workplace injuries to the spine include the following.

  • Construction workers
  • Groundskeepers and landscapers
  • Healthcare personnel
  • Warehouse workers
  • Assembly line and factory workers

Two steps to decreasing incidents on construction sites

As a construction worker, you probably are completely aware of the various risks you face every time you go to work. There is moving equipment, many people doing various tasks at once, and you may have to work from heights. Safety is one of the most critical factors on any Nebraska construction site.

Site managers and employers have the responsibility of making sure their workers are as safe as reasonably possible. What this means for your particular job on your specific construction site depends on what kind of role you have and what kind of project you are working on. You may find it useful to understand what you can expect from your employer regarding the implementation of better safety for all workers.

Some construction accidents can result in eye injuries

The people who choose to work in the Omaha construction industry know about many of its hazards. They also know how to protect themselves from construction accidents in most cases. This usually involves compliance with the industry's safety standards such as wearing personal protective equipment. Despite this attention to safety, many workers fail to protect their eyes properly, often leading to serious consequences such as vision loss.

The Center for Construction Research and Training seeks to help workers enhance their safety and avoid construction accidents. As such, the Center advises all construction workers to comply with the following easy steps to ensure eye safety while working.

  • Wear eye protection at all times to protect your eyes from injury
  • Make certain you use the correct type of eye protection such as goggles or glasses with side shields or full-face shields
  • At the first sign of irritation, rinse your eyes with clean water

Life-saving first aid after a work-related amuptation

Industrial work settings pose many accident risks to Omaha employees. One of the worst examples of industrial workers' accidents involves losing an arm, leg or another body part to dismemberment or amputation. These extreme injuries typically impact victims for months, years or even lifetimes. Such injuries can also result in death without the proper first aid in the immediate aftermath of the accident.

You may feel secure in the knowledge that workers' compensation will help you cope financially after industrial workers' accidents occur. However, you also deserve the best chance of making a full recovery if you lose a limb while working. The actions your co-workers take immediately following such an accident can make all the difference in your overall recovery.

Workplace accidents: Beware of grain handling hazards

The grain handling industry provides a necessary source of income to many residents in Omaha and other areas in Nebraska. These workers are grateful to have a job that is secure and pays fairly well, but it is critical to understand the hazards associated with this wide-spread industry.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), grain handling is a high-risk occupation with many workplace accident hazards. The following section highlights several of the workplace accident and illness risks inherent to the industry.

  • Those who suffer engulfment in bins by fast-flowing grain can die from suffocation.
  • The combustible nature of grain dust often leads to dangerous explosions or fires, which can kill or seriously injure workers.
  • Many grain workers experience entanglement and amputation injuries from handling and using machinery.
  • Illness or death may occur from exposure to hazardous atmospheres caused by grain spoilage, mold or industry-related chemicals.
  • Falling from heights is also a great risk in the grain handling industry and could result in severe bone breaks, brain injury or even death.