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Des Moines Workers' Compensation Law Blog

As Weather Turns Ugly – Stay Safe On A Construction Site

Spring and autumn months are highlighted by wind, rain and changing weather. The sudden changes from day to day – often from hour to hour – during these months can make working outside in the elements an unsafe challenge. But, what can be done?

There are numerous tips that both workers and supervisors can follow that can help prevent serious injuries and, in the most severe circumstances, death.

Hardhats Are Not The Ultimate Protection

Whether it is a large building or a small renovation project, construction sites can be dangerous environments for all workers. From ladder falls to falling debris to vehicle accidents, construction workers face catastrophic injuries nearly every day. Even safety equipment, unfortunately, can’t always prevent a serious injury.

A recent piece by the Brain Injury Society sheds some light on the dangers that remain even when a construction worker is properly equipped.

What Are Construction’s “Fatal Four?”

Construction sites are among the most dangerous work environments in the world. From heavy machinery to powerful tools to dangerous materials, construction workers tend to suffer serious injuries following numerous types of accidents. Unfortunately, many of these accidents are serious enough to lead to death.

In data from the calendar year 2015, OSHA calculated that 937 worker fatalities, or 21.4 percent of private industry deaths, were in construction. Or, put another way, one in every five worker fatalities for the entire year were in construction.

Avoiding heat illness while working outside

Water. Rest. Shade. 

While manual labor isn’t universally described as “pleasant,” working outside during the spring and autumn months can be rewarding. With a cool breeze and generous cloud cover, workers can go about their business with little-to-no concern regarding heat illnesses. As the spring months turn hot, however, heat exhaustion and heat stroke become deadly consequences.

The Most Common Construction Zone Accidents

There are countless people who dedicate their lives to improving the infrastructure of this country. They fill potholes, expand highways, put up buildings, and make sure that everyone can travel safely from place to place on a daily basis. Unfortunately, anyone who has spent time in the construction industry understands that the heavy equipment, location of the work, and nature of the industry can predispose people to serious injuries.

These injuries can lead to expensive medical bills that can financially cripple a family. Anyone who is injured on the job should understand that there may be avenues for financial recourse and recovery in the wake of an accident.

Workers' Compensation and Company Doctors: Can You Trust Them?

If you have sustained an injury due to an incident or chronic exposure at work, you have to act and file a claim. Without the financial support of workers' compensation, you could face a decline in quality of life and quality and amount of treatment. However, you must follow correct workers' compensation procedures, and that often includes getting a medical exam from a specific doctor.

Workers' comp may cover more than just your physical injuries.

If you have been exposed to traumatic situations while on the job that have resulted in severe emotional distress, you may be entitled to workers' compensation. Injuries can come in many different forms, and some are more obvious than others. However, emotional and mental injuries are a serious matter and they can easily impact your day-to-day life.

What is emotional distress?

Under Iowa's workers' compensation laws, emotional distress is a result of physical injuries sustained in a work-related incident or other employment circumstances. Work related injuries, such as the loss of a limb or exceptionally intense levels of stress, can absolutely result in serious and prolonged emotional damage. Emotional distress can come in different forms, but it is often displayed in the forms of depression and/or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Under the law, emotional distress is considered an injury and some injuries may develop over a long period of time. Therefore, it is possible that emotional and mental injuries did not necessarily develop as a result of any one traumatic and specific experience.

If you think you deserve workers' comp, you should act quickly.

If you have been injured while working or you were injured while performing work-related activities, you may be eligible for workers' compensation. Under Iowa law, there are time limitations restricting the amount of time you have to file a workers' compensation claim. These regulations are important to know and follow if you want to ensure that your claims are reported promptly and handled appropriately.

What is the first step?

After you have determined that you have sustained a work-related injury that has caused you to miss more than three days of work, your first step is to notify your employer. There is a 90-day time period following an injury wherein the employer must know that an injury occurred. If an injury is reported after this 90-day window, the claim may be denied and you may lose the opportunity to procure benefits, namely compensation.

Personal Injury - Understanding Pain and Suffering Damages

When you file a Personal Injury claim, you usually intend to receive financial compensation from the party at fault or the insurance company. You likely want to recoup medical expenses or make up the pay you lost from missing work. Determining the amount of money to ask for in your claim is fairly straightforward when you can show your medical bills, but other forms of compensation are not as easily calculated.

Enhancing your loved one's safety at a nursing home

It is important to remain vigilant when you are monitoring elderly family members in a nursing home. Here are steps you can take to ensure your loved one is receiving the care and dignity she deserves as she enters her new environment:

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