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Wauwatosa Workers' Compensation Law Blog

If you suffer an illness at work, you could have a claim

Workplace illnesses happen when people are exposed to items in their work environment that lead to the aggravation of pre-existing conditions or that contribute to a resulting condition. Occupational illnesses vary, but there are a few that can often be linked to the work environment. Some of these include:

  • Respiratory conditions such as silicosis, asbestosis, tuberculosis, toxic inhalation injury, chronic obstructive bronchitis, beryllium disease or rhinitis
  • Poisoning, such as from toxic substances like carbon monoxide, mercury, lead or arsenic
  • Hearing loss, which can be caused by high levels of sound over long periods of time or loud bursts in short periods
  • Other illnesses such as heat stroke, hepatitis B, histoplasmosis, sunstroke and others

When someone suffers an illness or injury of this kind, it's important that they're able to seek the compensation they need to take care of themselves. If an illness can be linked to your work environment, then there is a good chance that you could ask for compensation through workers' compensation.

What are the 7 most common hazards on the job?

You have never thought of your workplace as being particularly hazardous, but you know that hazards can be looming in even the safest atmospheres. The National Safety Council (NSC) released information about seven of the most common workplace safety hazards, and that list is something you should talk about with your colleagues and employer.

The seven common hazards include:

  • Working at a height
  • Messy offices, clutter and poor housekeeping
  • Forklifts
  • Extension cords
  • Improper tagout/lockout procedures
  • Confined spaces
  • Chemical use

Organization is important at work: Trip hazards can hurt workers

You were walking down a cluttered hallway in your workplace when you looked up and noticed a light was flickering out. In the few moments you looked away, you managed to trip over a box. You fell hard onto a pair of filing cabinets, one with a drawer out, and tipped one over onto you.

Fortunately, a nearby co-worker saw the accident and managed to move the furniture and get you moved into a safer position. What wasn't fortunate was that you had gashed your head open on the open drawer and suspected that you may have broken your wrist as you tried to catch yourself.

Hotel cleaners face many hazards while working

If you work in a hotel as a cleaner, you should be aware that there are some real risks to your health. Some of the risks you face include:

  • Musculoskeletal disorders from pushing carts, making beds, and bending
  • Respiratory illnesses from bleaching agents and aerosols
  • Skin reactions from latex and detergents
  • Slips, trips or falls resulting in traumatic injuries
  • Infection disease from touching biological waste or bloodborne pathogens
  • Occupational stress because of workload, low pay, discrimination or job insecurity

All of these risks to your health are preventable, though. With the right safety techniques, it's possible to identify and evaluate the hazards that are present in your workplace.

Teen's assault points out the danger of working in fast food

Can you imagine working at your job and having a customer assault you? That's what allegedly happened in this case out of Wisconsin, described on Jan. 8.

A teenaged worker at a Greenfield, Wisconsin, McDonalds was working when a customer allegedly assaulted her on the clock. Why? The customer reportedly believed that she had waited too long to receive her meal.

Chemical burns: Exposure can lead to lasting consequences

You were working when the unexpected happened. A colleague started to take some items out of the lab, but they tripped. The next thing you knew, your skin felt like it was on fire. One of the caustic substances they were working with had already burned through your clothing and was now eating away at your skin.

Fortunately, working in a lab means that you had access to a chemical wash station and could quickly rinse off the substance. Still, you were badly hurt and now have many concerns during recovery. You may have to have skin grafts and surgery.

Land's End faces backlash over dangerous uniforms for Delta

Workplace rules can make life difficult for employees. Sometimes, something as simple as being asked to wear a uniform can lead to health risks. That's what Land's End has been sued for after Delta Air Lines employees claimed that their uniforms were causing health problems.

So far, there have been two separate class-action lawsuits filed in Madison over the uniforms, which the employees claim caused them to suffer from migraines, breathing trouble and skin rashes. The finishes that were used to make the uniforms stain- and wrinkle-resistant, they claim, were created with chemicals that were leading to health problems.

What causes contact dermatitis?

When you spend years of your life on the job, one thing you don't want to see happen is long-term exposure leading to illness. Unfortunately, there are many diseases and illnesses that do stem from exposure to irritants and carcinogens over the years.

There are many kinds of illnesses and injuries that might occur on the job, but the one that is the most overwhelming in terms of skin diseases is contact dermatitis. Allergic and irritant dermatitis, as it's also known, can make up to 15% to 20% of all of the occupational diseases that get reported annually. In fact, almost any job has the potential to exposure people to irritants that could cause this illness.

If you're hurt at work, take the right steps to get help

Injuries often happen in workplaces, leaving workers with injuries that they didn't expect and that impact their ability to do their jobs. From eye injuries to hearing loss, the injuries that workers suffer vary but can have a significant impact on their lives.

When you're hurt on the job, it's important that you take steps to file a claim. You can file a claim with your employer's workers' compensation insurer. Most employers are required to hold this insurance, so if your employer does not, this might be something to discuss with your attorney.

Common mistakes made by injured workers

On-the-job injuries happen in so many different ways that it would be impossible to name them all. Workers get hurt in car accidents, in falls from ladders, in falls on the stairs, when using heavy machinery, when using saws or other tools with sharp blades, when struggling to lift heavy loads and in a vast amount of other situations.

This means that an injury does not always look the same in every case. Each worker who gets hurt needs to know what steps to take and what mistakes to avoid. Here are a few of the most common mistakes to keep in mind:

  • Trying to walk it off. The first thing you want to do if you get hurt is to seek medical attention. Don't think you need to prove anything or be tough. Don't feel bad about asking for medical assistance when you're on the clock. Do not try to ignore the symptoms and hope they go away. Stop working and get the help you need.
  • Not telling their employer soon enough. You need to tell your employer or someone in a position of power at the company that you got injured. Do not put this off. It is best to do it immediately -- or as soon as you can, if you got rushed to the hospital. If you can't do it right away, it's best to try to tell them within 30 days.
  • Waiting for more than two years. The 30-day suggestion above is because you want to make sure your employer knows it happened on the job. If you wait too long, it opens the door for a lot of questions about where you got hurt. That said, you technically get two years to make your report. This starts after you get injured or after you get diagnosed with a work-related disease. Do not wait longer than this or you cannot collect benefits even if you had a right to them.
  • Forgetting the details. You probably want to write down as much about the accident as you can. The most important thing to note is the date it occurred. That plays into when your benefits begin. But you also want to note what happened, where you were, why you think it happened, who was with you, what time it was, what job you were doing and all other relevant details.

Contact Us Today For Your Free Consultation

We invite you to contact our office today by calling 414-727-7003 or by sending us an email to schedule a free initial consultation regarding your workers' compensation claim. We are located in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. Our office hours are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and evenings and weekends by appointment. If we take on your case, we only charge fees when we obtain compensation for you.

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Paul M. Erspamer Law Offices, S.C.

Paul M. Erspamer Law Offices, S.C.
8112 West Bluemound Road
Suite 108
Wauwatosa, WI 53213

Phone: 414-727-7003
Fax: 414-727-7004
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