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Wauwatosa Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Employee heat exposure a serious problem

Many people in Wisconsin have jobs that require them to be outside for much or even all of their working shifts. You might be one of these people. Some of the jobs that require this include positions in road construction, agriculture, building construction, public works, parks maintenance and more. When the summer months hit and the temperatures spike, you may be at risk of developing a heat-related illness or injury. These things can be serious and even lead to death in extreme cases.

A report by USA Today explained that only three states in the country currently have laws in place that require employers to provide appropriate protection for employees exposed to extreme heat. Two of these states are on the west coast and only one is in the Midwest. That state is nearby Minnesota. Workers in Wisconsin and the other 46 states and the District of Columbia have no such laws on their side, only general guidelines set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

How can you avoid computer-related injuries?

If you work in an office in Wisconsin, you may not think of your workplace as being particularly dangerous. Nevertheless, sitting and working at a computer all day can put you at risk for certain injuries. These often relate to repetitive stress and may affect your eyes or the soft tissues of your extremities. Fortunately, according to the Society for Human Resource Management, you can take steps to minimize your risk of injuries related to prolonged computer use. 

One of the most common injuries related to computer use is eye strain. If the muscles of your eyes become strained due to your use of the computer, you may notice difficulty focusing. Other symptoms include irritation and dryness of the eyes.

Woman says she was fired for mentioning workers' compensation

Most workers in Wauwatosa may feel a strong sense of loyalty towards their employers. This no doubt stems from the gratitude they have for a company paying their wages and offering them employment benefits that allow them to support themselves and their families. This feeling of loyalty may prompt them to avoid seeking assistance if and when they are injured on the job. They may worry that by seeking workers' compensation, they are forcing their employers to deal with troubling situations that could reflect badly on them. This concern may also cause workers to fear being retaliated against if they were to pursue such a claim. 

Stories such as that of an Illinois woman may reinforce these fears. The woman claims that she developed carpal tunnel syndrome as a consequence of her job working for a local auto dealership. She approached the company after learning of her diagnosis and stated her intention of possibly filing a workers' compensation claim. A week later, she says that she was fired from her job without even being given an explanation. In a lawsuit that she subsequently filed against the company, she stated her belief that she was fired simply because she mentioned a potential workers' compensation claim. 

What to do about a workers’ compensation claim denial

If you suffer a workplace injury, you may come to find that you're unable to immediately return to work. This should lead you to file a claim for workers' compensation benefits.

If your claim is approved, you're in position to receive payments until you're able to return to work.

Construction worker dies in a serious fall

Construction is one of the most dangerous industries in the United States when considering how many people are injured on the job every year. Whether they are struck by a falling object, are crushed between two objects, or fall from a scaffold, construction workers face a host of dangerous situations.

The employer is responsible for creating a safe work environment for all employees on the construction site. Even then, accidents can happen and people can become severely injured or lose their lives as a result.

Protecting workers from the Fatal Four

Construction work is one of the most dangerous professions that people in Wauwatosa can engage in. The unique nature of the work, the resources used in accomplishing it and the conditions that it is performed in all contribute to the dangers that its participants face. According to information shared by the Laborer's Health & Safety Fund of North America, one in five of the workplace fatalities that were reported in 2016 occurred in the construction industry. 

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration reports that every year, nearly 60 percent of fatalities in the construction industry have been attributed to the following four causes: 

  • Falls from heights
  • Being struck by falling objects
  • Electrocutions
  • Being caught in or in-between work surfaces or equipment

State may reduce workers' compensation insurance rates

People who live and work in Wisconsin are generally covered by workers' compensation insurance provided by their employers. This special and important type of insurance provides essential financial benefits to workers who are injured in on-the-job accidents and those workers who develop medical illnesses related to their employment. The employers in the state are required to make insurance premium payments for this coverage. 

Companies in Wisconsin have apparently seen the premium rates for workers' compensation be reduced in the last couple of years per a report from the Star Tribune. Now, there is a chance that the insurance premium rates will decline once again, this time by a margin of almost nine percent. If the proposal is approved, the new rate structure will take effect on October 1 of this year.

Understanding carpal tunnel syndrome

You hear jokes about jobs that can kill you and likely conjure up images of police involved in altercations, firefighters combating blazes, or constructions workers laboring in extreme conditions. Sitting at a desk all day on Wauwatosa likely is not something that you would classify as dangerous. Yet as many of those that our team here at Paul M. Erspamer, S.C. have discovered, on-the-job injuries that occur in the office can be just as debilitating as those that happen in other industries. Among the more common of these is carpal tunnel syndrome. 

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, carpal tunnel syndrome is characterized by a numbness or burning in the fingers (specifically in the thumb and index fingers). Over time, it can even lead to a complete loss of feeling in the fingers. Carpal tunnel makes it difficult for you to perform simple daily tasks, such as: 

  • Grasping
  • Pressing
  • Typing

Can an employer refuse to hire someone who made a past claim?

You were out of work for a workplace injury. You filed a workers' compensation claim and were awarded compensation. Now, you want to go back to work. You decided to leave your old job and are looking into new opportunities.

One of the things you're worried about is if you can get hired. After all, you had a claim in the past, so you could be seen as a risk, right?

Man loses foot, wins $10M settlement

There is no facet of work in the construction industry in which employees can or should ever take safety for granted. People in Wisconsin who work in construction know this, even if they are only on active job sites for a portion of the time they are at work. These locations can feature multiple hazards from heavy equipment to dangerous tools and more. A jobsite does not have to be related a large, complex project in order to be dangerous, either.

One man in Illinois knows this all too well after he lost his foot in an incident while working at a private residence in the autumn of 2016. As reported by ForConstructionPros.com, the man was only 28 years old at the time of the incident and he was hired as an independent worker by a general contractor who was overseeing a job at a home in Cook County. In addition to hiring individual workers, the general contractor also hired another company to deliver concrete for the work to be done.

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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