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Wauwatosa Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Be safe: Avoid mixing these common cleaning supplies together

Every workplace has some kind of chemical that employees will come into contact with. Whether it's window cleaner, an aerosol spray or an acid, the reality is that all of these chemicals have to be treated with caution.

While you may not think of your home cleaning supplies as being particularly dangerous, they can cause problems in some cases. For example, mixing bleach with ammonia creates a toxic gas. Someone who doesn't know better may mix them together to clean but later end up very ill from the fumes.

Modifying operations due to winter weather

Some of the responsibilities that employers (particularly those in industries whose work is performed outdoors) have towards keeping their employees protected from the cold have been detailed on this blog in the past. Yet many still come to us here at the Paul M. Erspamer Law Offices, S.C. questioning how far that responsibility goes. No employer should demand that their staffs face the cold winters Wauwatosa is known for without some degree of added caution; at the same time, you can also understand that companies cannot simply halt their work because of the cold.

Providing you and your coworkers with training on the hazards that winter weather poses and providing protective clothing, hot beverages, and heating areas are all measures that employers can implement that have been documented previously. Yet there may indeed be scenarios where cold weather forces employers to modify their operations.

What about your work-related depression?

If asked what conditions might qualify you to receive workers’ compensation benefits, like many in Wauwatosa, you would likely limit your answer to injuries resulting from a workplace accident. It may be for this very reason why you have not talked to your employer about the depression you are suffering from. It might seem odd to cite depression as the reason you need workers’ compensation benefits (as many may say that it is next to impossible to empirically prove that your job is the source of it). This prompts the question as to whether or not it is possible. 

Depression has been recognized as having an impact in the workplace (indeed, according to information shared by the professional safety publication EHS Today, depression effects a $51 billion cost on the American workplace every year). Yet that impact is often viewed from the perspective of you experiencing depression due to having suffered a work-related injury. What if depression is your work-related injury? 

After an eye injury on the job, get help fast

You were working in the office when you accidentally tripped over a coworker's messy workspace. When you fell, you hit your head on an extended cabinet, and it happened to scrape your eye.

When you stood back up, everyone seemed worried about your head, but it was when you realized that you couldn't see well that the reality of what had happened set in.

What is a Colles fracture?

Named for an anatomy professor in Ireland who wrote an important paper about it, a Colles fracture is a break of the distal radius. In other words, it is a fracture of one of the two bones in your forearm that occurs at the wrist. According to WebMD, nearly 10% of all fractures that occur in the United States involve the wrist, which means that Colles fractures are very common. A workplace accident in Wisconsin that involves a forceful impact to your wrist or a fall onto an outstretched hand may result in a Colles fracture. 

Some of the symptoms of a broken wrist are similar to those of a sprain, including bruising, pain, swelling and tenderness of the wrist. Your doctor may need to perform an X-ray to determine whether the wrist is fractured or sprained. Another symptom that indicates a possible fracture is deformity of the wrist, i.e., an abnormally bent or crooked appearance. However, this is not conclusive in itself. 

Woman denied temporary disability benefits

People who live in Wisconsin and who develop illnesses or experience injuries related to the execution of their job duties generally believe that they may be able to receive workers' compensation to help them when they cannot earn their full wages. However, the receipt of workers' compensation is not always a guarantee and there are many nuances to the program that may find a worker's claim for these benefits denied.

One woman is in this very situation, even after her case has been appealed to the Labor and Industry Review Commission. As explained by the Wisconsin State Bar, the denial was based in part on fact that the woman voluntarily left her job. She then chose to work at another job on a part-time basis even when she admittedly could have worked full-time. The benefits she was denied were for a temporary partial disability.

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.

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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