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Atkinson Gerber Law Office
Injured? Take Action Now!

Blue-collar workers and surgery: What do I need to know?

On Behalf of | Feb 28, 2024 | Workers' Compensation |

Those who work in construction, manufacturing, agriculture, transportation, and similar industries make up the backbone of the nation’s economy. These hard working individuals that make up the blue-collar work force can benefit from more than just a fulfilling profession, they can earn a good living.

Although these professions can provide a level of satisfaction that is hard to match — afterall, not many of us can point to a building and say, “I helped to build that” — they also come with risk.

What are some common hazards for blue-collar workers?

Safety in the workplace is not just a legal requirement; it is a fundamental right of every worker. Before delving into safety tips, it is crucial to understand the common hazards that blue-collar workers may encounter. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Machinery accidents: entanglement, cuts, or amputations from unguarded moving parts.
  • Falls from height: due to unstable working surfaces or inadequate fall protection.
  • Repetitive strain injuries: from overuse or improper ergonomics.
  • Exposure to harmful substances: chemicals, dust, or fumes that can cause illness or injury.
  • Heavy lifting and manual handling: leading to back injuries or musculoskeletal disorders.

These hazards can result in serious injury that often require surgical intervention.

What are common surgical procedures for blue-collar workers?

Those who suffer from a herniated disk or other injury related to heavy lifting may have a need for back surgery. Repetitive motions from use of power tools, assembly line work, or typing can result in carpal tunnel and other similar injuries that can require surgical intervention. A failure to intervene can result in more serious injury.

What should employers do to keep their workers safe?

Prevention is the most effective strategy for maintaining a safe work environment. The law requires employers take steps to help better ensure the safety of their workers. These can include provision of the following to help reduce the risk of injury associated with the hazards noted above:

  • Training: Employers should provide comprehensive training for each specific role, including the safe operation of machinery and the handling of hazardous materials.
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE): Employers should also provide worker with appropriate PPE, such as gloves, helmets, eye protection, and respiratory devices, as appropriate for the position.
  • Safety protocols: Employers should also have clear safety protocols and procedures in place.
  • Regular maintenance: Employers should also have a system in place to regularly inspect and maintain tools and machinery to prevent malfunctions or accidents.

Even if employers follow these measures, injuries can happen.

What if my employer fails to protect workers from hazards?

Whether employers utilized safety protocols or not, those injured on the job are wise to know their rights and the steps to take to secure legal remedies. This is particularly true for those who suffer serious injuries, such as those that require surgical intervention.

The first step generally involves notification of your employer of the injury as soon as possible, following the company’s reporting procedures. You should also generally obtain medical treatment and ensure that your medical records accurately reflect the nature and extent of your injuries. Remember to keep detailed records of the incident, including witness statements, photos of the injury and the scene, and any correspondence related to the injury.

If you are the victim of an on-the-job accident, you can take steps to better ensure you receive the compensation and support you deserve. Remember, you are not alone in this journey, and there are resources and professionals available to help you navigate the complexities of workers’ compensation law.



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