If there is one good piece of news out of Minnesota in 2020, it's that the total number of fatal workplace injuries that took place in 2018 has been reported and decreased over the course of that year. In 2017, there were 101 fatal workplace injuries, while there were 92 in 2016. In 2018, there were 75.
You were working hard on a construction site when you realized that you were losing your footing. You reached out to grab a nearby railing to prevent a fall, but it snapped away in your hands.
If you are hurt on the job, one of the protections that is in place to help you is workers' compensation. Workers' compensation has a specific claims process.
Workers' compensation is an important protection for those who are hurt on the job. It guarantees that they'll receive coverage for medical care, lost wages and can obtain other benefits.
Workers' compensation is usually easy to obtain. It's obvious when you get hurt at work in a lot of cases. For example, if you get your hand crushed in a piece of machinery at work, then there is no question that this was a work-related injury.
If you need workers' compensation after getting hurt on the job, it should be available to you regardless of the amount you need. Your employer pays premiums to make sure you're covered, and you work as safely as possible in return. When you're hurt, the last thing you should have to worry about is the workers' compensation benefits fund being out of money.
In news from mid-March, the Minnesota Supreme Court was reported as changing a long-time bar on discrimination lawsuits in workers' compensation cases. The discrimination cases were previously banned based on the Minnesota Human Rights Act, but the court has now ruled that those discrimination claims can be heard.
A young woman who struck and seriously injured a woman who was working in a road construction zone in East Bethel back in 2017 has entered a guilty plea to the charge of "consciously disregarding a substantial and unjustifiable risk." That is considered a gross misdemeanor under Minnesota law.
Numbers recently released by the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry reflect a troubling trend for the state. Fatal work-related injuries rose for the third consecutive year and reached their highest number in nearly 25 years. These numbers, which come from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) show that Minnesota had 3.5 fatalities for every 100,000 full-time employees in 2017. In all, 101 Minnesotans died from work-related injuries.
Minnesotans in certain occupations are at particular risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). First responders, such as firefighters, police officers and those who provide emergency medical services both in the field and emergency rooms see things every day that few people can -- or want to -- imagine. So do those who work in correctional facilities.