Mesothelioma is a fatal lung disease linked to asbestos exposure. A University of MN study, cited in Minnpost, notes a long latency period, with diagnosis often occurring 20-50 years after exposure. Minnesota Iron Range workers are diagnosed with it at nearly three times the rate of other Minnesotans. Researchers are unsure whether the disease is a result of long-ago asbestos exposure, or if it is related to taconite and silica dust.
Working in the heat can be a danger, but there are ways to reduce the risk. Knowing how to recognize the signs of heat stress and how to prevent the condition are both very important. If you're injured due to heat stress while working you may have a legal case, but the best choice is to avoid being a victim of heat stress altogether. Paying close attention to how you're feeling when you're working in a very hot environment, or outdoors in a Minnesota summer, can make a big difference in your health. Also keep an eye on the people around you, so you can help them if they appear to be struggling with the heat or humidity.
Earlier this summer, Minnesota became one of the most recent states to legalize marijuana for medical purposes. So far, 22 other states and the District of Columbia have passed laws legalizing medical marijuana even though the drug remains illegal under federal law. Unlike most other states, Minnesota restricts use to tightly controlled marijuana-derived medicines that cannot be smoked.
When the human body gets warmer than 104 degrees Fahrenheit, it is considered to be a medical emergency called heat stroke. If an employee shows signs of heat stroke or other heat related medical issues, it is imperative to get medical help right away. In some cases, it may be necessary to call 911. Workers should be moved to a shaded area and given air and cold water. Additional signs of heat stroke include a lack of sweating, confusion and seizures.
Minnesota workers may not know that worker injuries in the private sector were down in 2013 from the previous year, but experts also suspect that there is some underreporting. For example, Texas and Louisiana both had fewer accidents reported than Washington and Vermont but a higher fatality rate from work-related accidents. Overall, private sector work-related injuries are down to more than half what they were two decades ago at around 3 million annually from 6.6 million.
Minnesota workers concerned about on-the-job injuries may be interested in the effect that daylight saving time has on work injury statistics. Studies show that the effect is real and offers some suggestions to avoid increased accidents.
In workplaces throughout Minnesota and the rest of the U.S., employers strive to protect their workers from a variety health hazards. Despite this, workers and employers alike may not be aware of the harmful effects vibrations can have on the human body. Impact drills, grinders, sanders and saws are all examples of tools that, if used often enough, can cause serious harm.
According to a report from the National Occupational Research Agenda, a subdivision of OSHA in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hearing loss is the top-recorded occupational illness in manufacturing, accounting for one in every nine reported cases. With 16 million people working in manufacturing in the U.S., or approximately 13 percent of the American workforce, hearing loss affected 17,700 out of 59,100 workers in 2010.
Every year in Minnesota, numerous workers are seriously injured or killed when they fall while performing their duties. Although the construction industry accounts for the highest number of fatal fall accidents, the health care, retail and wholesale industries have the highest number of fall injury accidents. Falls at work, either on the same level or to a lower level, occur in every industry, and they remain as a persistent safety risk.
Beginning Jan. 1, 2015, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration will require employers under its jurisdiction to report all work-related fatalities within eight hours of occurrence. Additionally, all incidents that include in-patient hospitalization, amputations and losses of an eye must be reported within 24 hours of the employer being informed of the incident. Updates in reporting obligations are believed to improve workplace safety overall by reducing potential dangerous and hazardous conditions.