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Council Bluffs Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Can sexual harassment cause psychological harm?

Unfortunately, sexual harassment represents an ever increasing trend, not only in Iowa, but also across the nation and even around the world. You may well have been a victim of it yourself, particularly if you are a female. Many studies have been done over the years documenting the harm that physical sexual harassment causes its victims. A relatively new study, however, documents that even non-physical sexual harassment, including such things as hearing derogatory comments, receiving unwanted sexual attention, or receiving unsolicited explicit images, can cause psychological harm resulting in depression, anxiety, low self-esteem and negative body image.

Time reported the results of this study published in the International Journal of Public Health in November of 2017. Upwards of 3,000 young sexual harassment victims, both male and female, participated in the study. Based on their responses to study questions, researchers concluded that any kind of sexual harassment, even non-physical, caused these victims psychological harm, especially with mental health indicators such as the onset of anxiety and depression.

How farmers can stay safe outside during the winter

While farmers get a lot more done during the summer months, the work doesn't end when snow covers the ground. No matter what a farm specializes in, workers keep themselves busy in some way during the winter months. Despite having a lower injury and fatality rate than the rest of the seasons, farm workers can still find ways to severely damage themselves during January and February.

Even if work tends to be slower during the coldest months of the year, farm workers should still prioritize safe measures in their work environments. Here are a couple ways they can lessen the risk for injury during the next few months

First responders can suffer from anxiety disorders

At the Law Offices of Gallner & Pattermann, P.C., we understand that any job can be stressful. However, some industries can be especially taxing on Iowa workers’ physical and mental health. As a first responder, you may be well aware of this fact.

First responders, comprising of police officers, firefighters, EMTs, medical staff, members of the military and others who arrive at the scene of an emergency or are the first to treat injured people, see a lot more throughout the course of their career than the average person ever experiences. You may be exposed to tragedy, chaos and even danger on a regular basis. Not surprisingly, as Psychology Today points out, you may be more prone to develop post-traumatic disorder, depression, anxiety and other emotional issues related to this difficult line of work. Work-related psychological disorders can spill over into your personal life, causing feelings of hopelessness, sleep problems, flashbacks, loss of interest in the things you love and even addictions to help you cope. Long-term PTSD and depression can also result in physical ailments, such as joint pain and high blood pressure.

How can truck drivers prevent windshield damage in the winter?

Winter is one of the most common seasons for any vehicle to receive windshield damage. It could come from a crash after the driver failed to turn on the slush, or maybe they left some ice on there for too long and cracked it trying to get it off. It is arguably the most important season to have a clean and functional windshield for your personal safety, especially in a freezing state like Iowa.

If you are a truck driver, then your windshield is even more difficult to take care of given the sheer size of the glass. It can be a frustrating chore since you do not want to spend too much time before you need to head out on the road. It is important to develop a sufficient system that will allow you to scrape ice off your car safely without damaging any important parts in the process.

What do meat packers have to worry about in the winter?

In the winter months, multiple industries have to endure cold and treacherous hazards that put thousands of workers at risk. Even workers that do not primarily work outdoors or drive excessively will have additional obstacles to face during their daily routines.

Prior to the perfection of refrigeration, the meat packing industry operated in the winter to keep the meat from spoiling. Even though workers these days can freely work during any season at a plant, many often overlook potential safety hazards that can make a dangerous job even more perilous.

Could some road materials hurt Iowa workers and residents?

In an environmentally-conscious age, effective ways to reuse materials and preserve resources are encouraged and embraced by lawmakers, industries and citizens. However, some recycling and preservation methods may reduce waste and protect some elements of the environment, only to create or contribute to other problems. In some instances, the health and safety of Iowa employees and residents could be compromised.

In a recent example, numerous toxicology experts and Muscatine County residents are concerned about the potential dangers resulting from the common practice of using slag to augment rural gravel roads. According to the Des Moines Register, slag is a waste byproduct of steel manufacturing, and state officials claim the material is cost-effective, environmentally conscious and safe to use as a road cover.

Is asbestos still a threat in the modern workplace?

As an employer in Iowa, you expect that your environment is not going to cause you harm. However, asbestos is a continued potential threat in the workplace. What should you know about asbestos? How could potential asbestos exposure affect you?

Many believe that asbestos has been "banned", and this is true to an extent. According to Chemistry World, the original ban on asbestos was overturned in 1991. Asbestos is still not used often in the United States, though. This is due in part to the billions of dollars that have been paid out from asbestos litigation.

The 4 main hazards of scaffolding

When you are working in the construction industry, you are likely to be working on a scaffold some or most of the time. They can be useful in building and repairing, as there are many types of scaffolding, but they can also pose a great danger to the individuals standing on them.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, scaffolds accounted for 14 percent of fatal falls. This does not count the number of falls that resulted in non-fatal injury, which could increase the percentage dramatically. Why are scaffolds so dangerous? What are the main hazards that construction workers face when using scaffolds?

Understand the dangers of lead poisoning

Iowa residents may easily come into contact with toxic substances while they perform their jobs. One hazard people may encounter on the job is lead.

People may be more likely to encounter lead if they perform certain kinds of work. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people might be around lead if they are a construction worker or repair vehicles. This is because there may be lead in paint or in plastic pipes. Shipbuilders, police officers and welders may also encounter lead as they do their jobs. Additionally, people who smelt or refine lead are often around this substance. People might sometimes experience inadvertent lead exposure. Artists, for example, may use materials that have lead as they create artwork.  

The trucking industry continues to wrestle with health concerns

The stock market has been rocky lately, but the job market is still tight and many companies continue to struggle to find enough skilled workers to fulfill their needs. One of the worst shortages is in the trucking industry. The freight consulting firm FTR Transportation Intelligence reports the strong economy and a torrid demand for hauling freight has left the U.S. in need of nearly 300,000 commercial truck drivers.

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