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Council Bluffs Workers' Compensation Law Blog

4 construction hazards to watch for on every job site

If you work in the construction industry in Iowa or Nebraska, you probably already know that you have a dangerous job. Injuries are a regular occurrence on most construction sites. In some cases, the injuries are minor and the worker can return to the job within a day or two. In other cases, injuries can be catastrophic and require months of rehabilitation and healing. Sometimes, a construction accident can even be fatal.

One way you can stay safe while on the job is to know which hazards are the most common. This will help you stay alert and avoid many of the dangers that are prevalent on a construction site. Here are four of the most common hazards construction workers face.

Common occupational hazards for daycare workers

Raising a child is no easy task for most Iowa parents, so taking care of a large group of them seems like a gargantuan task by comparison. While daycares strive to promote safe and child friendly environments, that doesn't mean they always provide a safe workplace for the workers.

What makes working at a daycare especially dangerous when compared to other jobs is the level of unpredictability. Even though the workers have a sufficient amount of training, younger children develop at different rates. One kid might be calm and obedient while another one their age is disruptive and rude no matter how many timeouts they get. At these times, you should remain aware of the most common causes of injury in this profession so you can take special precautions in your everyday tasks.

Dealing with violent patients can hurt a nurse's body and career

One of the most common forms of injuries nurses experience on the job comes from the patients they are attempting to treat. Months ago, we reported how nearly 20 percent of nurses in the nation experience workplace violence at the hospitals. It unfortunately won't decrease very easily considering how unpredictable patients or their families can get in these stressful settings.

What makes matters worse is that nurses who experience severe injuries from these outbursts or are hurt repeatedly could risk losing their careers. They need time off to recover, but even places that specializes in treating injuries have set limits on how long they can be gone for. Recently, a nurse in Iowa experienced the consequences of these limitations.

Warmer weather exposes faulty bridges

Many Iowans get excited once the snow finally melts in the spring months. Winter can last for a while in the state, so it feels refreshing to be finally able to drive with the windows down and not worry about 30-minute delays from excessive ice or snow.

However, that doesn't mean driving during the warmer months is easier. Now drivers will have to worry about dozens of potholes and flooded parts of the state while planning their routes. Unfortunately, recent reports highlight how this is also a dangerous time to be driving on bridges as well.

Repeat offense drivers are frequent in Iowa

Despite the numerous safety warnings and PSAs shown in the state, motor vehicle accidents continue to happen at high rates. While there is an increased awareness of the problem at hand, many people still choose to ignore the warnings and contribute to the problem at hand.

Unfortunately, many Iowa drivers that suffer the consequences of their behavior refuse to change. Recently, the insurance comparison website Insurify analyzed over 1.6 million auto insurance applications between 2016 to 2019 to determine which states had the most repeat offenders. They found Iowa to have the second highest rate only behind North Dakota. Knowing what many drivers in the Hawkeye state have been repeatedly guilty of can give you a good sense of who to look out for on the road.

Ways for nurses to reduce lifting risks

Despite focusing on saving lives, Iowa nurses have plenty of workplace hazards that can make them a patient at the hospital they operate that. There are numerous immediate obstacles such as uncooperative patients, slippery floors and sharp objects. However, the biggest threat to them isn't something that affects them right away.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, hospital workers have twice the national average rate for overexertion. The most common causes for these musculoskeletal injuries tend to be manually lifting or moving injured or sick patients to different parts of the building. While quick action is necessary, applying too much force could put both the patient and nurse at risk. Experts suggest that medical buildings should consider the following procedures that could put less physical strain on their nurses.

How farmers should prepare for carcass disposal in the cold

Earlier this year, the Midwest endured the "Polar Vortex," where multiple states dealt with record breaking low temperatures that could give people frostbite within minutes. These temperatures were especially harsh towards farmers, who risked their lives and spent hours making sure that their animals were in a safe location and that they were getting enough food and water. Unfortunately, the cold was strong enough to take the lives of several humans and animals.

These extreme conditions do allow for potential learning opportunities. While farmers need to act quick to keep their animals alive, they can't hesitate when one of their cows or chickens dies from freezing temperatures. Natural disasters are one of the most common causes of animal deaths on farms, and the first half of the year can be filled with plenty of them. Carcass disposal can be a tiring and dangerous process for farm workers in the warmer months, so they need to take extra precautions during the colder days by taking the following steps:

Other hazards for snow removal besides slipping

Those living in the Midwest know that the first day of spring doesn't mean there won't be any more snow or ice for the next few months. Last year, Minnesota and Iowa had an average of 15 inches drop on them during one weekend in the middle of April. The temperatures can change from 20 to 60 degrees in just one day around here.

After the more intense snow storms, residents and workers must clear their respective properties of excessive snow buildup to avoid any building damage or bystander injuries that could lead to lawsuits. This difficult process has the potential to lead to several types of injuries if the worker is not careful, the most popular one being a slip and fall. However, there are far more risks when it comes to snow removal that more workers should know about for their own safety.

How can truck drivers prevent windshield damage in cold weather?

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.

Unfortunately, winter weather in Iowa can still stick around in the spring months. 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 cold?

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 at these times that can make a dangerous job even more perilous.

Like the rest of the Midwest, it can get cold very quickly in Iowa in any season except for summer. Whether it's due to snowstorms or rainy days, those working at meat packing plants need to be ready for any day that's looking a little chilly.

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