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Council Bluffs Workers' Compensation Law Blog

What is an occupational disease?

If you are an Iowa worker, you may have questions about what constitutes an occupational disease. Chapter 85A of the Iowa Code covers occupational disease compensation, and Section 85A.8 defines occupational diseases as those which arise during the course of your employment.

An occupational disease must have a direct connection to your job, and its onset must be the result of the nature of your employment, such as your exposure to dangerous substances. An occupational disease is not required to be foreseeable, but should you contract one, you must be able to show that something about your job put you at risk for getting it and that it resulted as a rational consequence of your exposure to the hazard.

Agricultural workers are at high risk for injury

Agricultural workers are at high risk for injury

Iowa is known as a great state for agriculture. Whether involved in crop production or animal production, thousands of farmers, farm families and farm workers provide food to and for America. It is their way of life and many give little or no consideration to the fact that agriculture is one of the most hazardous industries in the country. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, farmers and their families and workers are at very high risk for both fatal and nonfatal accidents.

What are symptoms of psychological injuries?

When Iowa workers like you get hurt on the job, you may take care of the physical ailments without stopping to consider how heavy the emotional toll may be. We at the Law Offices of Gallner & Pattermann, PC, provide you with more insight into the psychological injuries that can occur at work.

You may not even know how to identify psychological injuries at first. However, there are some telltale signs that can help point you in the right direction. These signs can include:

  • Issues with focusing or remembering things
  • Interruptions to your sleep pattern
  • Problems with socializing normally
  • Difficulties completing daily life tasks

What workplace injuries can you face?

If workers in Iowa like you are the victim of an injury at your job, it could be possible for you to gain compensation for that injury as well. We at the Law Offices of Gallner & Pattermann, P.C., know that the time after an accident can be crucial to setting up your compensation case. We offer you information to help you along the way.

A possibly surprising fact is that even if you work at a desk or have a job that doesn't require heavy lifting or working with dangerous machinery, you can still be a victim of workplace injuries. Stress injuries, also known as repetitive motion injuries, are actually quite common and can happen to anyone who repeats the same action day in and day out. It affects desk workers, secretaries, baristas, call center attendants, and many more.

Can toxic mold cause health problems?

When you think about toxic exposure, mold may be one of the first things that comes to mind. You may worry about the effects mold can have on your health in Iowa and how you can remove it.

You may think that all mold is toxic, but this is usually not the case. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that mold can be nontoxic while generating toxins, and you typically do not need to treat them any differently than you would treat any mold in your home. Additionally, you and your family may not always experience health problems if you discover mold. If you are regularly around this substance at your workplace, you may be more likely to react to it. Most of the time, a reaction to mold consists of irritated eyes or skin or a stuffy nose.

Warning signs that job stress is affecting your heart

Most Council Bluffs workers know that they can get workers' compensation benefits if they suffer a job-related injury or illness. However, many do not realize that heart disease, high blood pressure and other cardiovascular illnesses may fall under the category of job-related, too.

If you're suffering from cardiovascular problems because of job-caused stress, you probably know who you are. Maybe you've got three month's worth of work on your desk, and only two weeks to finish it. If this scenario happens once or twice a year, you might be able to deal with it. However, if the stress and pressure is a normal occurrence, it can result in deadly health consequences over time.

Prevent repetitive strain injuries at an office job

Office workers are often tasked with using their minds rather than their muscles to carry out job responsibilities. However, most office workers still need to use their bodies -- particularly those who type, use computers, stuff envelopes or do other repetitive tasks around the workplace.

The repetition associated with these tasks can really add up and take its toll on your joints over time. With proper posture and proper ergonomics, though, workers can prevent and resolve a lot of different kinds of repetitive stress injuries.

Which benefits are provided by workers' compensation?

Understanding the requirements for qualifying for workers' compensation in Iowa can be confusing, but you may be just as concerned about what will be covered if you are approved. If you have been injured at work and are in need of assistance, you are likely curious about the benefits that you would be offered. 

According to the Iowa Workplace Development, there are two types of benefits that you may be offered. The first is disability benefits, which can be determined by the severity of the injury you received. If you cannot return to any form of gainful employment, you may be eligible for Permanent Total Disability benefits. If you can return to work, but will need to be trained in the vocational rehabilitation program, you may be given Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits.

Workplace-induced depression is often overlooked

While most workers in Iowa recognize the physical damage that can occur during accidents in the workplace, many are less aware of the possible psychological injuries that can occur. One of the most common of these is depression, but many employees do not realize that their symptoms may be stemming from incidents at their place of employment. We at the Law Offices of Gallner and Pattermann can help you determine if your suffering is related to an accident or injury in the workplace and will fight for your rights to the compensation you deserve.

First, it is important that you recognize the signs of symptoms of depression so that you can get the help you need. One of the most common symptoms is irregular sleep patterns. Some people find that they want to sleep more when they are suffering from depression, while others have difficulty falling and staying asleep. Focus and memory can also be affected, as can your ability to cope with the daily stresses of life and socialize with those around you.

Common hazards found in many workplaces

Workers in Iowa know that some jobs are more inherently dangerous than others. However, there are certain common workplace dangers that can be found almost universally, no matter how dangerous a person's job is said to be.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has a list of different safety hazards that can be present at any work site. The most common ones include:

  • Unguarded machinery
  • Spills
  • Work done in high places
  • Confined spaces
  • Electric hazards

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