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Denver Workers' Compensation Blog

Baggage handlers at airports are at risk for serious injuries

Any job that requires manual labor presents a risk of injury to the workers who perform it. The more difficult the physical labor and the more complicated the motions that workers perform, the more likely they are to suffer injuries. Doing the same job or task for extended periods of time can also increase the risk of a worker suffering injuries because of their job.

Baggage handlers at airports often have a thankless job that runs a high risk of injury. If they do everything right, people don't notice they exist, but when they make little mistakes like dropping a bag, the result can be an expensive claim against the airport and potentially a write-up that could affect their job in the future.

Trench collapses often fatal for laborers

One of the deadliest accidents on construction sites are trench collapses. They can happen quickly and with little warning to alert those workers down inside the excavation. They become trapped and often die before rescue crews can get them to the surface.

To remain safer on the job when working in and around trenches, it can be helpful to learn more about excavations. Below is some information for construction workers and other laborers.

Roofers face more hazards than just falling

If someone asked you what the No. 1 danger for roofers was, would you quickly say that it was falling from the roof to the ground below? It feels obvious. It's a clear risk and it's the reason that those who don't have a stomach for heights can't do this job in the first place.

That is a major risk, and experts note that falls cause most deaths in the construction industry. That includes roofers. Your answer is correct. The only problem is that it does not go far enough. Roofers face a multitude of injury risks on the job. Here are just a few:

Park rangers face many on-the-job risks

Colorado has many beautiful natural areas and parks. The main four national parks are the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Great Sand Dunes, Mesa Verde and Rocky Mountain National Park. All get thousands of visitors every year, both from within Colorado and from other states, and all have park rangers tasked with keeping things safe.

That's not an easy job, and it can be a downright hazardous job. In 2019, that's nothing new. Reports have been coming out for years that the risks are just getting greater for park rangers. People said it in 2005 and again in 2012 and they're still saying it today.

Working in a hospital is more dangerous than you thought

If there's any workplace where you can get quick treatment for an injury, it's a hospital. This leads some people to assume that this line of work is fairly safe. It's far easier to imagine factory workers getting hurt by heavy equipment, logging workers getting injured at remote locations and construction workers falling from heights. Working as a doctor or a nurse appears to be a low-risk job, at least to someone outside of the industry.

The reality, though is that these are some of the most dangerous jobs in the United States. Here are a few key points to consider from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

The rise in head injuries: Are you at risk?

Head and brain injuries can change your life forever. Many incidents are fatal, of course, as these are some of the most traumatic injuries workers can experience on the job. Even those who pull through, however, may deal with serious life changes, such as disabilities.

Who is most at risk? Almost every job has some level of risk, but those who work at heights, those who work with heavy machinery and those who drive for a living have some of the greatest risks to face on a daily basis. A fall, an entanglement with a machine or a car accident can all lead to head and brain injuries in a matter of seconds.

The real risk of workplace explosions

You may feel safe at work, but the reality is that many people unexpectedly work around combustible materials every day. They do not always realize the dangers that they face. The truth is that workplace explosions can and do happen, and you need to be prepared.

Some of the common reasons for these explosions include:

  • Working with open flames or heat sources, often known as "hot work."
  • Working around combustible dust, such as wood shavings.
  • Working around flammable gasses and liquids, such as liquid fuel or propane.
  • Working near unsafe wiring and other electrical hazards.
  • Working with faulty machinery and heavy equipment.

Don't use a ladder if you answer "yes" to these questions

In the construction industry and many related fields, ladder falls are one of the biggest risks that workers face. Even a worker who is just a few steps up a ladder could fall and suffer serious injuries. Any fall from a height, even when it's under eight feet, is dangerous. Don't underestimate this risk.

Of course, there are things you can do to use a ladder safely. Check to make sure it's the right size for the job. Anchor it on one or both ends, and/or have someone hold it while you climb. Never stand on the top of the ladder. Be sure that the place where you set it up is flat and stable.

Nurses and hospital staff face serious injuries on the job

It's unbelievable to many that nurses would struggle with injuries. Why? They're in a medical setting, so it would only make sense that they'd receive the best care at all times.

Unfortunately, that notion is misguided. Nursing injuries are extremely common and can end a nurse's career in the worst cases. Staffing injuries happen for many reasons, from dealing with patients who are aggressive to having to lift heavy individuals.

The real reasons logging is so dangerous

While many people point to deep sea fishing as the world's deadliest profession or talk about the high fatality totals in the construction industry -- and those things do deserve attention -- the reality is that nothing takes more lives per capita than logging. The key is to look at it per 100,000 workers. It's a smaller industry than construction, for instance, but the fatality rate is higher.

Why is logging so dangerous? People often think of it nostalgically, as a time when people could explore the wilderness and do rewarding physical labor, but it's really just a tough, physically demanding job. It relies more and more on machines, which adds a whole second level of danger and injury potential.

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