Although not directly in the manufacturing belt of America, Minnesota is home to a number of steel factories and manufacturing plants, and steel is a huge component in the process of developing new buildings. Workers who cut and weld steel provide an integral service in the manufacturing industry, but working with these heavy metals and the sharp objects needed to cut them present plenty of on the job risk. Below, we take a closer look at some common injuries in the industry, and how steelworkers can prevent injuries on the job.
Common Injuries In The Steel and Iron Industry
Not long ago, metal working ranked as the most dangerous industry for workers in terms of rates of injury per worker. Here’s a look at some of the most common injuries in the iron and steel working industries.
Falls – Falls are one of the most common injuries in the metal working industry. Oftentimes steel and iron workers are working several feet off the ground in order to cut, bend and connect metal. Falls on the same level are common too, as construction sites can be filled with debris and tools.
Amputations – Cut metal is sharp, and the tools used to cut through beams is often even sharper. Large lacerations or even the loss of limbs aren’t all that uncommon among metal workers.
TBIs or Head Injuries – Head injuries can be catastrophic for steel and iron workers. These types of injuries are common during falls, from being struck by objects, or if scaffolding racks collapse with workers on them.
Burns – Iron and steel workers have to do a lot welding on the job, and hot metal and sparks can cause burns or vision damage. Metal workers often wear protective goggles, sleeves and heat-resistant gloves to protect against these types of injuries.
Muscle Injuries – Steel workers often lift and move heavy objects and equipment, which can lead to muscles strains and sprains.
Staying Safe On The Job
Staying safe as a steelworker involves knowing the risks of the job and taking steps to mitigate your chance of injury. By looking at the above common causes of injuries among metal workers, we can come up with some common sense safety tips. To prevent against injuries, consider:
- Using safety restraints to secure you in place when working from heights.
- Always wearing safety gear, like hard hats, eye protection, steel-toe boots and industrial strength gloves.
- Participate in fall prevention programs.
- Use proper hoisting and lifting techniques.
- Inspect all gear and tools before each use.
- Develop clear communication techniques to be used on site.
- Wear protective gear for the heat/cold.
- Secure tools to ensure they cannot fall if working from heights.
If you are a metal worker and have suffered an injury in Minnesota, be sure to reach out to a workers’ compensation lawyer like Dean Margolis to learn about your compensation options. Give his office at call at 952-230-2700.
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