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Workers' Compensation Risks for Mechanics

Bookmark and Share As a mechanic, you spend your workdays fixing cars, trucks and a variety of machines. While the job is different every day, it's also risky. Workers' Compensation for mechanics is an important insurance product that provides medical care and financial support if you're injured or become ill because of your job.

Workers' Compensation Mechanics Risks


Mechanics face numerous risks on the job every day. In fact, this job is one of the most dangerous careers in the United States.

Falls and Slips


Oil, gas and other fluids make shop floors slippery, and it's easy to trip over parts or tools on the ground. Falls and slips could easily cause a fracture, sprain or other injury.

Being Struck by a Tool or Vehicle Part

Over one in four accidents occur when something like a dropped tool or loose part strikes you as you work. These accidents could cause a concussion, sprain or other injury.

Burns

If the vehicle you work on is hot or you change hot fluids, you risk a serious burn.

Cuts


Operating manual or power tools is essential as you disassemble and assemble vehicles, but if you're cut, the resulting laceration could require stitches or result in a more serious injury.

Getting Caught in Equipment

Moving tires and engines pose a serious risk for mechanics. You could be injured or disabled.

Falling Objects


Even though you secure a vehicle on a jack, lift or rack, it could fall off and pin you underneath, causing a serious injury or disability.

Strain

Overexertion from repetitive lifting or other repetitive movements can cause carpal tunnel or arm, wrist, elbow, back or leg strain. Lifting heavy objects, sitting or standing in one position for a long time or bending over might also cause strain.

Toxic Exposure


Chemicals, gasoline additives and other chemicals can cause long-term illnesses like respiratory disease or cancer when you're exposed to them over time. Lead is another risk that causes anemia, kidney disease and other illnesses.

What Does Workers' Compensation for Mechanics Cover?

Workers' Compensation covers expenses related to injuries or illnesses you receive on the job. It can pay for medical treatment, a portion of lost wages or education and job training.

How to Prevent Workers' Compensation Risks for Mechanics

While you can't prevent every injury or illness on the job, you can take several precautions.

  • Always secure vehicles.
  • Wear safety equipment.
  • Use proper lifting techniques.
  • Employ tools when lifting heavy objects.
  • Keep the shop clean.
  • Take frequent breaks.
The Workers' Compensation risk for mechanics is high. Protect yourself as you work and make sure your employer carries the right Workers' Compensation insurance in case you're injured or become ill on the job.
 

How to Reduce Workers' Compensation Claims

Bookmark and Share When it comes to Workers Compensation claims, companies are looking constantly for ways to reduce claims and reduce costs.

Ascribing the cost of Workers Compensation claims to applicable internal departments can encourage supervisors and managers to pay more attention to training and safety programs and more carefully monitor injured employees returning to work. Some companies have even deducted the claim cost from the budget of the ascribed department instead of a general company fund as an additional incentive to curb Workers Compensation costs. Through implementing a few procedures that place Workers Compensation expenses directly on internal departments, employers have more control over prevention and injury management measures that can decrease the severity and frequency of workplace injury. The reduced claims and Workers Compensation premiums add up to a substantial amount of savings.

Safety goals can be met by communicating directly with all potential Workers Compensation employees. Use a claim and injury history to identify high-risk employee groups. Then, on a departmental level, discuss the injury management process with employees. Communication will improve as employees are given a chance to discuss how they feel the job could be performed with less risk of injury. It also gives the employer an opportunity to modify safety procedures or dangers in the work environment, such as faulty equipment or inadequate work protocols that are identified by employees.

A common problem related to workplace injuries is a lack of prompt reporting. Too often supervisors don't appropriately acknowledge workplace accidents. The hope is that the incident will not result in time off of work or medical expenses. However, putting an initial injury off and not reporting it immediately often actually results in increased costs. Managers and supervisors need to know that they aren't saving money when they don't report injuries immediately. One study of more than 50,000 temporary total disability and permanent partial disability claims showed:

Injuries reported one to two weeks following the incident were 18% more expensive than those reported within a week of the incident.

Injuries reported three to four weeks after the incident were 30% more expensive than those reported within a week of the incident.

Injuries reported after four weeks of the incident were 45% more expensive than those reported within a week of the incident.


Showing supervisors and managers statistics such as these will help to ensure timely injury reporting, especially if Workers Compensation costs will be coming out of the departmental budget. Although the goal is prevention of workplace injury, once an employee has been injured, the objective should turn to a timely and safe return to work. This can best be achieved if both employer and employee share a desire to obtain the most effective care, which will help to expedite recovery and a safe return to the job.

Since each department is faced with the claim cost coming out of their own budget, managers and supervisors can take a more active role in assisting injured employees returning to work. For example, instead of the usual claim adjuster or attorney contacting the injured employee, the company concern can be conveyed through the department head(s). One last element is fraudulent claims. Although deliberate fraudulent claims are a rarity, they do exist. These fraudulent claims will be much more difficult to file when Workers Compensation costs are analyzed departmentally.

Accidents are going to happen. There simply isn't a way to prevent all accidents and eliminate all claims. But, it is realistic to reduce the frequency and severity of workplace injuries by making the department responsible directly, whether by penalty or by reward, for a safe work environment.
 

Workers' Compensation Risks in the Logging Industry

Bookmark and Share Logging is one of the oldest and most dangerous professions in the United States. Workers are exposed to dozens of potential illnesses and injuries on the ground, in heavy equipment or around a sawmill. Discover the Workers' Compensation risks in the logging industry as you protect yourself on the job.  

Logging Dangers

Employees in the logging industry face dozens of challenges. They typically work in rough terrain outdoors in all kinds of weather conditions around heavy logs and heavy equipment. Accidents can happen easily in these conditions.

Accidents are also common due to falling trees or equipment troubles. The work is hard, too, and can be exhausting, making it easy for employees to let down their guard.

Isolated logging locations can also increase the negative effects of an illness or injury since employees may be far from medical treatment.

Consider these additional risks, too.

  • Being hit by dangling branches or falling logs
  • Falling from trees
  • Chainsaw and axe injuries
  • Tractor or heavy equipment accidents
  • Repetitive strain injuries
  • Uneven terrain that causes fractures, sprains, lower body injuries, lacerations or contusions
Logging Jobs Eligible for Workers' Compensation Insurance

The logging industry comprises dozens of different jobs in timbering, hauling, processing and manufacturing. In each of these jobs, you're at risk for injury or illness. Here's an example of several jobs that are eligible for Workers' Compensation.

  • Timber excavation
  • Manual or mechanized fallers
  • Buckers
  • Tree climbers
  • Choke setters
  • Rigging slingers and chasers
  • Tractor, loader or other heavy machine operators
  • Log sorters
  • Transporters
  • Debarking crew
  • Planing crew
  • Machine operators
  • Log and chip processors
  • Machine mechanics
  • Lumberyard employees
  • Log graders and scalers
  • Customer service specialists
  • Building material dealers
  • Foremen and crew
How to Prevent Logging Injuries and Illnesses

Even though you're careful and use proper safety equipment, you can still be injured or become ill on the job. Take these precautions as you prevent logging injuries or illnesses that are eligible for Workers' Compensation.

Wear safety equipment. Your gear should include a hard hat, sturdy boots with slip-proof soles, appropriate clothing and protective-hearing devices.

Know how to operate equipment whether you're in charge of a chainsaw or logging truck.

Take ongoing safety training to stay updated on industry safety procedures and practices.

Insist others follow safety procedures. Always point out unsafe practices as you encourage a culture of safety.

Are you Covered?

If you work in the logging industry, you need Workers' Compensation insurance for loggers. It covers a variety of work-related illnesses and injuries and ensures you receive medical care and income if you're injured or become ill because of your job. Whether you cut, haul or process logs, make sure your employer carries this valuable coverage as you protect yourself on the job.
 

It's Time to Review Potential Job Hazards

Bookmark and Share One of the best ways to protect workers in a particular job is to conduct a job hazard analysis.

This simple but powerful technique identifies hazards before they occur, focusing on the relationships among the worker, task, tools and equipment, and the work environment. Once you’ve identified job hazards, you can eliminate or reduce them to an acceptable risk level.

This is a relatively easy task, although it takes time to analyze hazards for each job category and each step in the job. You also have to do some digging into past performance.

Priority should go to jobs with the highest injury or illness rates; the potential to cause severe or disabling injuries or illness through simple human error, complex enough to require written instructions; or that have undergone changes in processes and procedures.

Job hazard analysis involves these steps:

Involve employees.

Their unique understanding of the job can be invaluable for finding hazards. Involving employees will help minimize oversights, ensure quality analysis, and get workers to buy in to the solutions because they’ll share ownership in their safety and health program.

Review accident history.


This includes the workplace record of accidents and occupational illnesses, accident damage that required repair or replacement, and any near misses. These are indicators that existing hazard controls might be inadequate and need more scrutiny.

Conduct a preliminary job review.

Discuss with employees the hazards they know exist in their work and surroundings. Brainstorm with them for ideas to eliminate or control these perils. Of course, if any hazards pose an immediate danger to an employee’s life or health, take immediate action to protect the worker.

List, rank, and set priorities.

List jobs with hazards that present unacceptable risks, based on those most likely to occur and with the most severe consequences. Make these jobs your first priority for analysis.

Outline steps or tasks.

Nearly every job can be broken down into job tasks or steps. When beginning a job hazard analysis, watch the employee perform the job and list each step (it might help to photograph or video the worker performing the job – these visual records can provide handy references when doing a more detailed analysis of the work). Record enough information to describe each job action without getting bogged down in details. Avoid making the breakdown so detailed that it becomes unnecessarily long or so broad that it fails to include basic steps. Review the job steps with the employee to make sure you haven’t omitted anything. Stress that you’re evaluating the job itself, not the employee’s job performance.

Identify hazards.

List the hazards you identified in Step 3 (as well as any additional hazards you discovered when observing the employee) with each step or task involved in the job.