Manufacturing work is the backbone of the middle class across the United States and here in Minnesota. Blue-collar workers in the manufacturing sector produce everything from vehicle components to kitchen utensils for consumption here and abroad. Their work drives the modern economy.
In Minnesota, manufacturing accounts for a significant portion of the high-paying jobs available in the state. Unfortunately, those higher wages also bring with them higher-than-average risks. Manufacturing employees are constantly at risk of getting hurt on the job.
That risk is actually higher in Minnesota than it is in other states. What does that mean for manufacturing workers in Minnesota?
Employees need to know their rights
Your employer profits from your work, and they should provide you with workers’ compensation insurance and a safe workplace to minimize your risk of getting hurt on the job. You need to know your rights as a worker so that you can protect yourself if your employer tries to violate them.
Companies don’t like it when workers need to take multiple days off due to health issues, and they don’t like absorbing the increased cost of workers’ compensation insurance coverage when a worker makes a big claim. You may fear retaliation, like getting fired, but the law protects your right to claim benefits and to ask for leave until you recover.
Some companies will lie to their staff members about their eligibility for benefits. Even if you don’t speak English or are an undocumented worker, you still have the right to protection through Minnesota workers’ compensation.
Your work should not cause you financial hardship
If you get hurt on the job, you may need to take time off of work or even move into a less-demanding profession. Your earning potential could change significantly just because of an injury. You could also have tons of thousands of dollars in medical care costs, especially if you get hurt by a piece of machinery or by industrial chemicals.
Workers’ compensation will replace up to two-thirds of your lost wages and will cover the cost of all necessary medical treatment after you file a successful claim. Knowing your rights and understanding the available benefits will help injured manufacturing workers get the workers’ compensation benefits they require.