One of the great benefits of working in the United States is having your rights for a safe workplace protected by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). There are also protections by Minnesota’s Department of Labor and Industry (DLI). In the era of COVID-19, these protections are more crucial than ever.
In the effort to provide transparency involving the number of injury claims and data about COVID-related injuries as of November 18, Minnesota’s DLI published up-to-date numbers on its website.
Number of claims reported
The first spike in claims was in late April (800 claims per week), followed by a second spike (650) one month later. The number went down to about 100 per week in June but has climbed steadily since September 9 to just under 600 on October 21. Based on the number of cases reported in November and December by the Centers for Disease Control here in Minnesota and elsewhere, expect the number of worker’s comp claims to be similar to those of the spring.
Top industries seeing claims
As of November 18, the top 5 industries for worker’s comp claims for Minnesota in 2020 are:
- Health care workers: 5,581 claims (mostly nurses)
- Public administration: 1,043 claims (mostly correction officers and jailers)
- Manufacturing: 1,001 claims (mostly food processing)
- Transportation and warehousing: 132 claims
- Administrative and support and waste management: 122 claims
If you feel ill, notify your employer
There have been reports that overburdened hospitals have asked staff to return to work early if they were in quarantine. Nevertheless, those who contracted the virus should notify their employer or supervisor as soon as possible and seek medical care if necessary or available. They must also go through the usual steps for filing a worker’s comp claim.
If the worker has questions, they can go to the DLI’s site. The site does recommend seeking legal help from a worker’s compensation attorney if the worker still has questions. The attorney can also be helpful with the common practice of appealing a rejected claim.