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Los Angeles Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Employers must protect workers from dangerous machinery

Any tool can be dangerous if someone uses it incorrectly. However, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, machines without proper guards are particularly hazardous. Roughly 18,000 workers each year suffer severe injuries such as amputations, crush injuries, abrasions and lacerations. More than 800 each year die of their injuries.

OSHA provides these insights on machine guarding and worker safety.

Preventing workplace injuries and illness caused by summer heat

When summer strikes in California, many people elect to stay inside and are thankful for the air conditioning in their homes and office buildings. However, not everyone works indoors, and numerous workers are outside during the scorching hot hours of the day. Not only can this be unpleasant, but it can also present serious risks of workplace injuries and illness to those having to endure the heat.

During these hot months, employers should take steps to protect their workers from heat-related dangers as best as possible. Some prevention methods include providing water, shade and frequent rest breaks. Workers should also receive training on how heat can pose hazards to workers, how to prevent illness and injury, and how to recognize signs of heat-related distress.

California employers must keep you safe from toxic exposure

When you go to work each day, you may be at risk for injury, especially if you happen to work in a dangerous industry, such as fishing, agriculture or construction. Even if you work behind a desk in an office, however, your California employer is obligated to provide proper information, training and equipment to help you stay safe in the workplace. If there's a risk for toxic exposure that your employer is aware of, the company's safety responsibilities must be fulfilled.

If you suffer from toxic exposure at work, the workers' compensation program is in place to assist you. You may collect benefits that help cover medical expenses or replace lost wages if you have to take time off work during recovery. Many workers encounter challenges as they navigate the workers' compensation process, however.

Construction accidents commonly involve heavy machinery

When working on a construction site, it is common to use heavy machinery. Workers in California and across the country may feel comfortable jumping behind the controls of various machines they have experience using, but it is important to remember that construction accidents can happen at any time. Unfortunately, an unexpected event could leave workers with serious injuries.

It was recently reported that a construction-related accident left one worker injured in another state. Apparently, the incident occurred around 3 p.m. when the operator of an excavator was trapped inside after the machine flipped. Details were not provided on what may have caused the excavator to overturn. Nonetheless, emergency personnel were called to the scene where they found the operator stuck between the machine and a concrete vault.

Category 1 workers at serious risk of toxic exposure

The risks involved with work-related tasks vary from job to job. Some people may face relatively low-risk work, and others may be at a significant risk of illness or injury due to their work environment or duties. Some workers may have to contend with toxic exposure while on the job, and if the proper protections are not taken, workers could be adversely affected.

Some California workers may fall into what the Occupational Safety and Health Administration calls category 1. Category 1 employees face the most health risks associated with coming across hazardous materials involved with their jobs than workers in other categories. In some cases, category 1 employees could be exposed to hazardous chemicals that pose a serious health risk even if exposed for a short period of time.

Workplace injuries prove fatal for worker, another hospitalized

In too many instances, work-related accidents can happen too suddenly for employees to protect themselves. Unexpected events could trigger a serious incident that leaves workers with serious or even fatal workplace injuries. Though learning from such events is important, it may seem too late for injured California workers or their families.

This feeling may be affecting multiple people after a recent accident in another state. Reports indicated that demolition and salvaging work was taking place at a defunct power plant when part of the structure collapsed unexpectedly. The incident resulted in two workers suffering injuries after they were hit by falling pieces of the structure. Emergency personnel transported them from the work site to the hospital. One worker was airlifted, and the other was taken by ambulance.

Workers’ compensation and the “Going and Coming” rule

If you sustain a work-related injury as the result of a vehicle accident while on your way to the office, are you covered by workers’ compensation? The answer is perhaps.

To understand what your employer's workers' compensation policy does and does not while you are on the job but away from your usual work environment, you must understand the “Going and Coming” rule.

California worker suffers construction injury from falling object

Construction sites are notorious for having hazards at almost every turn. Even if workers do their best to remain safe while on the job, a simple mishap could easily result in a construction injury. In some cases, an injury may not seem severe right away, but it is possible for serious effects to show themselves later.

It was recently reported that a California construction worker was injured on the job. According to reports, the 35-year-old man was part of a crew working on constructing a new library and was 40 feet in the air on scaffolding when the accident occurred. Apparently, an object fell from above and hit the man on the head. It is suspected that the object was a spool of wire, but it was unclear whether that detail was confirmed.

Safety measures can help lessen likelihood of workplace injuries

Going to work is a necessity for most California residents. They need the income generated by their hard work to ensure their livelihood and the livelihood of their families. Unfortunately, workplace injuries could easily put that livelihood in jeopardy, which is why is it important to work to prevent injuries whenever possible.

Employers have a substantial responsibility to create a safe work environment for employees. Though some jobs have inherent risks, employers can provide training and implement safety measures to ensure that those risks are not more hazardous than necessary. Additionally, workers can do their part by paying attention during training, practicing safety measures and pointing out safety concerns to management. These concerns do not have to be blatant hazards either as fatigue and pain while working could point to safety issues within the work environment.

Toxic exposure to formaldehyde is not limited to morgues

According to the safety standards prescribed by the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, employers must protect their employees from known hazards. However, they must also inform workers of all the potential dangers posed by their jobs. Toxic exposure is one hazard that could cause serious injuries or illnesses if proper precautions are not in place.

Formaldehyde is one of the chemicals that is known to be used in morgues. However, workers in other industries might be unaware that they could be exposed to formaldehyde. Additional formaldehyde uses include paper product coatings, glue and a variety of household items and chemicals. Formaldehyde is also an ingredient in many disinfectants, industrial germicides and fungicides.

Case Results

  1. $4.5 Million Settlement

    Medical Malpractice - Hypoxic brain injury during surgery.

  2. $2.9 Million Settlement

    Construction site accident resulting in cervical fusion

  3. 100% Permanent Disability Award

    Workers Compensation - Multiple injuries to State worker

  4. $1.6 Million Settlement

    Truck v. pedestrian accident resulting in multiple factures.

  5. $1.2 Million Structure Settlement

    Workers Compensation - spine injury with guaranteed payments for life.

  6. $1.2 Million Settlement

    Motorcycle v. car accident resulting in multiple fractures and scarring.

  7. $933,000.00 Settlement

    Child burned when table collapsed spilling scalding water from coffee um.

  8. $850,000.00 Settlement (Before MICRA)

    Medical Malpractice - Endotracheal injury during surgery resulting in death.

  9. $780,000.00 Settlement

    Disputed liability car v. truck collision.

  10. $500,000.00 Settlement

    Workers Compensation - Spinal injuries to delivery driver.

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