Every California worker's job comes with some sort of risk to your health and well-being. Serious and/or debilitating injuries can occur in any line of work. If you do suffer such an injury, you will undoubtedly consider obtaining workers' compensation benefits to help you with your medical needs and lost wages. The problem is that your employer and the insurance company may do whatever possible to either delay or deny your claim.
California's doctors, nurses and other medical personnel do not always get to choose their patients. They deal with a variety of personalities, some of which can turn violent. The seedier side of workers' compensation deals with the prevalence of workplace assaults on health care workers.
Forklifts are a common site at many California businesses. Employers and employees alike often become too complacent when it comes to their safe operation, which leads to numerous workplace injuries each year. Recently, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health cited one company in a forklift accident that cost a worker his life.
Slip, trip and fall injuries are common in every industry, but according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, health care workers have a higher risk for non-fatal slips, trips and falls than any other worker in any other industry. Most of these accidents are preventable, however, with good safety and housekeeping procedures.
Every California employer is required to provide a safe work environment. The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health recently ruled that a company known for its charity work failed to provide proper training to its employees. In fact, Cal/OSHA accuses a Goodwill location here in the state of serious and willful violations in the aftermath of fatal workplace injuries suffered by one of its workers.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that back injuries account for about 20 percent of all workplace injuries, and only the common cold accounts for more days off each year. The three most common types of back injuries are strain, sprain and herniated disk. Improper lifting techniques are the primary cause of back injuries, but even sitting or standing in one place all day can aggravate an injury. In addition, workers who lack muscle tone or who are overweight have higher rates of back injuries.
For several years, the California Division of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has required employers to take measures to reduce heat-related illnesses of their employees. A similar requirement appears to be in the works for indoor heat-related workplace injuries, much to the chagrin of many employers. Even the timing of a new regulation is causing disagreements.
People who work in manufacturing and industrial jobs in Southern California are just as at risk for repetitive stress injuries as they are for workplace accidents and illnesses. Cumulative trauma injuries can occur from long-term use, strain and stress of muscles in the affected areas, such as the hands, wrists and back. To better understand your rights as an injured worker, take some time to learn about California workers' compensation and how it applies to repetitive stress injuries.
When most people in California consider dangerous occupations, they likely think of police officers who must deal with perilous situations daily or firefighters who are expected to rush into burning buildings. However, all jobs hold some degree of risk, especially those that require the use of machinery and heavy equipment. Workplace injuries can easily occur regardless of the amount of emphasis an employer may place on safety.
All workplaces in California hold some degree of risk of injury. Those who work with electricity are likely all too aware of the risks they face. Despite their knowledge and the safety precautions they may take, accidents can still happen that result in serious workplace injuries. Unfortunately, one out-of-state man is hospitalized, listed in critical condition, after he received an electric shock while laying fiber optic line.