In 1970, the Occupational Safety & Health Act was passed by the federal government to protect private employers and employees in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories. Practically every industry has protections for health and safety. Although self-employed people, domestic workers in private homes and government employees are not covered by the OSH Act, most workers are.
The temperatures are rising here in California, and many people remain outdoors while they perform their on-the-job duties. For instance, those who work on farms here in the state often spend long hours outside. The threat of heat-related workplace injuries needs to be addressed by employers and employees alike.
Back in the 1980s, cell phones and other electronic devices that rely on communication towers were not in nearly every household here in California and across the country. With the technological explosion that occurred in later decades, the need for such towers increased exponentially. This means that the number of severe or fatal workplace injuries suffered by communication tower workers increased as well.
If you have ever put off medical treatment, you are not alone. The National Center for Biotechnology Information found that about one-third of respondents in a nationwide survey avoided the doctor. It is estimated that many people wait 18.5 days or more before getting help for a chronic health issue. Avoidance of medical care occurs for many different reasons. Sometimes, there are financial or time barriers. About 10 percent of the participants in the survey said they didn't think medical treatment was necessary, as they expected the condition to improve.
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.