California residents may be saddened to hear that SeaWorld has been hit with a violation and a hefty fine for running a dangerous workplace by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). This is the second violation that SeaWorld has faced, with the first following the wrongful death of one of its orca trainers.
The family of a 25-year-old California lab worker at a Veterans Affairs medical center is taking legal action against the institution after his death from bacterial infection. The wrongful death lawsuit asks for more than $20 million in damages based on a claim of negligence on the part of the medical center.
A 5,000-pound piece of steel recently fell from a crane at an industrial site in Simi Valley and crushed a 58-year-old man from Bakersfield. The man was unable to avoid the falling steel as it fell from the crane. A second man was fortunate enough to avoid the steel but still suffered minor injuries. The family or partner of the deceased man and the injured man may have the option of filing a wrongful death or workers' compensation claim, respectively, as a result of this tragic accident. The victim in this work accident was a truck driver for Valley Wide Distributors, and the accident occurred as the steel was being unloaded from a truck. Early reports indicate that a chain holding the steel in place on the crane broke and allowed the steel to fall. There is no record of previous Cal/OSHA investigations into the company involved with this accident.
California is seen by many as a land of opportunity. This brings many workers here to do jobs that might not be available to them where they come from -- in many cases, other countries. However, many of these workers may pay a high price for their opportunities.
State lawmakers are considering changes to California's workers' compensation laws to deny coverage for professional athletes who play games in California but who are not affiliated with a California team. Generally, workers who are injured on the job in California are entitled to benefits from the workers' comp system. While professional athletes work in a different kind of workplace than most workers in the state, some lawmakers are concerned that players and retired players from visiting professional sports teams are receiving benefits for injuries sustained in California.
When people in California think of injuries sustained at the workplace, they might be inclined to think about traumatic accidents such as a fall by a construction worker, for example. However, even workers who sit at desks all day are susceptible to a workplace injury -- albeit without a dramatic scene taking place. Instead, injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome can get worse over time, practically unnoticed.
People in California often have a wide range of jobs owing to the temperate weather. Outdoor work can be year-round in many cases. This also means that some jobs that might not exist in lots of other places can be found in California -- some of them quite dangerous, leading to workplace injuries that might not be seen anywhere else.
Those who are involved in industrial workplaces in the Los Angeles area may be interested to learn that the U.S. House of Representatives is beginning to reintroduce the Worker Protection Against Combustible Dust Explosions and Fires Act (H.R. 691). The bill is in response to the some 50 combustible dust explosions or fires that have occurred in the past six years since the Imperial Sugar factory explosion that killed 14 and injured dozens others occurred.