There is no shortage of awareness campaigns and warnings about the dangers of distracted driving. However, not enough attention is paid to distracted walking in California workplaces. A significant number of workers' compensation claims involve injuries suffered while workers were talking or texting on their cellphones.
Valley Fever time is around the corner. Construction and agricultural workers in California are at higher risk of becoming infected with the Coccidioides fungus from June through November. The spores from the fungus live in the dirt but become airborne when the soil is disturbed. A significant number of workers' compensation claims each year involve Valley Fever cases.
The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health prescribes strict safety regulations for all industries. Employers must provide workplaces that are free of known hazards. Safety standards include the safe operation of company vehicles. Safety training for vehicle operators is crucial, and all workers must receive training on safely sharing their workplace with vehicles. A significant number of workers' compensation claims involve injuries and fatalities caused by negligent drivers.
Foster Farms employs over 1,000 workers at two meat processing plants in Turlock. One plant was closed on a recent Tuesday after a worker lost his life in a workplace accident. Each year, a significant number of workers' compensation claims in California involve production line workers.
Employees in all industries in California must deal with safety hazards. Workers' compensation claims show that each occupation poses unique safety risks. Workers in several fields encounter the dangers posed by dogs every day. Data kept by the American Veterinary Medical Association indicates that an estimated 77 million dogs live in just over 48 million homes nationwide.
Workers in almost all California industries have to deal with electrical hazards, and employers must ensure that safety training includes identification and control of hazards that could cause electrical shocks, some of which could be fatal. Inexperience and inadequate training could have devastating consequences. A significant percentage of annual workers' compensation claims involve injuries caused by electricity.
Some of the most dangerous work environments in California are industrial facilities where workers risk making contact with moving parts of machines and equipment. A significant number of workers' compensation claims involve amputation injuries that were caused by the lack of lockout/tagout devices or the lack of safety training and supervision. Even with all the necessary LOTO equipment, many fingers or other body parts have been lost because workers became complacent.
Warehouses pose more safety hazards than many people think. Workers' compensation claims for warehouse-related injuries in California include forklift injuries, slip and trip-and-fall accidents, crush injuries caused by poorly stacked loads toppling over, and injuries caused by hazardous chemicals. In addition, a significant percentage of reported injuries involve lifting and manual material handling.
Tree workers in California face multiple life-threatening safety hazards each day. Chainsaws, log splitters and other power tools understandably cause many injuries, but dangers can lurk in areas where employees might least expect. This often results in severe or fatal workplace injuries caused by unexpected hazards, and the number of workers' compensation claims filed by tree workers or their surviving family members each year underscores this.
Workers in the construction industry are frequently exposed to the hazards of trenches. A significant percentage of workers' compensation claims filed in California result from trench collapses. Federal and state safety authorities prescribe strict safety standards for trench work, and compliance can protect workers from cave-ins, hazardous atmospheres, falling loads and the dangers posed by mobile equipment.