Health care workers, police officers and big rig operators in California might be interested in the results of a recent study in another state. It involved an analysis of data from a National Health Interview Survey, which was conducted among 15,000 adults between 2010 and 2018. The survey participants submitted self-reports of their sleep patterns and duration. Many workers' compensation claims every year follow workplace injuries caused by sleep-deprived workers.
Over the past few years, October and November have been cruel when it comes to wildfires. Once again, employees rely on their employers to allow them to work indoors whenever possible and to provide respiration protection throughout the fire season. Most California employers realize that they can keep their workers' compensation premiums down by prioritizing workplace safety.
Nurses from the emergency department of a San Francisco hospital reportedly filed a complaint about safety in their work environment with the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health. The nurses claim they have not received safety training related to workplace violence in the past two years. Further complaints involve the chronic state of understaffing and administration negligence, all contributing to circumstances in which they are exposed to violence, which often lead to workers' compensation claims.
Every year from September through December, wildland firefighters in California risk their lives as they work to save the properties and lives of others. One of the lesser-known hazards is Rhabdomyolysis -- also known as rhabdo. It is a condition that damages the heart and kidneys, and it likely results in many workers' compensation claims each year.
At this time of the year, the threats of fires in California are significant, and all possible precautions must be put in place. All workers must receive annual training in the correct use of portable fire extinguishers. However, employers might lose sight of this, especially those who focus on profits instead of safety. This might also reflect in the number of burn injury-related workers' compensation claims are filed each year.
Fatigue is a life-threatening occupational hazard faced by workers nationwide, including California. Many workers' compensation claims are filed due to injuries and even deaths caused by the lack of sleep. Not only is sufficient sleep necessary for overall good health, but also alertness and clear thinking. Sleep deprivation is the primary cause of fatigue, and in many cases, shift work is to blame.
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection has a significant burden ensuring the safety of workers. Following the March death of an employee of the Calaveras County Public Works Department, an investigation led to citations and proposed penalties of $72,000. Another likely consequence of the tragic workplace accident would be a workers' compensation death benefits claim filed by the surviving family members of the deceased worker.
Roof workers in California and elsewhere who apply hot asphalt to roofs are exposed to multiple occupational illnesses. The fumes produced during the application process can irritate the skin, eyes, throat and nose, and cause headache, nausea, drowsiness and fatigue. Affected roofers might have questions about their eligibility for workers' compensation, especially if they develop progressive lung diseases that might only become evident after long-term exposure.
According to a study recently conducted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, two in 100 workers in all occupations suffer workplace injuries that need hospitalization. However, workers' compensation claims show that the numbers for ambulance workers are significantly higher. For them, as many as eight or nine in every 100 end up in hospitals nationwide, including California.
California workers in the lumber industry put their lives on the line to care for their families. Sadly, many young children have lost a parent who succumbed to injuries suffered in sawmills. The California workers' compensation insurance system eases the financial burden of thousands of families each year by paying out death benefits.