Very soon, California workers will be exposed to the heat of summer, and they will rely on their employers to protect them from excessive exposure. Outdoor workers such as those in the construction, landscaping and agriculture industries are protected by the safety standards of the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health. However, indoor workers file many heat-related workers' compensation claims each year, and the safety agency is working on developing standards to protect these workers from heat stress as well.
The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health has launched an investigation into an incident that caused the death of a farm worker. The safety agency reports that emergency workers were called to a fruit packing facility on a recent Tuesday evening. They arrived to find several workers who appeared to have been exposed to ammonia gas. This incident will likely lead to a workers' compensation death benefits claim.
Following years of complaints and reports about exposure to lead dust at a gun range in Santa Clara County, California's Department of Toxic Substances Control and the county's Environmental Health Department inspected a gun range. This was to determine the levels of lead to which workers and patrons are exposed. Victims of work-related lead poisoning file many workers' compensation claims each year.
On April 28, 1970, the Occupational Safety and Health Act was passed by the U.S. Congress. The Act requires employers in all industries to protect the health and safety of employees. Sadly, despite strict safety standards, the California workers' compensation insurance system has since dealt with thousands of death benefits claims filed by surviving families of workers who died in work-related deaths.
California employees in various industries face the risks posed by confined spaces. It is an occupational hazard that leads to numerous workers' compensation claims each year. It is crucial for both workers and employers to understand when a space qualifies as confined and which of those areas must be regarded as permit-required spaces.
Last October, a Northern California family lost a loved one in a preventable workplace accident. Although workers' compensation benefits can ease the financial consequences of such a tragedy, it can never make up for the family's loss. The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health says both the farm labor contractor who placed the worker and the walnut shelling plant owner failed to comply with safety standards.
Employees in industrial facilities in California are typically exposed to the hazards posed by heavy machinery and equipment. A significant percentage of workers' compensation claims filed by factory workers involve injuries caused by machinery. However, more injuries are caused by the unsafe operation of equipment rather than by the machines. Although machines are invaluable in the manufacturing industry, it is up to employers to ensure that employees receive proper operation and safety training.
Emergency medical workers, police officers and firefighters in California and across the country, see destruction, death and other emergencies every day. The typical person can become overwhelmed by stress just because of unpaid bills, relationship problems or other personal issues. Multiply that stress level by 100 to even start to understand the stress experienced by emergency services workers; as such, it is crucial for them to receive all applicable benefits under state-regulated workers' compensation laws when needed.
The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health reported that an investigation was launched into the death of a construction worker in Sacramento. Although the surviving family members can seek financial assistance through the state-regulated workers' compensation system, it will likely be a challenge to cope with such a tragic loss. The county coroner's office is also investigating the worker's death.
Last year's Butte County fire was one of the deadliest fires in California history. Although the final flames have long been extinguished, it continues to claim lives. A 57-year-old worker died while clearing dried brush and debris left behind by the devastating fire. His family will likely be one of many who have relied upon the California workers' compensation system to provide financial assistance after a loved one's work-related death.