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.
The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health will investigate an incident that caused the death of a waste collection truck operator. The wife of the deceased worker says her husband reported a malfunctioning hydraulic mechanism on the truck several times, but nothing was done about it. If this proves to be the case, she might have grounds to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the employer, along with a workers' compensation claim.
Confined spaces are work areas that provide enough space for a worker to perform work but have restricted or limited points of access and exit. They are typically not suitable for extended periods of occupation. These dangerous areas are present on various work sites in California, and noncompliance with prescribed safety standards can lead to workers' compensation claims for serious injuries or worse.
Exposure to industrial chemicals can have severe consequences. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has strict standards in place to protect those who work in industries where they could be at risk. Despite these regulations, the California workers' compensation program continues to receive benefits claims for workers who were affected by hazardous industrial chemicals.
The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health has launched an investigation into possible safety violations at an air conditioning company. This follows a severe workplace injury that sent a worker to a Sacramento hospital with life-threatening injuries. The state-regulated workers' compensation system will likely ease this victim's concerns about finances and his ability to care for his family.