Safety authorities say a significant percentage of workplace injuries suffered nationwide, including in California, are caused by overexertion. In fact, they say that this is the primary contributor of costs for workers' compensation. Thousands of people miss workdays due to overexertion every year.
A recent publication highlighted the many hazards that workers in the agricultural industry face every day. This sector includes farm workers, forestry workers and those working in the fishing industry nationwide -- including in California. Very little thought is spared for their safety, although these sectors play significant roles in providing food and shelter to all. The number of hazards workers face is staggering, but fortunately, most of them can claim workers' compensation benefits if they suffer injuries,
Post-traumatic stress disorder is often associated with members of the military. Many people do not realize police officers in California and elsewhere are also susceptible to this disorder, although a slightly different form of it. While soldiers typically suffer PTSD from one traumatic incident, police can suffer cumulative PTSD that builds up over time. Although it is typically covered by workers' compensation insurance, proving the condition to be work-related could be challenging.
Electricity poses deadly hazards to workers across California, and the flowers and candles that were placed in Modesto recently are grim reminders of just how dangerous it is. The surviving family members of the worker who recently lost his life while working on a street light are likely eligible to seek financial assistance through the state-regulated workers' compensation system. In the meantime, the circumstances that led to this tragedy will be investigated by the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health.
Losing loved ones in workplace accidents can devastate any family. Although surviving family members in California can pursue financial relief through the workers' compensation insurance system, the full economic impact of such a loss is never entirely addressed by the death benefits the program offers. If a third party was involved in the death of a worker, the family might have grounds to file a civil lawsuit.
A construction site of California High Speed Rail was recently the site of yet another workplace accident. This time, the victim might have to rely on the state's workers' compensation insurance system to provide disability benefits for long-term financial support. This project saw another HSR construction accident in the same area last November.
Workers in all industries in California and elsewhere are at risk of suffering occupational injuries -- some of which can be fatal. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 5,000 people lost their lives due to on-the-job injuries or work-related illnesses in 2016, and many more suffered nonfatal injuries. Safety authorities say the picture could look entirely different -- and the number of workers' compensation claims can be lessened -- if employers and employees carefully follow existing safety precautions.
A particular section of the workforce in California will soon benefit from a unanimous decision by the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health. Authorities have taken note of the lobbying by the workers union for hospitality workers for improved and stricter safety standards. Once new regulations are in effect, there might be fewer workers' compensation claims for injuries suffered by employees in this industry.
Employees of California companies may be unsure of their eligibility for insurance benefits if they should suffer on-the-job injuries. Legally employed individuals -- excluding contractors -- who suffer medically verified injuries while on duty are typically entitled to claim workers' compensation benefits. However, the injuries must be severe enough to interfere with the victim's ability to work, and injuries suffered under certain circumstances are not covered.
At the morning briefing of the San Diego unit of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection on a recent Thursday, the director emphasized the dangers of complacency. He reminded firefighters of the fact that mopping up hot spots when fighting wildfires is no less dangerous than battling against fierce fires. He said most injuries -- and subsequent workers' compensation claims -- occur while dealing with charred rubble and burned trees.