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Van Nuys Workers' Compensation Blog

Workers' compensation law helps first responders

First responders risk their lives every day to protect the citizens of California. Even when first responders are far away from home, if confronted with danger, they will rush in to help. Injury can happen at any time, but this does not deter them from performing daring rescues in an attempt to save the lives of others. They have done this while out of state and not knowing if they were eligible for workers' compensation.

A mass shooting occurred in Las Vegas in October of 2017. Several off-duty first responders were in the crowd that was attacked. They reacted as they were trained to and got many people to safety. Some of the first responders were injured in the process of attempting to save other people's lives.

Workplace accidents can be deadly

Industrial work in California carries with it inherent risks as employees are working with heavy duty equipment. Using this equipment typically requires extensive safety training and skill to perform the tasks made possible by the equipment. Even with the skill and the training, employees are still at risk of a tragic workplace accidents.

This was the case in a recent incident in Santa Ana where a young man lost his life in just such an accident. An 18-year-old man was operating equipment at Aardvark Clay and Supplies when he became caught in the machinery. Help was summoned at approximately 11:15 a.m. on a recent morning, and Orange County Fire Authority Technical Rescue (OCFA) teams responded.

Why workers' compensation claims can be challenging

If you have been injured while at work and have had to take time off work as a result, it is likely that you expected to receive workers' compensation quickly and easily, since you knew this was your right. If you are still struggling to successfully attain your workers' compensation and you are met with resistance when you question your employer, it is important to know why this is the case and what you can do about it.

Most employers in the United States are required by law to carry workers' compensation insurance. This insurance is held so that any employee who was injured at work can gain compensation for the bills that they had to pay for medical treatment, and so that they can retrieve a portion of the wages they lost when they were recovering.

Tesla again under investigation because of workplace accidents

People in California have the right to expect a safe workplace. The Tesla plant in Fremont has come under close scrutiny for safety violations that have resulted in workplace accidents. The plant has been cited multiple times in recent months and is under investigation by Cal/OSHA for potential new violations.

The two newest allegations involve workers who were injured on the plant floor. One person was caught between two garbage bins after a fork lift pushed the bins into him. Another incident occurred when a contract worker's fingers got caught in a torque gun. These incidents, and three others that recently occurred at the Fremont plant, are currently under investigation.

Manufacturer fined for no workers' compensation insurance

California labor laws exist in part to protect employers and employees from unfair and unsafe labor practices. Included in these laws are rules and regulations that govern the workplace policies for companies in the garment industry. Six California companies were recently cited and fined for labor law violations, including failure to provide workers' compensation coverage for their employees.

The California Labor Commissioner's Office fined the six Los Angeles garment manufacturers over $500,000 for operating under an illegal license. Reportedly, many of the employees worked more than 65 hours a week and received less than minimum wage. There were also children who were operating machinery in violation of child labor laws.

Workplace illness comes to Disneyland

Employees in California have a right to expect a safe work environment. This extends to the employees of Disneyland, also sometimes called the "happiest place on earth." It was a little less happy when three Disney workers were diagnosed with Legionnaire's disease. Two of the three were hospitalized after being diagnosed with what may have been a workplace illness.

It is believed that the outbreak was caused by faulty maintenance of the park's cooling towers. It is known that improper maintenance of water systems allows for the growth of the bacteria that causes the ailment. Cal/OSHA issued a citation to Disneyland stating that they failed to adequately maintain the water systems and did not take sufficient steps to correct a workplace hazard. The citation also stated that Disney did not promptly report the illnesses. They issued a $33,000 penalty against the company.

Continued heat may contribute to workplace illness

In early September it's not unusual to see the warm summer temperatures begin to recede. However, this year appears to be a possible exception. Temperatures in the 90's are still forecast for much of California. Temperatures that high can lead to workplace illness for those who are exposed to the high temperatures for prolonged periods of time.

In recent years workers have suffered and nearly died due to heat-related illnesses. Two years ago, a worker in another state suffered kidney failure after many consecutive days of unloading heavy boxes in hot weather from a truck. He nearly died.

Overhead power lines can cause workplace injuries

When workers in California report to work they have a right to expect that they can conduct their jobs safely and return home at the end of the workday. In a recent incident in California, this was not the case. A company has been cited for safety violations related to an outside billboard that caused workplace injuries.

An employee suffered burns over 25 percent of his body when he was injured working on a billboard. He was using a metal pole to install a billboard and the pole came into contact with overhead power lines, causing him to suffer the burns. The citation against the billboard company includes failure to observe a safe distance from power lines when installing the sign.

The major causes of back injuries in the workplaces

When you work in an active environment such as on a construction site or in a factory, you have a slightly increased risk of injury compared to those who work in an office environment. It is important that you understand how to avoid getting injured and how to keep safe at work. In addition, it is a good idea to make sure that you understand you rights to workers' compensation after you have suffered an accident at work.

Back injuries are, unfortunately, some of the most common and persistent injuries that can be acquired at work. It is possible, however, to avoid getting a back injury if certain practices are observed.

Heat can be a major factor in workplace illness

The heat in California continues and harvest season is nearing. As the harvest nears farmers are paying close attention to the well-being of crops such as almonds, walnuts and pistachios. The continuing heat has the potential to cause crop damage. In addition to being a threat to the crops, the heat can also pose a risk of workplace illness to those people who are working in the fields.

Under federal and California law, employers must recognize workplace hazards and take steps to protect their employees. The risk of heat illness is a serious hazard that can be managed by exercising a few precautions. Everyone should be familiar with the signs and causes of heat-related sickness. There is no set temperature where risks increase. Depending on the humidity, heat and work being done, symptoms may appear even at temperatures in the 70s.

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