Van Nuys Workers' Compensation Blog

Paid sick time law can impact the spread of workplace illness

The holiday season has arrived, and so has flu season. In addition to the sound of holiday music, offices may soon experience the sound of coughing and sneezing. Certain states, including California, have passed laws allowing for paid sick leave. There are many new rules that employers must follow under the new law. These rules, when properly applied, may help prevent the flu from being a widespread workplace illness.

One advantage to paid sick leave is that it may encourage workers to stay home if they are ill. Under the new law, employers cannot require that an employee find someone to cover a shift before granting a sick day. Employers may send an employee home if they are symptomatic. This is largely dependent on the industry. For example, restaurants may not want employees sneezing or coughing around food.

Adequate safety procedures may prevent workplace injuries

Construction work poses many risks and is considered dangerous work in California. With adequate safety training, appropriate safety gear and safety procedures, many workplace injuries are preventable. Failure to adhere to safety regulations can result in tragedy. Such a failure may have contributed to the tragic death of a California construction worker.

A construction company in Oakland was working on installing pumping equipment near the Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Shoreline. In preparation for the equipment install, a trench box was created. A few days later a worker was helping to compact dirt while another worker removed rails that had been used to prevent the trench from caving in during construction.

Repetitive motion injuries can seriously impact your career

Getting hurt on the job has a number of consequences. The first, obviously, is the physical difficulty that comes with an injury. You may require medical Intervention, which can prove to be quite expensive. One thing people don't often consider initially when dealing with a workplace injury is how it can affect their career.

It is possible for a workplace injury to be so severe that it keeps you from performing the same job safely. This is true even of very common conditions, such as repetitive motion injuries.

Unprecedented wildfires can cause workplace illness

California is no stranger to wildfires but the state is experiencing fires that are unprecedented in size and scope. The destruction that has been caused to date is possibly the worst in the state's history. The smoke in many areas is extremely heavy and has the potential to cause health problems including possible workplace illness.

Employers are mandated by California Occupation Safety Health Administration (Cal/OSHA) to take special precautions to protect employees from the dangers of wildfire smoke. One of those protections includes the use of N95 masks that can protect employees from harm caused by smoke inhalation. The masks have the ability to filter out harmful particulate matter. Cal/OSHA has distribution information for those masks.

Workplace accidents again put Tesla in the spotlight

Tesla has been the subject of many questions regarding accurate reporting of employee injuries. The question has cropped up again as reports of possibly artificially low numbers are being reported by Tesla's on-site health clinic. The possibility of workplace accidents being under-reported came to light in a recent article about Tesla's in-house clinic in Fremont, California.

According to former employees, the company uses multiple methods to make the incidents of accidents appear lower than they might be. The former employees, one of whom is a physician's assistant who worked for the clinic, said that the methods used included calling Lyft or Uber in lieu of an ambulance and prohibiting employees from calling 911 without permission from clinic personnel. Possible reasons for this include that ambulance calls are logged and become public information. Also, first responders, such as EMTs, are required to report serious workplace injuries to California's Division of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal/OSHA).

Safety awareness and training reduce risk of workplace injuries

Construction is big business in California. Whether residential or commercial, recent improvements to economic growth indicators have boosted investor confidence and this has resulted in a boom for construction. Firms are making use of apprentice programs in an attempt to keep pace with demand. While apprentices are expected to learn while on the job, it is also expected that they receive training to make them aware of all safety regulations and safety procedures that may apply. When employers fail to take the time to ensure their employees are familiar with safety regulations and policies, this can lead to unnecessary workplace injuries.

Recently, an apprentice suffered a fall from a scissor lift while working on a new shop building for Kelseyville High School, located in northern California. The young man was airlifted to an area hospital, but he succumbed to his injuries the following day.

Workplace accidents due to a lack of proper safety training

Construction workers in California face numerous risks on the job on a daily basis. Safety training and safety precautions are both used to attempt to limit the chance of an accident. If safety training is absent or inadequate, workplace accidents can be the unfortunate result.

A construction worker was seriously injured by a nail gun at a residential construction site while working on the frame of a house. He was working with an air-pressure powered nail gun and had his finger on the trigger while he was carrying it. The nail gun accidentally discharged, and he shot himself in the arm.

How do doctors treat mesothelioma?

Most employees enjoy the benefit of a safe work environment where injuries are unlikely. Other workers face a host of potentially fatal dangers on the job, like the threat of falling in the construction industry or the threat of getting into an accident as a truck driver. Still, other workers face invisible dangers at their workplaces – and unbeknownst to them, they're breathing in harmful substances that could later threaten their lives.

Shipyard workers, plumbers, construction workers and brake shop workers, for example, could be at risk of encountering the invisible dangers of asbestos. Breathing in this deadly mineral can lead to fatal lung illnesses and cancer, like mesothelioma -- which could require extensive medical care.

Workers' compensation can aid in the event of a death

Construction workers in California may be aware that their work carries certain risks. Workers have a right to expect that suitable safety procedures are in place and observed at all times. Even with precautions and safeguards, tragic and fatal accidents can still happen. Workers' compensation may be able to assist in such a situation.

A metal worker in Spring Valley was helping to load I-beams on a truck bed. One of the beams fell off the truck and struck him. The accident occurred at West Coast Iron on Jamacha Road. One worker was using a forklift to place the I-beams on the truck. In placing one beam, it struck beams already on the truck, causing three of them to fall to the ground.

Construction sites a risk for workplace accidents

Construction work by its very nature is a risky occupation in California. Increased safety awareness can help protect workers in a construction environment. Even with precautions and safety procedures in place, workplace accidents can still occur on construction sites. One such accident occurred near Fremont.

Three construction workers were injured when a 1,000 pound rebar tower fell on them. The workers were in the process of wrapping the rebar when the tower fell. The accident happened about 9 a.m. This is the second reported injury accident involving this construction site that has been reported in the past four months. The construction site is in the vicinity of Durham and Sabercat Roads on Interstate 680.

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