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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Extreme summer heat continues to be a problem in much of the country, including California. It is well known that prolonged exposure to high temperatures can result in serious workplace illness. Exposure to high temperatures was responsible for the death of at least 783 workers in the United States, and over 70,000 suffered heat related injuries between the years of 1992 - 2016.
Summer in Southern California means wildfire season. While the fires are very dangerous to the trees and structures in the immediate vicinity of the fire, there are also dangers from the smoke that can affect the air quality in surrounding areas. Cal/OSHA advises that special precautions must be taken by employers whose workers may be exposed to these dangers. These measures are to help prevent workplace illness that may result from exposure to smoke from wildfires.
Summer is here and if June has been an example of how the temperatures will go, it is likely to be a hot one in California. While no one can prevent a workplace illness from ever happening, it is possible to reduce the chances of being afflicted with a heat-related malady. Being aware of the symptoms can help lessen the risk of getting an illness brought about by excessive heat exposure.
When the calendar turns from April to May in California, temperatures start to increase. This brings with it an increase in outdoor activities such as going to ball games, the beach and other enjoyable outdoor events. Unfortunately, increased temperatures can also bring increased risks of workplace illness or injury to people on the job.
It is well known that lead is a toxic substance. High levels of lead in drinking water have led to a major crises in various locations throughout the country. If lead in the water is a serious problem, elevated levels of lead in the air at a factory could also warrant being described as a serious problem. In California, that serious problem exists and can lead to serious workplace illness.