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Santa Ana Workers' Compensation And Personal Injury Law Blog

Distracted driving may be wired to vehicle tech

California is one 47 states that ban the use of a cellphone while driving and one of 16 states that prohibit texting and driving. However, the use of electronic devices continues to be a major cause of car accidents in this country and this technology continues to grow.

Distracted driving causes 3,500 fatalities each year. This also led to 390,00 injuries. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reported that cell phones were involved in 26 percent of all vehicle accidents.

Why construction workers are so prone to back injuries

If you work construction in California, no one needs to tell you that your back takes a constant beating due to the work you must perform. All that lifting, carrying and moving you do of heavy equipment and materials on a daily basis can and does add up over time. It likely produces a series of relatively minor strains and sprains that likewise add up over time until you can wind up with a debilitating injury and/or a chronic back pain condition.

While all construction workers run the risk of sustaining back injuries, your risk increases exponentially if your particular job is one of the following:

  • Stonemason or bricklayer
  • Roofer
  • Jackhammer operator
  • Drywall installer
  • Floor or wall tile installer

Fast-food workers face violence

Workplace accidents often include faulty equipment, unsafe chemicals or human error. However, injuries are not attributed solely to workplace accidents. Recent violence against fast-food workers across the country reveals the dangers posed by violence at the workplace and the need for employers to take reasonable precautions.

The year 2018 was notable for assaults at fast food restaurants. A customer punched, knocked and pushed a manager at a California McDonald's because there was not enough ketchup.

Plumbing firm investigated for airport safety scare

An unsafe workplace may place the public at risk in addition to workers. In one case, California's Division of Occupational Safety and Health is investigating a plumbing firm for an incident at the San Francisco International Airport in Dec. that impacted two workers and revealed risks of workplace accidents.

Two employees were working in underground tunnels beneath a catering business at the airport. They were apparently overwhelmed by a gas-powered concrete cutter they were using. An airport spokesperson said that the fumes from the cutter overcame them in the tunnel's small confines.

California workplace deaths remain stable

There is good news and bad news on fatal occupational injuries in California. The state's Department of Industrial Relations reported that fatalities from workplace accidents did not rise but that these did not drop from 2016 through 2017.

DIR reported that 376 workers in the state died at work in 2017, which are the latest figures available. This was the exact number in 2016. Its data came from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries.

How workplace injuries and mental health affect each other

When you sustain an injury on the job, you can file a claim to receive benefits while you recover. The money covers current and future medical treatment as well as lost income while you are out.

But what if mental illness plays a role in the injury? Can you still get workers' compensation?

Small farms exempt from safety oversight

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration plays a vital role in the enforcement of workplace safety. But OSHA has no power to investigate workplace accidents, enforce safety rules, and impose violations for safety violations at small farms. This removes a layer of deterrence against negligent farms. A small farm is not exempt from these accidents, however. Some evidence even shows that, on average, these farms are more dangerous than other workplaces.

Federal funds cannot be used for OSHA regulations on a farm with 10 or less non-family workers. Almost 93 percent of farms in this country, employing over 1.2 million workers, fall within this category. The exemption began with a rider to an OSHA appropriation bill in 1976 that has been consistently applied to budget bills for over 40 years.

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