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Santa Ana Workers' Compensation And Personal Injury Law Blog

Caltrans fined for worker risk in homeless camp cleanups

The causes of worker injuries may be endless. These are not necessarily limited to workplace accidents and may also include dangerous or unhealthy conditions. Earlier this month, CalOSHA fined Caltrans for not taking appropriate actions to protect its workers cleaning up homeless camps under bridges and along roadways.

Last Nov., the International Union of Operating Engineers filed a complaint with CalOSHA as part of its efforts seeking better protections for Caltrans workers who cleaned up human waste, used feminine hygiene products and needles as they disbanded homeless camps under bridges and near roadways.

First-responders seek benefits coverage for PTSD

Workplace injuries may go beyond physical harm. Police and firefighters in California suffered psychological injuries after consecutive seasons of mass shootings and record-breaking fires.

Organizations representing these professions, accordingly, are seeking passage of a new law that would grant workers' compensation coverage for work-related psychological injuries.

Top workplace injuries reported

Workplace injuries have many causes. The Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index contains an annual report citing the 10 causes of the most serious work injuries. Its 2019 list of the causes of workplace accidents and injuries spans many occupations.

These injuries caused a worker to miss at least five workdays. Injuries were ranked by their direct cost to employers consisting of payment of medical costs and lost wages. This report is based on non-fatal injury data from 2016.

Getting healthcare workers the support they need

When you think of dangerous jobs, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Most people would say firefighters, police officers or soldiers face the most danger — and these are definitely professions that carry many risks. However, those involved with the healthcare industry know that there is another, often overlooked category of high-risk professions.

Nurses and orderlies, along with other types of hospital and clinic workers, have one of the highest injury rates in the country. They are even more prone to receiving complicated back injuries with lifelong consequences. It is especially important for these types of workers to secure adequate settlements or workers' compensation arrangements from their employers.

Manufacturer may pay $250,000 penalty for fatal accident

Safety requirements for manufacturing equipment may be vital to prevent accidents that seriously injure or even kill workers. In its investigation of one of these workplace accidents, the California Division of Occupational Health and Safety cited a ceramic materials manufacturer in Santa Ana for its alleged failure to guard machinery and provide proper training. A worker was killed in an accident involving this device in Sept. 2018.

This manufacturer utilizes industrial pug mills to produce and mix clay. The worker became caught in the unguarded mixing blades of a pug when he tried to find out why clay stopped going through the machine's extender. In its investigation of the worker's death, Cal/OSHA determined that his employer removed safety guards from the industrial mixer and did not train the worker before the accident.

Study examines surge in pedestrian fatalities

At least 17 pedestrians are struck and killed by vehicles every day in this country. The Governor's Highway Safety Administration recently studied the causes of these deaths, which have risen to a 30-year high, from car accidents and other vehicle collisions.

According to the most recent estimates, 6,227 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents in 2018. While overall traffic fatalities dropped six percent from 2008 to 2017, according to the GHSA, pedestrian deaths rose by 355 and are continuing to grow.

Tesla factory facing injuries and safety violations

Tesla's 5.3 million-square foot plant in Fremont California is a state-of-the-art facility which has over 15,000 full-time workers and contract workers that assemble 254,000 vehicles. While having the most employees of any American facility and the latest innovation, the plant also has the age-old problem of safety violations and workplace accidents.

This plant has been the subject of more workplace safety investigations and received more fines than other U.S. automobile plants in the last five years. There were 24 investigations by the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration from 2014 to 2015 which led to fines for 54 violations, according to Forbes Magazine. These include new penalties that have not been listed in the national Occupational Safety and Health Administration database and which almost double Tesla's fines over the last five years to $236,730.

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
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