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Santa Ana, California, Workers' Compensation Blog

State safety agency opens investigation into worker's death

The California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal-OSHA) has opened an investigation into the death of a 60-year-old man from Pomona, California. The man had worked for Decco Construction for 27 years.

The worker was on a hillside house project in Laguna Beach when the fatal accident occurred. The man was measuring for walls on the second floor when he suddenly fell backwards. The contracting company's president saw his employee fall, saying "I heard [the worker's] bags rattling and then saw him flying backwards."

Tips for avoiding 7 common workplace injuries

You desperately want to avoid injury on the job. It's not just about you. You have a family to support. Money is tight enough as it is, with three kids at home, and you can't spend months missing work. You can't pay high medical bills or lose future wages when your injuries are so severe that you can't go back to your career.

If that sounds like you, just take a moment to consider these seven common workplace injuries and tips to avoid them.

Steps employers should take to battle the heat

Heat-related illnesses are no joke. They can, in some cases, prove deadly. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) can fine companies that do not give workers a safe, healthy place to work. This can include a workspace that is too hot to be safe.

So, what should employers do? In warehouses and other large spaces, air conditioning alone may not be enough as the temperatures climb during the California summer. Some suggestions include:

Injured workers and their rehabilitation rights

When the term "rehabilitation" is used in conjunction with workers' compensation, it can mean two things. First, it can mean helping an injured worker overcome his or her injury through rehabilitative care or physical therapy.

Second, it can mean "vocational" rehabilitation. This type of rehabilitation helps make it possible for injured workers to learn a new job if they are not able to return to the job where they were injured.

How that high-rise you work in might be making you sick

Air pollution and environmental issues have become hot topics over the past few years. Although the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that progress has been made in reducing six of our air's key outdoor pollutants, researchers cannot say the same in terms of having gained an upper hand on the quality of the air that we breathe indoors. In fact, recent data compiled by the EPA suggests that the number of workers that get sick in the workplace may actually be on the rise.

While many would think that newer buildings would offer a better indoor air quality than that of older buildings, that's not necessarily the case. This is because buildings that are energy efficient tend to be sealed off. This reduces the amount of fresh air that is able to seep through, leaving more pollutant-filled, stale air to recirculate instead. The EPA reports that as many as one in four of the country's either new or recently renovated buildings could be considered to be "sick" ones.

California set to implement heat-related workplace injury rules

A study was recently published by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in collaboration with the National Institute for Occupational Safety (NIOS). It suggests that state agency's new employees are particularly vulnerable to suffering heat-related illnesses during their first days working there.

In fact, an OSHA analysis determined that of 13 different citations it issued to companies for deaths resulting from heat-related illnesses, nine of those happened to occur during the first three days the employee had worked at the job.

Are you in danger of a trench collapse?

One of the most insidious types of construction accidents is a trench collapse, as it can occur with little or no warning.

In the nine years between 2000-2009, on average, every year 35 laborers died as a result of trench cave-ins, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.

What happens when a work accident reduces function in a limb?

If you work a physical job, you depend on the strength and dexterity of your hands, arms and legs to complete daily tasks. Suffering a serious work injury could leave you unable to continue to perform your job. In some cases, the reduced function of your limb will be a short-term issue. Once the bone, connective tissue or muscle has healed, you can return to work. In other cases with more severe injuries, you may never fully regain the same strength and range of motion that you once had. In these situations, you may find yourself unable to continue in the same line of work as before the accident.

The older you are when you suffer serious workplace injuries, the more frightening the potential consequences. A debilitating injury in your 50s or 60s could mean not only losing your income but needing to live off your retirement funds before you're ready. That can leave you in a seriously compromised financial situation. If you have recently suffered a serious workplace injury, you need to speak with an experienced California workplace law and workers' compensation attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney can help you determine what you should do next to protect yourself.

Examples of common workplace accidents

Some Santa Ana jobs are clearly more dangerous than others. For example, you might be a construction worker who regularly scales great heights in unfinished buildings. You might be a machine shop laborer who is constantly in danger of getting his hands caught up in the machinery. Alternatively, you might be an accountant who operates a computer most the day and is comparatively safer, but an accountant can also get hurt on the job.

At Leviton Diaz & Ginocchio, Inc., we regularly represent injured Santa Ana workers to assist them in getting workers' compensation benefits. Our clients have gotten injured in all manner of ways. Here are few examples of common workplace accidents:

Electrical safety: Preventing construction accidents through care

Did you know that electricity is one of the most dangerous forces on your construction site? Many welders and other operators are injured in electricity-related construction accidents every year. The consequences of these accidents can be dire, but some employers still refuse to take proper precautions to protect workers from electrical accidents. Here is how your employer should help you take charge of your own safety on the job.

First, employers should make sure that their employees are properly trained in the operation of all electrical equipment that you are required to use. Welders and other victims may suffer serious injuries because of a defective power tool accident that could have been avoided with a simple pre-work inspection. Workers should be provided with manuals and additional skill-building as needed to make sure they understand how their tools are supposed to work.

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Bakersfield, CA 93301

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