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Encino California Workers' Compensation Blog

Health care workers' injuries can also harm patients

Patients in California hospitals will always be at risk of infections, medication errors and more. However, few people realize that the hazards faced by health care workers can ultimately harm the patients. Manual lifting forms a significant part of any caregiver's day, and the musculoskeletal injuries they suffer could put patients at risk of bruises, fractures and skin tears suffered from falls.

Along with their duties to lift and turn patients, health care workers face hazards like falls from slips and trips, needlestick injuries, and exposure to hazardous chemicals. Furthermore, they work in an unpredictable environment in which combative and agitated patients and visitors threaten their safety. Most caregivers will risk their own health and safety to help patients because their ethical duties will not allow them to harm patients.

Can I get a new job after filing a workers’ compensation claim?

Getting a severe injury at your job can be a traumatizing experience. Not only could you be permanently disabled for the rest of your life, but you may be unsure about wanting to return to your own job even after you are done healing.

After filing a claim for workers’ compensation, you may be impatiently waiting to return back to your old job or acquiring a new one. Before you think about doing so, you should know about what can happen to your compensation benefits if you choose to leave your old job while on recovery.

Construction worker killed by prematurely disassembled trench box

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health reportedly determined that the April death of a worker in Oakland was preventable. The construction worker died while working in an underground excavation. This report follows the completion of an investigation that was launched immediately after the incident.

According to Cal/OSHA, the worker was in a trench box that prevented a cave-in while the dirt in an underground pump station was being compacted. Investigators determined that one worker was still in the trench when a co-worker started dismantling the trench box. This was done by using the four-hook bridle sling of an excavator to lift out the linear rails. During this operation, one of the massive rails, weighing about 5,000 pounds, fell into the trench, causing fatal crush injuries to the worker who was still inside.

Workers' compensation: Wildfire smoke poses health hazards

With the raging wildfires in California, workers in Encino and other Los Angeles neighborhoods face severe health hazards due to the toxic quality of the air they breathe. Although the state-regulated workers' compensation system will likely provide financial assistance to employees who suffer illness or injury on the job, employers must protect workers from harm. The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health provides guidelines for limiting exposure.

The most significant hazard is the inhalation of wildfire smoke because it contains harmful fine particles along with toxic gases and chemicals. The chemicals and gases can cause wheezing, coughing and breathing problems, and the minuscule particles can impair lung function. Workers with existing asthma or other lung or heart conditions will be extremely vulnerable.

Does workers' compensation for health care workers cover stress?

It is a well-known fact that workers in California hospitals and other health care facilities typically have to deal with excessive workloads. However, it is not always recognized that such workloads cause not only physical injuries but also emotional stress. Safety authorities say work-related stress affects a higher percentage of health care workers than most other occupations. An often-asked question is whether workers' compensation for health care workers cover stress-related conditions.

Along with the physical demands of their work, health care workers have to deal with long shifts that often keep them away from their loved ones overnight. In addition to their personal concerns, many cases with which they work involve death, sadness and grief. Furthermore, interactions with victims of traumatic injuries and their loved ones exacerbate the emotional demands of the job.

Exposure to infectious diseases threaten many healthcare workers

Each occupation in California has its unique hazards that threaten the health and safety of employees. According to the safety authorities, healthcare workers are in one of the most dangerous fields of employment. Workers in this industry are all faced with significant risks of contracting infectious diseases, not only in hospitals but all healthcare environments, including outpatient facilities, emergency rooms, nursing homes, mental institutions, prisons, ambulances and more.

Infectious viruses can be present in blood, semen, saliva and feces, as well as needles or other sharp objects that break the skin. When any of these enter a worker's body through broken skin, ingestion or by being splattered onto mucous membranes in the mouth, eyes or nose, the consequences could be severe. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has strict regulations in place to prevent bloodborne pathogens from causing various diseases.

Workers' compensation: Chemical exposure kills bath refurbishers

According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, one or more bathtub refinishers nationwide, including California, have died as the result of occupational methylene chloride exposure every year since 2000. This volatile organic compound is typically used to strip bathtubs by pouring it into the tub and then spreading it across the entire surface with a brush before refinishing them. Many workers' compensation claims involve methylene chloride exposure.

The vapor pressure of the compound is extremely high, allowing it to evaporate fast, with dangerous vapors that build up in small spaces. The deadly fumes settle on the bathtub's bottom, which is precisely where the worker's head is when he or she works on stripping the tub. The volume of the evaporated compound can replace breathable air within a short time, and safety authorities say no more than six ounces of the stripping product is necessary to cause a worker's death.

Rebar tower collapse injures 3 construction workers

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health has launched an investigation into a workplace accident that occurred on a building site in Fremont. The agency says it has another open investigation for the same location, relating to a June incident in which a worker suffered serious injuries in a one-story fall. The latest incident in which three construction workers were injured happened on a recent Wednesday.

According to the Fremont Fire Battalion Chief, the accident was reported at approximately 9 a.m. when a rebar tower toppled over at the construction site of a development that will have condominiums along with office and retail facilities. Reportedly, the incident occurred while three workers were busy with the rebar wrapping process. The three workers were all injured when the massive tower, weighing approximately 1,000 pounds, collapsed.

Workers' compensation: Factory worker dies in industrial accident

Losing a loved one in a workplace accident is one of the most traumatic experiences any family may have to endure. While nothing can make up for such a loss, the death benefits that surviving family members can claim from the California workers' compensation system will indeed ease the unanticipated financial burden. Such benefits might also be available for a Los Molinos family after the death of a worker at the Crain Walnut Shelling factory.

The Tehama County coroner responded to the factory shortly before 6 p.m. on a recent Saturday. According to the office of the deputy coroner, a 66-year-old man lost his life in a workplace accident that involved factory equipment. No details were made available about the circumstances that caused his death.

Does California grant workers’ compensation for fights?

Not everyone is out to make friends in the workplace. Despite the training and warnings you receive from your superiors, sometimes you cannot stop co-workers who want to speak with their fists rather than their mouths. Whether it is from a sense of competition or a growing tension between two uncooperative co-workers, fights that can break out from your workplace typically end with neither side winning.

If you get into a brawl on your company’s property, you are probably wondering if it is possible to acquire coverage for your injuries. Even though the damage came from raw emotions instead of an accident, you still got hurt on company property. Like most workers’ compensation cases in California, the answer is not straightforward. However, you should be aware of what’s needed to receive compensation.

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