The Occupational Safety and Health Administration says recent incidents prompted a reminder to employers nationwide, including California, about the hazards posed by carbon monoxide exposure. The agency says all employees, including general laborers, construction workers and others, face the risk of being overcome by this deadly gas -- often called the silent killer. Carbon monoxide is a toxic gas that is odorless and colorless, and it can be undetected until it is too late to escape.
Not all California companies prioritize employee safety. Sadly, there are those business owners who believe that carrying workers' compensation insurance is enough, and spending money on creating safe work environments is unnecessary. The reality is that every benefits claim that is filed by an injured worker will increase the company's insurance premiums.
With the rapid expansion in the marijuana industry, safety authorities have to establish safety standards to govern the cultivation and processing facilities. In the meantime, employers must comply with the general standards as prescribed by the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health. Noncompliance by an employer led to citations issued by the safety agency after a June 2018 incident in which a worker suffered serious workplace injuries.
For workers in the manufacturing industry of California, having robotic co-workers is no longer the stuff of science fiction. Robots are used in many industrial facilities, and safety authorities have to establish new standards as technology advances and new safety hazards become evident. Some of the significant safety concerns when it comes to advanced automation are proper guarding and barriers.
Working as a "troubleman" for the Pacific Gas and Electric Company could be hazardous, as proved by an employee who was recently rushed to the hospital for treatment of burn injuries. Although the California workers' compensation benefits will likely cover his medical expenses, burn injuries sometimes leave permanent scars. A PG&E spokesperson says the term "troubleman" is used for workers who serve as first responders to reports of electrical problems.
On Oct. 31, a construction accident on the campus of the Glendale Community College in Los Angeles County caused a dangerous gas leak that required the evacuation of the entire campus and the suspension of classes. Just more than two weeks later, on Nov. 15, another incident sent one of two construction workers who was trapped in a collapsed trench to the hospital. The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health has initiated a full investigation, part of which will involve the construction company's compliance with safety regulations.
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.
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.
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 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.