The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says logging ranks near the top of the list of hazardous occupations nationwide. With the lingering drought in California that has killed more than 100 million trees along with the results of recent wildfires, tree removal crews from all over the country have come to work here. Sadly, several lives have been lost in workplace accidents in the process.
It is difficult to understand how employers can knowingly expose their employees to hazards that can cause life-changing injuries. Workplace accidents that cause amputation injuries because business owners do not want to spend money on safety devices are unacceptable. The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health recently reported that it had completed an investigation into a January incident when an on-the-job accident caused a worker to lose three fingers.
Business owners in California are responsible for the health and safety of their employees. Safety training must be provided to all workers to ensure the prevention of workplace accidents. Furthermore, those who are tasked with operating dangerous equipment such as forklifts must be properly qualified to do so, and even then, they must comply with safety regulations.
Summer is not the only time when people across the country celebrate with fireworks. New Year's Eve, Chinese New Year, weddings and baseball games may incorporate fireworks displays to the surprise and delight of many. However, the personal possession and use of fireworks is carefully limited by California law and with good reason. Fireworks can be dangerous, even deadly, to untrained users, and even the most careful handlers of the explosives may end up seriously injured or worse. Those who handle fireworks for a living are constantly at risk for workplace accidents.
California lawmakers often lead the way when it comes to enacting safety measures. Recently they continued the trend by acknowledging growing concerns regarding heat-related workplace accidents. While protocol for the prevention of heat-related illnesses and injuries has been in place for over a decade, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health has not been successful in implementing similar policies for indoor workers. However, Governor Jerry Brown recently signed into law a measure to address this deficiency.
While it is not a contest many would like to win, loggers have once more made the top of the list of the most dangerous occupations, according to the latest report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries shows that 132.7 loggers die in workplace accidents for every 100,000 full-time workers in country, drastically higher than the national average of 3.4. The families of many California loggers understand the risks they take, but it does not make it easier to bear when a tragedy occurs.
Many construction accidents have tragic endings, so hearing that an accident could have been prevented stirs many emotions. California workplace accidents are investigated to learn how to avoid such accidents in the future. Nevertheless, if employees are not trained to implement basic safety precautions, workplace accidents will continue to bring heartache to families and co-workers.
Workers in California often depend on their equipment, not just to get the job done, but to provide a safe and reliable way to accomplish their tasks. When a job places a worker in harm's way, that worker does not want to worry that equipment will fail at the worst possible moment. However, these kinds of accidents happen all too often, prompting third-party cases that seek remuneration beyond workers' compensation.
Safety on the job is often a top concern, especially when the job is inherently dangerous. Providing well-maintained equipment and appropriate personal protection is the minimum many employers in California do to ensure the well-being of their workers. When cutting corners to save expenses, those are items few would sacrifice. However, when workplace accidents result in investigations regarding the safety procedures of a company, there may be many unanswered questions.
Those who work at great heights seem to have a substantially higher risk of injury than those working on the ground. Roofers, construction workers, window washers and utility workers are among those who must take special precautions on the job. A recent rash of fatal workplace accidents among tree-trimming employees has caused California's Occupational Safety and Health Administration to launch a statewide safety campaign.