While each industry poses unique safety hazards, the risk of falls seems to be present in all workplaces, regardless of whether it involves falling to lower levels or the same level. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says falls continue to be a primary cause of workplace injuries in California and other states. Safety advisers say addressing fall hazards involves a three-tier approach.
Workers in every industry face some type of occupational hazard. The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health warned about a hepatitis A outbreak in California last month. This is a virus that attacks a person's liver, and it is highly contagious. Employers must take preventative measures to protect employees from workplace injuries or diseases.
Working alongside cobots, aka collaborative robots, will soon be par for the course in manufacturing facilities in California. Robotic technology has come a long way since the first robot was installed in a General Motors plant in the 1960s. That was a monstrous, caged machine that followed human commands. In contrast, cobots share the workspaces of humans and perform memorized tasks. They can even be programmed to respond to what is happening around them -- but will they pose a threat of workplace injuries?
Any California worker who is unable to return to work for a long time after an on-the-job injury will likely be concerned about the financial consequences because, along with regular bills, there will now also be medical bills with which to cope. A delivery man miraculously survived an incident that caused him major workplace injuries. Reportedly, the incident occurred in Santa Rosa on a recent Thursday.
Electrical workers in California face many deadly hazards on every shift they work. Some workplace injuries are caused by the failure of employers to comply with the safety regulations as prescribed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Causes can include companies allowing unqualified employees to do electrical work, failure to provide appropriate training or failure to enforce compliance by employees.
Workers in California may be surprised to learn that the only workplace injury or illness that is more common than back injury is the common cold. The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics says over 1 million workers nationwide suffer the consequences of back injuries -- accounting for almost 20 percent of all workplace illnesses and injuries. Many work hours and wages are lost due to temporary disability caused by back injuries.
Industries nationwide, including in California, spend billions of dollars on workers' compensation claims for back-related injuries every year. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says one in five claims for workplace injuries involve back injuries. Records also show that the majority of back injuries are suffered during materials handling -- mainly lifting -- and three in four of these damage the lower backs of employees.
"Get up and get moving" is common advice for people in California who suffer the consequences of a sedentary life. However, if a large portion of that sedentary life is spent at work, it may be difficult to incorporate such advice into the day. Studies continue to confirm that many workplace injuries and illnesses occur due to the very nature of some jobs.
When the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health launches an investigation into the working conditions of an industry, its purpose is to ensure the employees have a safe environment in which to work. That safety involves protection equipment, freedom from hazards and proper training to prevent workplace injuries. Recently, following a fatal accident in which a worker's head was crushed in a compactor, Goodwill Industries is facing a Cal/OSHA probe and possibly criminal charges.
Sometimes it starts as a little twinge in the lower back and builds to paralyzing pain. Other times, it hits all at once with a snap, leaving a person lying on the floor until help arrives. Back injuries are among the most common workplace injuries, causing the temporary disability of thousands of employees in California each year. They are often recurring injuries since the spine and back muscles are more easily injured once they have been damaged. Knowing the common causes of back injuries on the job may help workers protect their spines.