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Rancho Mirage Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Workplace accidents: Fatal fall at Amazon warehouse

The safety of workers at Amazon facilities has been the subject of many discussions in recent months. Workplace accidents at this company's warehouses have caused many injuries and even deaths nationwide. The most recent incident claimed a worker's life at a California facility.

According to an accident report, the fire department of Kent County received an emergency call at about 3 p.m. on a recent Saturday. Emergency workers rushed to an Amazon facility at which a construction project was underway. They arrived to find a worker who had fallen from a steel structure of which the height is unknown. Sadly, the 42-year-old iron worker succumbed to his injuries before he could be transported to a medical facility.

Workplace accidents: Car falls from jack, crushes worker to death

Learning that a loved one suffered a fatal on-the-job injury is not something wished on anybody. Workplace accidents happen at any time, and a California family had to deal with such trauma as they greeted the New Year. According to the Los Angeles Fire Department, they responded to a Sun Valley business after receiving an emergency call at about 8 a.m. on Dec. 31.

Upon arrival, first responders found a worker who was trapped underneath a car that had fallen off the floor jack on which it was raised. Although the rescue workers managed to extricate the worker from under the vehicle quickly, he had already succumbed to his injuries. The company reported that the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health had been informed of the fatality.

Workers' compensation will cover toluene-related injuries

While similar hazards may exist in all California workplaces, others are unique to particular industries. Many of the workers' compensation claims that are filed each year arose from exposure to hazardous chemicals. Safety authorities require employers to inform employees of the risks posed by chemicals with which they have to work, and employers must also provide the necessary personal protective equipment.

Employees that work with paints, shellac, varnishes, adhesives, metal cleaners and glue might be at risk of excessive exposure to toluene. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration describes it as a clear, colorless liquid that could be present as a component in solvents and chemicals. When toluene is exposed to room temperature air, it becomes a hazardous vapor.

Construction workers' accidents: Cal/OSHA issues $600 fine

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health recently reported its findings on an investigation into a June incident when a driver became trapped in his overturned truck. After conflicting reports by the contracted driver, the construction company and witnesses, Cal/OSHA concluded that the company was responsible for conditions that caused the driver to rush and endanger his life by operating his concrete truck at an unsafe speed. Finding the truth behind some construction workers' accidents can be challenging.

Reportedly, the subcontractor had to deliver mixed concrete to a site that was accessed by backing the concrete truck up a ramp. The truck operator reported that the time required to offload the wet cement exceeded the available time left before the mix would be spoiled and be rejected by inspectors. Also, he claimed no flagger was available to direct him as he backed up the ramp that provided limited space for maneuvering the massive 10-wheeled vehicle.

Employers in cannabis industry must prevent workplace injuries

Workers in the California cannabis industry might have questions about their rights to safe workplace environments and the protection their employers should provide. The California Division of Safety and Health have not established safety standards that apply specifically to the workplace injuries in the marijuana industry, but, just as in any other sector, employers must protect the safety and health of employees. They must also mitigate any job-related hazards.

These requirements apply to all cannabis industry employers, including cultivators, manufacturers, distributors, retailers and even those individuals involved in the laboratory testing of marijuana products. Employers must establish Injury and Illness Prevention Programs that must be available in writing. Procedures to identify health and safety risks, and rectifying steps to mitigate hazards must form part of the IIPP.

Workplace accidents: Demolition project claims worker's life

The last thing wished on any family during the holidays is losing a loved one in circumstances that might have been prevented. According to the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health compliance with safety regulations can prevent workplace accidents, but sadly, lives continue to be lost on construction sites. A recent incident claimed the life of a 39-year-old resident from Woodland.

According to authorities, the incident occurred on a recent Monday shortly before 3 p.m. on one of the two Marin Islands that form part of the Marin Islands National Wildlife Refuge. The worker was part of a crew involved in a demolition project. Under the circumstances yet to be determined, a stone and concrete retaining wall collapsed onto him.

Construction workers' accidents: 7,200-pound beam crushes worker

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health is investigating the death of a worker who suffered a fatal on-the-job injury on a recent Monday morning. Construction workers' accidents that involve struck-by hazards are frequent causes of workplace deaths. Although few details were made available about this incident, it appears to have included such a hazard.

The incident report indicates that police officers responded after receiving a call shortly before 7 a.m. to report an accident on the premises of a construction business. Upon arrival, they found a worker who was crushed by an I-beam. Reportedly, a 50-foot I-beam that weighs 7,200 pounds struck the 35-year-old worker.

Improper lifting can cause serious workplace injuries

California workers in many industries have jobs that require proper lifting techniques. Safety authorities say a significant percentage of workplace injuries involve back injuries that could have been prevented. Many workers do not realize that once they hurt their backs, second and subsequent injuries are more likely, which could cause life-long discomfort or even chronic pain. The damage done to their backs over the years can make basic movements such as getting out of a chair or bed a struggle as they get older.

Employers must remind employees frequently about the fact that each lift requires safe techniques. Workers for whom lifting and carrying objects are par for the course might become complacent and desensitized to the fact that repetitive lifting and rotating, twisting and bending of the spine is dangerous. Taking regular breaks and alternating lifting and carrying with other less physical tasks might reduce the chances of back injuries.

Falling stones cause workplace injuries -- 4 sent to the hospital

Employers in California are responsible for the safety and health of employees. Safety protocols must be established, and supervisors must monitor employees to ensure compliance with the rules. The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health provides comprehensive safety guidelines and regulations, and compliance can prevent workplace injuries. Potentially hazardous tasks must be appropriately planned to mitigate injury risks.

An example of workplace injuries that might be found to have been preventable occurred in Contra Costa County on a recent Tuesday. According to an incident report, ConFire received an emergency call shortly after 3:30 p.m. about a workplace accident. Firefighters responded to the location to find three injured workers. It was determined that falling stones caused their injuries.

Workplace accidents: Pickup runs over out-of-state firefighter

While those who live in the path of the devastating wildfires in California fear for their lives, brave firefighters work to protect property and lives. In many cases, firefighters from other states come to help, as is the case with the Woolsey Fire that erupted on Nov. 8 in Southern California. These workers battle the fires for hours on end without rest, sometimes leading to tragic workplace accidents.

One such an accident saw a firefighter from another state airlifted to a hospital on a recent Wednesday. Authorities report that a 50-year-old man was involved in fighting a fire along the Pacific Coast Highway, where residents had been evacuated. A report by the California Highway Patrol indicates that the man decided to take a break. While he was resting on the ground next to his vehicle, another pickup truck ran over him.

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