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Rancho Mirage Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Construction workers' accidents: Mitigation of trench hazards

Trenches pose potentially deadly hazards. A significant number of construction workers' accidents in California involve unprotected trenches. State and federal safety authorities mandate that a competent person identifies existing dangers and also predictable safety risks before workers enter a trench. Because each excavation poses unique hazards, every job needs individual care and proper preparation.

Before digging a trench, factors that could cause risks must be evaluated. The proximity of traffic and surrounding structures will play a role along with soil classification and the presence of both surface and groundwater. The current and predicted weather must also be considered. Once the decision is made to excavate the trench, the necessary protective systems must be established.

Hotel workers assaulted by guests can lead to third-party claims

Hotel workers nationwide, including in California, are incredibly vulnerable when they work alone in areas such as guest rooms where they are isolated. Too many hotel workers fall victim to sexual assault and harassment in the hospitality industry. Although the state-regulated workers' compensation system covers work-related injuries, proving these incidents to be related to one's job could be challenging. However, victims might have grounds to file third-party claims.

Safety authorities representing the largest hotel companies in the world recently stepped up and announced that their employees would be equipped with electronic panic buttons or devices to be used to call for help. Furthermore, these hotels will establish anti-harassment policies and provide workers with relevant safety training. The American Hotel and Lodging Assn. chief executive says tens-of-thousands of workers will benefit from this initiative.

Truck driver suffers workplace injuries on construction site

Truck operators in the construction industry need particular skills to navigate their vehicles in often challenging areas. This was recently underscored by an accident on a construction site of Station 1300 in Menlo Park. According to the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, this accident could have been a lot worse, and the one person that suffered workplace injuries could have been dead had things gone only slightly different.

According to the fire chief, a truck driver maneuvered his tractor-trailer with a full load of lumber up an earthen ramp. For reasons yet to be determined, the trailer slid off one side of the ramp. It happened above the basement area where construction is complete.

Stunt coordinator in induced coma after workplace injuries

Every member of the California workforce faces some risks in his or her occupation, regardless of whether it is in an office, a construction site or a film set. Several lawsuits have been filed against television studios and cable networks in recent years. Just like any other employer, employers in the entertainment industry must protect the health and safety of employees by eliminating known hazards that could cause workplace injuries.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has launched an investigation into a recent workplace accident that occurred on a set of CBS Television Studios in another state. Reportedly, for unknown reasons, the stunt coordinator performed a stunt during which he was injured. This was unusual because setting up safe stunts for stunt workers to perform is typically the responsibility of the coordinator and not the actual performing of dangerous stunts.

Construction workers' accidents: Signal technician dies in tunnel

Work was suspended on the Twin Peaks Tunnel project after a recent work-related injury that led to the death of a worker. When lives are lost in construction workers' accidents, co-workers and surviving family members are typically traumatized by the tragedy. The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health will investigate this incident to determine the employer's compliance with safety regulations.

According to the mayor of San Francisco, a signal technician suffered critical injuries when a steel beam struck him. Despite the life-saving efforts of his co-workers, he succumbed to his injuries after paramedics rushed him to a hospital in San Francisco. Reportedly, the incident occurred at the West Portal Site at approximately 4:30 p.m. on a recent Friday.

Workplace injuries can follow exposure to wildfire smoke

Outdoor workers in California are familiar with the threats posed by the harsh heat of the sun every summer. However, with the many devastating fires raging across the state, workers are now also exposed to the hazards of smoke. While poor air quality and inhalation of smoke can cause serious workplace injuries through illness, it was observed that outdoor workers appeared a whole lot better prepared for the problems associated with heat exposure.

Although the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health issued advisories and safety guidelines to protect workers in wildfire areas, outdoor workers in the entire state are now at risk. Along with workers in agriculture, construction, logging and transportation, others at risk include employees of landscapers and tree services, outdoor restaurant facilities and more. While some of these industries can limit the times that employees spend outdoors, others have no option.

Construction workers' accidents: Trench collapse kills 1 employee

Trenches are some of the most dangerous workspaces on construction sites nationwide. The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health prescribes strict regulations to prevent trench-related construction workers' accidents. However, not all employers prioritize employee safety, and their focus on profits have led to many lives lost.

Cal/OSHA has launched an investigation into a recent accident in which a 33-year-old worker died. Reportedly, the incident occurred shortly before 11:30 a.m. on a recent Friday at a residential construction site. The deceased worker was an employee of an engineering company that was contracted to lay drain pipes.

Deputy suffers temporary disability after chemical exposure

First responders and law enforcement in California never know where their next call will take them, nor do they know to what they will be exposed. A sheriff's deputy in Mendocino County recently suffered temporary disability after he was exposed to a dangerous type of pesticide. The exposure happened during the execution of a search warrant.

Reportedly, the deputy was at the premises of a suspected illegal marijuana growing operation. During the search, an insecticide that is banned in the United States was discovered. Metamidofos is listed as a restricted product by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It is a trans-dermal chemical that can enter the body through inhalation and the skin.

Hazardous explosion causes tanker driver's temporary disability

Drivers hauling hazardous materials put their lives on the line with every trip they undertake. This was recently underscored when a big rig filled with liquefied oxygen exploded in California. Miraculously, no lives were lost in this incident, and only one person was injured. The injured person was the driver of the tanker truck, and his injuries caused a temporary disability.

A spokesperson for the Santa Rosa Fire Department said the explosion occurred shortly after 2:30 p.m. on a recent Wednesday. Firefighters arrived at the scene within minutes and determined that it was a hazmat situation. Reportedly, a big rig hauled a tanker filled with hazardous gas to a medical facility where it had to be transferred into an on-site tank. For reasons yet to be determined, the tank exploded.

Workers' compensation claim might follow heat-related death

With record highs in California temperatures this month, all outdoor workers are at risk of suffering heat exhaustion. The surviving family members of a 63-year-old postal worker whose death might have been heat-related will likely seek financial assistance through the workers' compensation insurance program of the state. Reportedly, the woman worked for the U.S. Postal Service for 28 years.

According to authorities, the woman was delivering mail in sweltering temperatures before her lifeless body was found in her vehicle. They suspect that exposure to excessively high temperatures led to her death. Her son said she had been off work for some time due to a fractured ankle, and returned recently. However, this was not the first time the heat got to her, as she reportedly suffered heat stroke before.

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