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Workplace injuries and illnesses prevalent in all industries

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.

The workers who will be most likely to be exposed to the virus include employees in laboratories, health care workers and emergency medical crews along with public safety, janitorial and sanitation workers. Hazards also exist for everybody who works with homeless individuals or at facilities for the treatment of substance dependencies. Hepatitis A infection can be caused by contact with food, drinks or objects that were contaminated by infected individuals.

Cal/OSHA warns that hepatitis A could be fatal, and workplaces must be kept sanitary and clean. Toilet facilities are mentioned as particularly dangerous areas, and proper hand-washing services are essential. Employers must provide appropriate training and personal protective equipment, and they must offer Hepatitis A vaccinations.

If a California worker in any of the at-risk industries contracts this deadly virus, immediate medical care is vital. Any medical expenses and doctors' bills will be covered by the workers' compensation insurance benefits to which victims of workplace injuries or illnesses are entitled. Wage-replacement benefits will also be included if the ill or injured employee cannot return to work for some time. The claims process can be challenging, and many workers choose to utilize the services of an experienced workers' compensation attorney to handle the administrative and legal procedures for them.

Source: ehstoday.com, "Cal/OSHA Warns Employers about Hepatitis A", Stefanie Valentic, Oct. 10, 2017

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