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Architecture and safety collision causes workplace injuries

In Cupertino stands the house of pane, which is part of the new Apple Park campus. The impressive circular building consists of curved glass panes that offer an open design that seems spectacular. However, the architectural design failed to address employee safety. Some time ago, an official at the building raised concerns about the potential threat of workplace injuries if employees walked into the glass, and the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health recently ordered the company to take preventative steps.

One danger area that was initially identified was the cafeteria where employees were having trouble distinguishing between the automated sliding doors and the fixed glass panes. Several workers were injured after bumping into solid glass panes, and decals were placed on the glass in that area. However, the danger remained in the rest of the building.

Since the occupation of the building in January, at least three instances of head injuries were reported to have occurred when employees ran into solid glass panes. Recorded calls to 911 indicated that one worker's injuries required stitches. Following these reports, Cal/OSHA launched an investigation, and although no citations were issued, the agency ordered Apple to fix rectangular black stickers on all the glass panes to prevent injuries.

All employees in California are entitled to workers' compensation benefits, regardless of the severity of their injuries. As long as the victims of workplace injuries required medical care, there will be a valid benefits claim. If the injured person was on duty, and the incident was work-related, the medical expenses will be compensable. If the injury causes time off work, the benefits typically include a portion of lost wages.

Source: sfchronicle.com, "House of pane: Cal/OSHA ends Apple Park glass investigation", Wendy Lee, March 28, 2018

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