According to the California Department of Public Health, with the summer heat of June comes the threat of West Nile Virus. Reportedly, the first four confirmed cases of WNV-related illnesses have been recorded. WNV affects people in different ways, and while some victims may only show mild symptoms, the virus could cause temporary disability or worse. A small percentage of victims could develop meningitis, encephalitis or other serious neurologic illnesses, and it could even be fatal.
A 34-year-old woman who was one of only a few female plumbers working for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission lost her life in an unusual incident on a recent Wednesday afternoon. The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health has launched an investigation, as it does in all fatal workplace accidents. Sadly, the woman's daughter, who is not even three years old yet, now has to adjust to life without her mother.
The construction industry poses numerous safety hazards, and many of them are life-threatening. Employers must comply with many safety regulations prescribed by the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health specifically for the prevention of construction workers' accidents. Some of the most dangerous areas are confined spaces, and a competent person at each construction site must inspect confined spaces and determine whether they require permits to control entry into them.
Workers in California, especially those who are new to the workforce, may not be aware of the hazards unique to the summer. While employee training might cover the various workplace injuries that can happen, the risks of working outdoors at this time of the year must be underscored. Those who work alone are most vulnerable, and they will need to take additional precautions to stay safe from a variety of seasonal hazards this summer.