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Compliance with safety standards can prevent workplace injuries

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health require employers to provide safe work environments. The rules include the duty to provide adequate safety training and ongoing monitoring to ensure that workers do not become complacent and take shortcuts. One of the most frequently committed shortcuts that leads to many workplace injuries involves using the wrong tool for the job because it is handy and similar to the required tool.

The safety guidelines in each facility must be reviewed each year, and address new hazards posed by new and upgraded equipment, and all new employees must receive proper training. Another task to schedule is frequent machine inspections. Even if equipment seems to be running smoothly, certified professionals must inspect machines on due dates to prevent unanticipated malfunctions that could cause serious injuries.

Supervisors must monitor workers to ensure that safeguards or barriers are in place, and if guards were removed for cleaning or maintenance, they must be replaced before work commences. The same goes for personal protective equipment. No one should ever be without the necessary PPE. Cases have been reported of fatal falls from scaffolds because workers unclipped their fall protection from the anchor points to ease their movement. Falls are responsible for a significant portion of all workplace injuries, and they often occur when ladders and scaffolds are substituted for each other.

Employers and employees must avoid complacency to prevent workplace injuries. When they do occur, injured workers in California are typically eligible for workers' compensation benefits. The state-regulated insurance system is a no-fault system, which pays benefits regardless of who was at fault. Legal counsel is available to assist with the claims process to pursue recovery of all applicable benefits.

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