California was the first state to establish safety standards to protect outdoor workers from excessive heat exposure. Safety authorities suggest that California might also be the first to set safety limits for indoor workers. Heat-related workplace injuries could be deadly, and the heat levels in California over recent years have been higher than ever, causing concern over the impact of climate change on hundreds of thousands of indoor workers.
While similar hazards may exist in all California workplaces, others are unique to particular industries. Many of the workers' compensation claims that are filed each year arose from exposure to hazardous chemicals. Safety authorities require employers to inform employees of the risks posed by chemicals with which they have to work, and employers must also provide the necessary personal protective equipment.
Workers in the California cannabis industry might have questions about their rights to safe workplace environments and the protection their employers should provide. The California Division of Safety and Health have not established safety standards that apply specifically to the workplace injuries in the marijuana industry, but, just as in any other sector, employers must protect the safety and health of employees. They must also mitigate any job-related hazards.
California workers in many industries have jobs that require proper lifting techniques. Safety authorities say a significant percentage of workplace injuries involve back injuries that could have been prevented. Many workers do not realize that once they hurt their backs, second and subsequent injuries are more likely, which could cause life-long discomfort or even chronic pain. The damage done to their backs over the years can make basic movements such as getting out of a chair or bed a struggle as they get older.
Employers in California are responsible for the safety and health of employees. Safety protocols must be established, and supervisors must monitor employees to ensure compliance with the rules. The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health provides comprehensive safety guidelines and regulations, and compliance can prevent workplace injuries. Potentially hazardous tasks must be appropriately planned to mitigate injury risks.
Commercial truck drivers in California haul their cargo loads across the country, facing many more hazards than those presented by road accidents. Truckers are typically exposed to a variety of risks that could lead to workplace injuries -- to both health and body. Occupational illnesses, injuries and fatalities in the transport industry can occur inside and outside the cabs of the trucks.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration says over 50,000 construction workers nationwide, including in California, suffer injuries from being struck by objects on building sites every year. Even something as small as a nut or a bolt falling from an elevated work area can cause a severe or fatal injury. However, precautions can be taken to prevent such workplace injuries.
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.
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.
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.