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Los Angeles Legal Issues Blog

What to do about a denied workers' comp claim

If you get an on-the-job injury, you expect workers' compensation insurance to cover it. Unfortunately, this does not always work out. If you receive a claim denial, you probably feel a lot of frustration and confusion. 

Thankfully, it is possible to challenge your claim denial. Here are the next steps you should take if your claim for workers' compensation does not result in benefits. 

Workplace accidents: Cal/OSHA blames employer for amputations

A California man has to learn to live without both his legs after an amputation injury he suffered last August. This was one of those workplace accidents that should never have happened. The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health recently issued a statement indicating that several safety violations contributed to this tragedy.

Reportedly, two foundry workers removed a jam and cleaned a 38-foot auger conveyor. After they exited the space, one returned to retrieve a light that was left behind. In the meantime, another worker reactivated the auger screw, thinking that the two maintenance workers had safely exited the confined space. The man was trapped inside, and rescuers had to amputate both his legs to extricate him.

Workplace accidents prevalent in the garbage collection industry

California workers who are involved in the collection of garbage may not realize the dangers to which they are exposed. Regardless of prescribed safety regulations, fatal workplace accidents in this industry continue to be reported in the media. Whether it is a waste truck driver that is killed when his own truck knocks him down, or a garbage collector that is injured while emptying bins into the truck, almost all these incidents are preventable.

The Solid Waste Association of North America has comprehensive safety guidelines for the industry. However, it maintains that compliance with a few basic rules can keep garbage collectors not only safe but also alive. The association aims to send workers home to their families, safely, at the end of every shift.

Workplace accidents: Tree trimmer electrocuted in California

Employees of landscaping companies face numerous risks, and complacency can put lives on the line. Tree trimmers work with hazardous equipment in dangerous conditions that lead to frequent workplace accidents. Some workers tend to become careless in their observations of potential risks. The circumstances that led to the recent death of a tree trimmer in California are currently under investigation.

An incident report indicates that emergency workers were called to a South San Jose address on a recent Monday afternoon. They arrived to find a 33-year-old worker in a harness at the height of approximately 25 feet. Reportedly, he had been using a chainsaw to cut the tree when he accidentally made contact with overhead power lines. The high-voltage electrical shock caused the worker's death.

Car accidents: Impaired drivers kill 3 in 4 weekend crashes

Alcohol and drugs seem to be wreaking havoc on some California roadways. A 10-year-old Los Angeles child recently died in one of four fatal car accidents that occurred in Kings County over one weekend. According to California Highway Patrol, a driver who was under the influence of alcohol crossed over the center line of Highway 41 and crashed into a car with five occupants.

Another deadly crash happened when a suspected impaired driver traveled in the wrong direction on Highway 198. One approaching driver spotted her and managed to swerve out of the way, but the vehicle behind that one could not avoid a head-on collision. That driver lost her life, and a passenger was hospitalized along with the wrong-way driver, who suffered major injuries.

Lodging staff has several new employee rights to protect

Workers in the hospitality and lodging industry in California will likely benefit from the newest regulations to protect their health and safety. Employee rights are affected by new laws related to immigration enforcement, minimum wages and training to recognize signs of human trafficking. Only employees who know their rights can make sure they are not violated.

The Standards Board of the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health has approved measures by which employers in the lodging industry will have to take steps to prevent injuries to housekeepers. The Hotel Housekeeping Musculoskeletal Injury Prevention standard will require employers to provide specific protection against injuries. These will include mops with extendable handles, devices to ease the process of making beds, and more.

3 common janitorial injuries

The custodial industry has unique risks. As a janitor, you face a multitude of hazards in your daily work environment, whether your workplace is an office, school, shopping mall, church or any other building. On-the-job injuries for janitors may occur suddenly via an accident or over a long period of time.

In order to avoid injuries to the best of your ability and be ready to file a workers' compensation claim, you must be aware of the most common injuries for custodial workers. Potential janitor injuries and accidents include the following.

Fatal workplace accidents a sad reality in tree service industry

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health recently brought further attention to the hazards faced by tree workers when it proposed penalties exceeding $23,000 for a tree service company. The federal safety agency issued citations for seven safety violations identified during an investigation following an August fatality in Napa. Cal/OSHA says fatal workplace accidents are 56 times more likely to occur in the tree services industry than in all other sectors combined.

Compliance officers reported that the company could not provide records to show that employees received training in tree work and CPR. Reportedly, the company also failed to prepare employees for the hazards and planned procedures before starting a work project, nor were workers equipped with the necessary personal protective gear. Cal/OSHA says the employer did not ensure that equipment was operated and maintained as recommended by the manufacturer.

Alleged employee rights violations bring claim against Taco Bell

Taco Bell employees in California may be aware of the collective action lawsuit that was filed against the company that owns various franchised brands, one of which is Taco Bell. The initial filing was done in another state in 2016. Over 500 former and current employees claim violations of employee rights.

According to court documents, it is alleged that the hours of workers at 75 outlets of Taco Bell were capped at 40 hours per week, regardless of the number of overtime hours they worked. Workers claim that the employers took different steps to avoid paying wages at a time-and-a-half rate for extra hours. Some assert that they were ordered to clock out after a shift but required to continue working unclocked hours.

Car accidents: Cross-over driver causes crash that kills 1

California motorists will always be at risk while they travel on the busy roads of the state, even if they avoid dangerous driving habits such as distraction or impairment. The chance of being the victim of the negligence of another driver is always possible. In many circumstances, multi-vehicle car accidents involve only one negligent driver who leaves injured and/or deceased victims in several other vehicles.

The California Highway Patrol reported a three-car crash in Antioch on a recent Thursday morning. According to an accident report, it occurred shortly after 7 a.m. when a driver who was northbound on a local road failed to maintain his or her traffic lane. The vehicle apparently crossed the center and entered the southbound lane, directly into another car's path. It then went into a spin before smashing into a third vehicle.

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