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Los Angeles Workers' Issues and Personal Injury Blog

Did you know that some chemicals could cause hearing loss?

Workers in California face an endless list of safety risks, most of which they know from the safety training they receive. However, some lesser-known dangers often do not receive the necessary attention. Did you know that some of the chemicals to which your job exposes you could cause hearing loss?

You and millions of other workers nationwide work in excessively noisy conditions, which is a known cause of permanent hearing loss if not controlled. Researchers say certain chemicals can cause hearing loss and balance problems even when loud noises are not a problem. The collective name for these chemicals is ototoxicants, and they include certain solvents, pesticides and other pharmaceuticals.

Health issues could cause construction workers' accidents

The construction industry is clearly one of the most hazardous employment options. This is partly because of the substantial range of potential injuries construction workers face in California and across the country. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health published the results of a survey conducted to determine the role of six particular health risks in construction workers' accidents.

Falls are reportedly the primary cause of occupational fatalities in the construction industry, and researchers studied the additional impact of health issues on the existing physical and chemical hazards. The six health-related risk behaviors include smoking, binge drinking, smokeless tobacco use, not wearing seat belts, inactivity during leisure time and lack of sufficient sleep. Participants of 38 occupations in the construction industry responded to the survey, from laborers to project managers.

Nighttime agricultural workers at risk of workplace injuries

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health announced new safety standards for nighttime workers in the agricultural industry. The need for new rules arose from the high number of workplace injuries that occur during night shifts. These are the first safety regulations issued specifically for farmworkers who work from sunset to sunrise.

The concern is for workers who harvest and those who operate vehicles during the night hours. These workers are at increased risk due to limited visibility. The new rules will make workers more visible to tractor and other equipment operators while also allowing workers to see hazards.

Has your job left you with an RSI?

You might be one of many California workers who typically perform the same types of tasks, day in and day out, in the workplace. Perhaps, you drive a commercial vehicle to make package deliveries or work on an assembly line in a factory. Then again, maybe you're an office employee who spends hours on end sitting at a desk, typing, answering phone calls or doing other clerical work.

Some jobs are inherently more dangerous than others. A worker who is navigating California traffic every day is likely more at risk for immediate injury than someone whose duties take place in an office setting. Don't assume, however, that just because your job is not one of the most dangerous jobs in the nation that you will never suffer injury in the workplace. In fact, many workers who perform repeated tasks on the job wind up having health problems due to repetitive stress injuries.

Truckers face multiple work-related safety risks

If you want to work in a safe environment with little or no risks, you should not look at a career in commercial vehicle driving. The United States Department of Labor says trucking is one of the most hazardous industries in California and across the country. It is worth noting that a significant number of the injuries truck operators suffer are not related to road accidents.

The business of cargo-hauling and material handling poses a variety of occupational safety hazards. Many of the risks relate to the competitiveness of this industry. Unrealistic deadlines and the pressure to get to destinations faster, make more trips or drive more miles often cause truck drivers and their employers to lose sight of health risks.

Fall from tree causes fatal workplace injuries in California

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health has launched an investigation into the circumstances that led to the death of a vineyard worker. Reportedly, the incident that occurred on a recent Friday involved tree removal. Rescue workers from Cal Fire also responded after receiving an alert about a worker who suffered critical workplace injuries.

An incident report indicated that the man fell from a height of 60 feet while working on the removal of a tree. Reportedly, the fall caused fatal injuries. The coroner's office received a call shortly after noon, reporting the worker's death.

You rights to workers' compensation benefits

Most California workers find comfort in knowing that their medical expenses and lost wages will be covered by insurance if they suffer work-related injuries. However, gaining knowledge about the types of injuries and illnesses covered by the state-regulated workers' compensation program can be beneficial. The claims procedure could be complicated, and knowing that help is available can produce peace of mind.

Any injury that occurred in one specific work-related event will be covered. Examples include injuries to body parts, burn injuries caused by chemical substances, and even injuries off-premises in accidents while making company deliveries or other work-related transport. Stress injuries caused by repeating similar motions over prolonged periods are also covered. These include injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome and loss of hearing due to exposure to excessive noise.

Construction workers' accidents: Iron worker dies on SoFi site

The list of safety hazards on construction sites is endless. Without compliance with the safety standards prescribed by the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, construction workers' accidents are sure to happen. Falls from heights are frequently cited in death benefits claimed from the workers' compensation insurance program.

An ironworker on the SoFi Stadium construction site in Inglewood recently lost his life when he fell from the roof. This tragedy led to the suspension of all construction activities on the site while Cal/OSHA investigates it. The circumstances that led to the 60-foot fall was not reported. It is also not clear whether the deceased worker wore personal protective equipment to arrest his fall.

Heat is not the only hazard to outdoor workers in California

How much do you know about Valley Fever? It is an illness caused by Coccidioides immitis fungus spores, which are present in the soil of California and other southwestern states. If your work outdoors involves any disturbance of the soil, you might not even be aware of the airborne spores that you inhale along with dust and dirt blown by the wind.

Valley Fever symptoms are similar to those of pneumonia or bronchitis and are often misdiagnosed. Even though the symptoms are flu-like, the illness is not contagious, but left untreated, it could be quite dangerous.

Heat-related workplace injuries continue to occur each summer

Each year, when the hot California summer months approach, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health urges employers to comply with safety standards to prevent heat illness. Each year, many employees are exposed to excessive heat, and in some cases, lives are lost. The agency's prevention standards are designed to protect all outdoor workers, including those in industries like landscaping, construction and agriculture. Furthermore, any worker who spends a significant part of his or her workdays in a non-airconditioned vehicle is also at a high risk of heat illness.

The heat illness prevention program has four main steps to follow. It all starts with a written prevention plan to which all workers must have access. Employers must provide training to ensure all workers understand the dangers to which their outdoor jobs will expose them. They must learn to identify the signs and symptoms of heat illness in themselves and co-workers.

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Law Offices of Anthony Choe
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Los Angeles, CA 90010

Phone: 213-986-8498
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