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.
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.
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.
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.
The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health has specific safety regulations pertaining to tree workers. It requires employers to establish a written program to protect workers from suffering injuries in workplace accidents and ensure that only qualified workers engage in activities such as tree trimming, removal and repairs. Along with safe workplace environments, workers must receive safety training to create awareness and improve knowledge of potential safety hazards.
Devastating wildfires in California threaten the lives of countless residents. Thousands of firefighters battle the blaze around the clock to contain the rapidly expanding Thomas fire and save lives. Unfortunately, with the variety of threats to which firefighters are exposed, workplace accidents are prevalent, and some of them end in fatalities.
Work was suspended on the California High-Speed Rail project on a recent Saturday. This followed one of those workplace accidents that could have been much worse. A report by the California Highway Patrol indicates that two construction workers suffered moderate injuries when a tower collapsed onto a work crew.
According to the National Safety Council, almost four in 10 employees nationwide are victims of fatigue that threatens their safety. This is not only a problem in California but all states and across all industries. The problem with tired and groggy staff is widespread, and it puts not only the victims at risk of suffering injuries in workplace accidents but also their co-workers.
The high number of scaffolding accidents in the construction industry nationwide, including in California, continues to cause alarm. Typical workplace accidents involving scaffolds include slip-and-fall incidents off slippery or incorrectly inclined platforms or the lack of fall protection or safe anchor points for tethering lanyards. Other hazards include dropped tools or other objects that are not secured on scaffolds or electrocution because scaffolding structures are too close to overhead cables.
Figures released by the Associated Press after an analysis done of federal statistics of occupational fatalities nationwide reveal that the overall work-related death rate in 2015 showed a decrease when compared to previous years. However, deaths in workplace accidents among workers over the age of 55 were considerably higher than in prior years. In California, the rate for older worker fatalities was 60 percent more than for workers overall.