California employers might not pay enough attention to hand safety. Workers need their hands for every job they do, and workplace injuries that cause amputations can jeopardize their ability to return to the same position. Even the loss of one finger can be life-changing. However, it is not only the obvious hazards that can cause serious workplace injuries.
A recent incident in a grape vineyard in California led to the need to decontaminate farmworkers and first responders. An investigation was launched by the Tulare County Ag Commissioner's office after workplace injuries were apparently caused by pesticide. Reportedly, workers called 911 at about 11 a.m. on a recent Tuesday after experiencing the effects of contamination.
The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health reportedly ordered an investigation into an incident that occurred at a pet boarding facility. Apparently, five employees suffered workplace injuries when a dog attacked them on a recent Wednesday. A Cal/OSHA spokesperson says the agency will determine whether the facility violated prescribed safety standards.
Every workplace in California has safety hazards and unsafe conditions, some of which are unique to the facility or industry, while others are common in most workplaces. It is also true that not all risks can be eliminated, and employers must ensure that safety training is provided to address unmitigated dangers. Workers must be informed of unsafe conditions that could cause workplace injuries.
The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health Department recently issued a fine exceeding $5,000 to the Los Angeles Police Department following an investigation into workplace safety at the department's Central Station facility. The agency says inspectors uncovered multiple health hazards that led to unusual workplace injuries. Some of the risks include rats, roaches, fleas, gnats, mosquitoes, grasshoppers and flies.
The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health requires employers to provide work environments that are free of known hazards. In industrial facilities, that responsibility includes installing safeguards to prevent workplace injuries caused by making contact with moving parts of machines and equipment. Following a recent fatality at a steel-processing plant, Cal/OSHA will determine whether the lack of safeguards or other safety violations played a role in this tragedy.
The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health is looking into a fatal on-the-job accident at a Sonoma County vineyard. This is said to be the first life lost to workplace injuries on any of the vineyards owned by Jackson Family Wines. A spokesperson for the company says the deceased worker had been an employee for approximately 25 years.
2018 proved to be one of California's worst wildfire seasons in its recorded history. Over 7,500 fires destroyed almost 1.7 million acres and thousands of structures, causing the deaths of more than 100 people. This gave rise to the introduction of a bill that aims to protect outdoor workers across the state from workplace injuries caused by harmful wildfire smoke.
According to the National Cancer Research Institute, heat-related illnesses are not the only threats to which outdoor workers are exposed. A spokesperson says 90% of skin cancers result from preventable ultraviolet exposure, many of the victims are outdoor workers in California and other states. Direct sunlight increases the risk of workplace injuries like skin cancer and cataracts.
When a business in California uses a staffing agency to provide temporary employees, both entities are responsible for the safety of the worker. The staffing agency must ensure that the work environment into which it places workers is free of known hazards that could cause workplace injuries. It must also provide workers with basic safety training while the company where the worker is placed is responsible for giving facility-specific safety training.