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.
As the weather warms up, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health is focusing on its annual quest to create awareness about the dangers of heat illness. Both employers and employees must be reminded annually that heat exposure, like many other workplace injuries, can be fatal. The safety agency collaborates with multiple organizations, including agricultural employers, each year to provide training on the risks of heat exposure to outdoor workers.
Workers in California might be interested in statistics reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The report indicates the primary causes of fatal workplace injuries that occurred in all industries nationwide throughout 2017. The National Safety Council responded to the CDC report by saying that employers and employees know how to save lives, and the failure to prioritize workplace safety leads to fatalities.
Valley Fever became a health risk concern for safety authorities in California after workers at solar installations were exposed to fungal spores that caused the illness. Just like any workplace injuries, employers must also protect workers from exposure to occupational diseases. They must control exposure to hazardous materials, and report any incidents of Valley Fever or other occupational illnesses.
Safety authorities in the agriculture industry in California are advocating for regulations to mandate nighttime labor safety. They expect to present the proposal to the Standards B of the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health soon, and their goal is to implement the new standards in time for the 2020 season. Their primary concerns involve the prevalence of workplace injuries that involve equipment interaction, and also falls caused by slip-and-trip hazards.
Following several stunt-related injuries, production was recently suspended for two days on the set of "L.A.'s Finest." This time, it was not a stunt person who suffered workplace injuries, but one of the producers. The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health has launched an investigation regarding several questions about compliance with safety standards.
There is an endless list of substances to which California workers in various industries are exposed every day. Just like with other workplace injuries, employers must ensure that workers are aware of the threats posed by hazardous chemicals, and provide safety training that deals with safe storage and handling of toxic substances. The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health prescribes the required safety standards.
The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health has launched an investigation into the death of an employee in a facility that manufactures aerospace products in Los Angeles County. This tragedy appears to have resulted from a violation of one of the most crucial safety standards for industrial facilities. The victim suffered fatal workplace injuries in what seems to be an incident involving the unexpected energizing of a machine during maintenance.