The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health is investigating an incident that claimed the life of a 54-year-old employee of a recycling company. The woman died earlier this month after working for the company for more than 16 years. The workplace injuries that led to her death were caused when a skip loader struck her.
Regardless of the amount of experience a particular employee has, it may not be enough to keep him or her safe from an on-the-job accident. Many of the tasks completed by employees of California companies come with significant risks. When something goes wrong, fatal workplace injuries can occur.
Workers in California put their lives on the line every day. The risks of suffering workplace injuries are ever-present, and some are severe enough to cause death. An employee of a dredging company in California recently lost his life in such an accident.
When a person suffers an injury on the job, he or she has the right to pursue benefits through a workers' compensation claim. Even knowing that benefits are available in case of a workplace accident, a worker may still have concerns about his or her health and safety while on the job. Since 2014, fatal workplace injuries are up by 22%, which means that California employees have a good reason to be concerned.
The California Department of Health's Occupational Lead Poisoning Prevention Program recently reported the results of 38,440 blood tests that were conducted on workers between 2012 and 2014. Over 6,000 of those showed excessive levels of lead, which can result in serious workplace injuries and illnesses. Reportedly, the elevated lead levels were found among workers in the manufacturing and construction industries.
Ground workers at airports face a variety of hazards, some of which involve the dangers posed by service vehicles like tugs. Tugs are the tractor-like vehicles that tow trailers carrying heavy loads. The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health has launched an investigation into a recent incident with a tug in which two workers suffered fatal workplace injuries while working at a busy international airport in California.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics says over one million workers in California and across the country suffer injuries to their backs each year. According to the bureau, these injuries make up one in five reported workplace injuries. Understandably, this also reflects in the workers' compensation claims that injured workers file each year.
Wildfires in California can become life-threatening within hours. This was underscored when the fire called Maria recently spread across 8,000 acres within a few hours. With no containment, such a fire threatens the lives of residents and both indoor and outdoor workers. Furthermore, the risks are not over when the fire is extinguished.
Regardless of the industry, employers in California are responsible for the health and safety of employees. A part of that responsibility involves personal protective equipment. From bakeries to construction sites, employees are exposed to hazards that could cause workplace injuries or illnesses if they do not have the necessary PPE.
The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health investigation concerning the death of the lead rigger for a Coachella festival underscores the importance of full compliance with safety standards. The rigger fell to his death in April while setting up the stage. He fell from a height of 50 feet, and Cal/OSHA inspectors say his fall harness was not set up to arrest his fall.