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Modesto Worker Compensation Law Blog

Safety training can prevent industrial workers' accidents

While workers in all industries in California have to face safety hazards every day, certain industries pose higher risks than others. Certain industrial hazards threaten blue-collar workers and technicians in construction, mining and other industries. Authorities believe that the occurrence of the most frequently reported industrial workers' accidents could be minimized with proper safety training.

Falls from higher levels represent a significant number of on-the-job accidents -- often with devastating consequences. Safety advisors say most falls result from improper use or lack of fall protection, unstable work surfaces and human error. Adequate training in the proper use of personal protective equipment can eliminate a significant number of injuries and fatalities. Another cause of many industrial accidents is the exposure to dangerous working parts of machines. Employers must ensure safeguards and lockout/tag-out devices are in place, and employees must receive training in the proper use of these devices.

Wildfires are a hazard to firefighting teams

With wildfires spreading across the United States, there is a real fear that many people could lose their homes and businesses. If you're working to fight these fires or are still at your job when a fire strikes, you could be in danger of an injury. How can you be sure that you'll stay safe?

It's hard to guarantee safety if you're working with fire, but there are some measures your employer can take to help. Here are a few things he or she can do.

Construction workers' accidents: Companies fined for man's death

Considering the required safety gear, inspections and training that is required to operate a construction site, it is well-known that they can be dangerous for workers. Sadly, when construction workers' accidents occur in California and across the country, they can result in serious and sometimes fatal injuries. Recently two companies were fined in relation to the death of a worker on one of their job sites earlier this year.

Heavy winter rainstorms resulted in flooding and mudslides that made some highways impassable. Caltrans, a large and established construction company, subcontracted another company to help remove the mud from a highway Caltrans was working on. As a dump truck was backing up, the driver was not aware that two workers were behind it. The vehicle crushed them. One of the men was killed and the other suffered serious injuries. 

Construction workers' accidents: Man killed by faulty scaffolding

Some jobs entail more risk to employees than others. Even though there are risks involved in most jobs, employers bear the responsibility to provide safe working environments for their employees. Multiple agencies and policies in California exist to ensure companies are following safety standards, but construction workers' accidents still occur. Last year, in another state, a man lost his life when proper safety precautions were ignored by his employer.

The 30-year-old man was working for a construction company that was using a tall scaffolding apparatus when the accident occurred. Reportedly, he was on the top layer when the scaffolding collapsed, causing him to fall to his death. The man was survived a wife and three young sons. A lawyer for the wife stated that he plans to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the construction company.

Workers over the age of 55 have high risk for workplace accidents

A 58-year-old California man died last year after a fatal tragic on-the-job accident. According to a review of statistics, he is one of many older workers who are victims of fatal workplace accidents every year. The review indicated that all workplace fatal accidents have decreased except in the group of workers over the age of 55.

The man was operating a forklift on a ramp in the warehouse that employed him when his accident occurred. Reportedly, a bag of mortar fell near him and he reacted backing up the forklift. Unfortunately, when he backed up, he drove off the ramp and fell to his death. The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health fined the warehouse and stated that more safety training and precautions could have prevented the man's death.

Construction workers' accidents continue on Facebook campus

Over the  years, many safety practices have been mandated for construction sites to ensure protection of workers. Workers may be required to wear hard hats, reflective clothing and harnesses on the job, among other policies. Despite efforts to maintain a safe work environment, construction workers' accidents still occur in California. Recently, a man suffered injuries after a fall on a construction site, but his life may have been spared by the safety harness he was wearing.

The man was working on a new building for the Facebook corporate campus when he fell almost 15 feet. Reportedly, he may have slipped, resulting in his fall from the fourth floor to the third floor. According to the firefighters on the scene, his safety harness prevented him from crashing into the bottom of the third floor.

Workplace accidents: unusual drowning at family owned business

On-the-job accidents occur daily throughout the state of California. When workplace accidents occur, they can be expensive for employees. Fortunately, employers are required by law to provide workers' compensation insurance for its employees to finance any unexpected accident related expenses. Recently in another state, two men were seriously injured as they were maintaining part of the store where they were employed.

The men were employed by a family-owned company that performs catering, butcher, canning and retail services. Reportedly, two men were performing maintenance in the store building's sewer pits. As they were working, they became unconscious and had to be rescued and pulled out by firefighters. Unfortunately, one of the men did not survive his injuries. The other man was air lifted and treated for his injuries, but has been discharged from the hospital in stable condition.

Building collapses, resulting in serious workplace accidents

When buildings are constructed in California, there are numerous codes to ensure quality of work and safety for all involved. Unfortunately, despite safety precautions, workplace accidents still occur. Three construction workers in another state were all injured when the building they were constructing collapsed on them.

The building was being converted from a two story to a three story structure. While the men were working, the building collapsed and trapped them in the basement. The initial investigation has not revealed the possible cause of the collapse. Twelve hundred pound beams and cement bags were among the building supplies that crashed onto the workers.

Death benefits for fatal industrial workers' accidents

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health strives to enforce safety standards for all work environments, including industrial sites across the state. Unfortunately, despite safety standards, industrial workers' accidents still occur, and they can result in serious injury and death. Sadly, in another state, a construction worker was recently killed while working on the job.

The 31-year-old victim was using some heavy equipment at a Target distribution center when the accident occurred. He was not employed by Target, but was contracted to perform some unspecified work on the building. He died at the scene of the accident. 

Heat exposure can put you at risk at work

California is a hot state, and workplaces can be even hotter depending on the industry. It's important for all workplaces to account for the environment to keep their employees comfortable. Too much heat exposure can result in serious injuries and potentially death from heat-related illnesses.

On June 5, a report about California's workers stated that the current governor signed a bill in September that requires California's Division of Occupational Safety and Health to adopt standards to protect indoor workers from the hazard of heat-related injuries. On top of that, the state also lowered its threshold for outdoor exposure to 80 degrees, helping keep people out of blistering hot temperatures to prevent heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

The Law Office of Gary C. Nelson
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