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Chula Vista California Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Understanding take-home toxic exposure

Depending on your California job description and where you work, you may handle toxic materials every day. In all likelihood, you already know what preventative measures you should take to minimize your risk of toxic exposure, but are you aware that you could expose your family to these risks, too? Unfortunately, you could. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, take-home toxic exposure poses a major problem throughout America.

If you have never heard the term “take-home toxic exposure” before, it means that the toxins with which you come into contact every day at work could embed themselves in your clothing and shoes, thereby following you home and potentially harming your family members.

Most common injuries cited on workers' compensation claims

California workers in all industries will be aware of the many safety hazards they face every day. While each job might have unique dangers, safety authorities say there are a few basic hazards that threaten employees in all work environments. These are hazards that cause millions of non-fatal injuries nationwide each year, giving rise to workers' compensation benefits claims.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration lists slip and trip accidents as a significant threat that causes multiple injuries from minor to catastrophic. Spills that are not cleaned up immediately and random objects or debris in walkways are named as primary causes of these accidents. Electrical hazards also exist in all workplaces, and employers must ensure frayed wires, shorting sockets and other electrocution threats are addressed.

Stunt-related personal injury accidents raise concern

Several stunt-related accidents in recent times have raised the concern of safety officials. The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health has launched an investigation into one such an accident that caused a catastrophic personal injury to one of the showrunners on set. A stunt that went wrong caused the amputation of the victim's lower leg.

Reportedly, the accident happened when a stunt driver lost control of the car he was driving during the filming of "L.A's Finest." The vehicle smashed into a cargo crate, which was in turn forced into the video village tent from where the two showrunners were watching the stunt scene on monitors. One showrunner's leg became pinned, causing severe injuries. Although doctors fought to save his leg, it could not be saved.

Workers' compensation death benefits cannot ease father's grief

A California father of an electrician assistant says the fact that his deceased son's employer received a fine of almost $40,000 does not provide him comfort because the incident that caused his son's death should never have happened. He might feel the same way about the workers' compensation death benefits for which the surviving family members might be eligible. The man says the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health is glossing over his son's workplace death without providing answers about why the tragedy happened.

Cal/OSHA issued the city of Modesto four citations along with the fine. An appeal by the city was put on hold while the Bureau of Investigations is conducting a second investigation. If investigators find any proof of criminal wrongdoing on the part of the employer, the case will be turned over to the court.

The leading cause of death for farmers

Farm life comes with a variety of connotations: adventure, simplicity, solitude, nature, toughness and so on. Regardless of personal attitude toward farming, it is a highly hazardous occupation. Working the land comes with numerous dangers both from machinery and nature.

The risk increases when a worker is in the senior years or is young and new to the trade. Migrant workers are often at risk, as well, due to insufficient training, communication and availability to safety measures. Family members are also in danger, as they often live and/or work on the farm.

Workers' compensation: Concern over number of trucker fatalities

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued a report last October that shows an alarming rise in fatalities among heavy-duty truckers. While 3.5 deaths occur per 10,000 workers across all professions, 26.8 in every 10,000 truckers die in traffic accidents. That represents a 25 percent increase since 2011. These numbers will likely also reflect in the claims for survivor's benefits that are filed with the workers' compensation program in California and other states.

According to the National Transportation Institute, alcohol and drug use have become a matter of concern because approximately one in every seven drivers who apply for trucking jobs fail their drug tests. Safety authorities further state that too many trucker deaths are caused by excessive speed and distractions, with a significant percentage of them failing to wear their seatbelts. Drowsy driving and fatigue also feature as causes of a substantial proportion of big rig driver fatalities.

4 ways to avoid an eye injury when welding

Few trade jobs in the Chula Vista area pay better than welding. After all, seamlessly joining pieces of metal takes real talent. For masterful results, business owners, artists and others are often willing to pay top dollar. To be sure you can work as a welder for years to come, though, you must be careful with your eyes. 

Eye injuries are common in the welding community. If you are not careful, you may burn your retinas with radiation from the weld. You may also send a hot piece of debris directly into your eye. Either way, the injury could be catastrophic. That is, if you cannot see, you cannot do your work. Here are four ways to avoid eye injury when welding: 

Personal injury: Dog bite consequences could be severe

Anyone in California who has ever been the victim of a dog attack will know how traumatic such an experience can be. Along with the personal injury typically comes the emotional trauma that might cause long-term psychological harm. The first thing to do after being bitten by a dog is to determine whether the dog's rabies shots are current -- even if there is only a scratch. If this cannot be confirmed, a visit to the emergency room for a human rabies immunoglobulin shot is essential.

A dog that has rabies will have the virus in its saliva, and it could be transmitted via even the slightest break in the victim's skin. Even if there is no risk of rabies, puncture wounds and scratches caused by dog bites can become extremely painful if they get infected. The damaged area will become swollen, and if there is damage to a muscle or a nerve, it will be more painful.

Workers' compensation: What to use for flu protection

The flu season typically peaks in February, and it has already claimed several lives in California. Every year, a significant number of flu-related workers' compensation claims are filed. Workers in hospitals and other health care facilities face higher risks of exposure than most employees in other industries. Employers are responsible for the health and safety of their workers, and because vaccinations are not guaranteed to be effective, they might have to provide additional protection.

Safety authorities say respirators offer the most effective protection from airborne contaminants. They can protect workers for up to six feet from people who might have flu. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has strict specifications when it comes to respirators. Each worker's respirator must be a perfect fit to ensure no gaps exist through which unfiltered air can enter. It is also crucial to ensure that workers are medically fit to work while they wear respirators.

The problem with workers' compensation nurse case managers

When dealing with pain and injury, the last thing you want to do is make decisions. You may need to deal with doctors, hospitals and workers' comp insurance providers after an on-the-job accident.

Filing a workers' compensation claim for the first time in California can be a bewildering process. In severe injury cases, a nurse case manager may contact you. The person claims he or she can help you with medical appointments, injury claim documentation or go with you during doctor visits.

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