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Chula Vista California Workers' Compensation Law Blog

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.

Workers' compensation will cover dust explosion injuries

Employees in California might not be aware of the deadly hazards posed by dust accumulation. According to the Chemical Safety Board, data for the period 2006 through 2017 shows that incidents involving combustible dust caused 337 injuries nationwide, and it also led to 66 fatalities and many workers' compensation benefits claims. Oxygen, fuel, ignition, dispersion and confinement are the five elements that combine to cause a dust explosion.

The CSB says proper housekeeping that includes dust control is crucial in the prevention of combustible dust fires and explosions. If dust is left to accumulate over the years, the slightest spark can cause a primary fire or explosion. The pressure of this explosion can cause vibrations throughout the factory, production plant or any other facility, dislodging dust accumulations that have been undisturbed for extended periods. When that happens, secondary explosions that are significantly more powerful can occur throughout the facility.

5 times you should wear a respirator when farming

There are many commercial farms in the Chula Vista area. If you work in agriculture, you encounter risks that most workers never do. As such, you must take additional steps to protect your body from injury. If you develop an illness or sustain an injury at work, you may need to exercise your legal right to seek payment through the workers’ compensation system. 

You can likely decrease your odds of sustaining an injury, however, with the right protective equipment. While you may recognize the importance of a hard hat or safety goggles, you should not forget about your lungs. Here are five times you should wear a respirator when working on a commercial farm. 

Workers' compensation: What makes confined spaces hazardous?

Confined space pose hazards in various industries and compliance with the relevant safety standards as prescribed by the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health is crucial. A significant number of workers' compensation claims every year involve on-the-job injuries suffered in confined spaces, which are not necessarily small spaces. Even large areas that are confined and have limited entry and exit means can classify as confined spaces.

Some of the reasons for such spaces to pose life-threatening hazards include inadequate ventilation that could cause accumulation of harmful gases and the oxygen level becoming too low to maintain human life. Some gases can explode when a spark is introduced, and nitrogen is often used as fire protection. However, nitrogen does not sustain life, making respiratory protection essential.

Workers' compensation: Indoor heat control rules effective soon

Safety authorities in California were the first to establish regulations to protect workers from outdoor heat. Many workers' compensation claims involve heat stress and other climate-related illnesses or injuries. However, climate change and the prevalence of businesses being run from shipping containers have led to the proposal of new regulations that will also protect indoor workers from heat stress.

According to the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, new regulations might take effect on Jan. 1, 2019. Workers in forty-foot long shipping containers could be exposed to heat measuring up to 115 degrees Fahrenheit, even if it is below 100 degrees outside. The new proposed heat index rules will require employers to take steps to protect indoor employees if heat exceeds 82 degrees.

Forklift accidents bring many workers' compensation claims

A significant percentage of California businesses make use of forklifts, and these useful but dangerous pieces of equipment are used on construction sites, warehouses, fulfillment centers and more. However, forklift accidents also result in a significant number of workers' compensation claims. Safety authorities say compliance with federal and state regulations can prevent almost all these accidents.

The first step in safe forklift operation is adequate training. Only certified operators must work on forklifts, and they must know how to carry out routine inspections before every shift to identify the need for maintenance and repairs. Training must include proper parking procedures, including a rule to lower the fork when parking the vehicle. Carbon monoxide poisoning is a significant threat, and adequate ventilation is essential when these machines are used in enclosed areas.

Workers' compensation: Firefighters rescue suspended worker

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health reported that it had launched an investigation into an incident in which a construction worker had to be rescued by the Orange County Fire Authority. The fire chief said that the incident occurred on a recent Tuesday morning. It is unclear whether there were injuries such as suspension trauma that might lead to a workers' compensation claim.

Reportedly, firefighters responded to the U.S. Immigration, Customs and Enforcement Building in West Santa Ana shortly after 8 a.m. to find a worker dangling on a rope at the height of the building's seventh floor. An incident report indicates that the worker, who is employed by a waterproofing company, was working on the repair of a section of concrete on the outside of the building.

4 office hazards that may cause work injuries

Working in an office may seem relatively simple and even mundane at times. Whether you are a secretary, accountant, office assistant or even the CEO, your workday probably comes with few harmful situations in general. However, that does not mean your office is completely safe.

Workplace injuries can occur anywhere; they do not just happen in factories or construction sites. Here are some office hazards that may result in a workplace accident:

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